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Is stress getting you down? If so, you're not alone. In the United States, about 55 percent of adults said they experienced stress during "a lot of the day" prior, compared with just 35 percent globally.

When life is stressing you out, you may be tempted to hop on a plane for an impromptu trip. But setting stress management goals, and taking the time to plan and save up for a vacation, is often more rewarding.

Plan a Break from Stress

Setting a goal to take a vacation in a few months offers some big advantages over a spur-of-the-moment getaway. Don't underestimate the joy you'll get out of working toward your goal by saving money, selecting a destination, and booking the flights. Anticipating and planning your vacation can often be just as enjoyable as the vacation itself — especially if you use it as a break from the stress of your day-to-day life. You'll feel a sense of control as you work through your vacation checklist, which can boost morale if other areas of your life feel chaotic and unpredictable.

Additionally, setting goals for your vacation can minimize the stress associated with traveling. For example, it's easy to feel overwhelmed if you leave for the airport and remember you haven't booked a hotel. When you figure out these details ahead of time, you save yourself a lot of headaches and you're free to enjoy the journey.

Proper planning for your vacation removes possible financial stress from the equation, too. A last-minute trip may turn out to be more expensive than you anticipated — leading to worries about how to pay for the bills you've incurred. When you plan your vacation in advance, you can set a budget, find accommodations within your price range, and cover the cost by saving money in advance.

As you plan your vacation, it makes sense to set goals for attractions you want to visit and activities you want to experience. That way, you can fit these into your schedule and get the most out of your vacation time.

Stress Management Goals for Your Time Away

As you dream up your vacation itinerary, you'll likely want to schedule some classic stress busters such as a massage or a day at the spa. Here are some other ideas to consider:

  • Plan to fully remove yourself from stressors while you're on vacation. Don't take your day job with you, and set up an email auto-responder for work emails. If possible, try to turn off your phone for some uninterrupted leisure time. After all, you can't destress on vacation if you're focused on work deadlines or the news.
  • Vacation with friends or family, or join a group tour. Include social activities in your schedule — forming strong social connections can make it easier to cope with stress.
  • Plan to spend some time being active, whether that's walking, biking, swimming, surfing, or skiing. Exercise allows you to work out tension and feel invigorated, and it's a powerful buffer against stress.
  • Sign up for a yoga or meditation class during your vacation, or plan to learn a skill like painting or cooking. Learning a relaxing practice that you can continue to enjoy once you're back home can empower you to build healthy stress relief habits and to make stress relief part of your daily life.

Taking a vacation is a good way to get some distance from the demands and pressures that trigger stress. By putting some thought into your vacation planning, you can create an amazing experience that can help to banish the negativity from your mind. Your vacation can also give you a new perspective on the stress you experience in everyday life and inspire you to keep tackling it even after it's over.

This information and recommendations contained herein are compiled from sources deemed reliable, but are not represented to be accurate or complete. In providing this information, neither KeyBank nor its affiliates are acting as your agent or are offering any tax, accounting, or legal advice.

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