It’s August, also known as summer’s third act, the pre-September pause, and the “out of office” email’s moment to shine. For many people, this is the month to go on vacation, with all the excitement, relaxation, and—if we’re being honest—anticipatory stress that can entail.
At Quartzy, we love going on vacation, and our writers have been busy sharing the lessons they’ve learned everywhere from Cape Cod and Milan to their own backyards and beyond. Here is our guide to going on vacation.
Where to go
Go nowhere at all. If your goal is rest and rejuvenation this August, why bother with airports and unfamiliar surroundings? Just live your best life right at home.
Go somewhere where the locals barely notice you’re there. If you want to avoid the tourist track, travel somewhere where you won’t have to work too hard to get off of it.
Go somewhere where you can stay in a tiny hotel. Not quite a fully fledged hotel, and yet not an unserviced Airbnb, the new trend of tiny hotels gives you local flavor and the pleasure of a hotel bar.
What to bring
Choosing the perfect beach read? It helps to understand the psychology behind them.
Baggage fees be damned—with a little ingenuity, you can absolutely pack the perfect carry-on for your vacation. Here’s how to do it.
Not flying first? Upgrade your in-flight economy experience by packing your own amenity kit so you can feel lush before you land.
If you’re traveling abroad, you’re going to need foreign currency. Here’s a guide to making sure you don’t get ripped off when withdrawing it.
What to do
Forget the Louvre and the Met—skip the crowds and visit a tiny museum instead.
Vacationing with kids? Do away with the quest for perfect parenting and play this ingenious—and mindset-shifting—game instead.
Some tourist attractions are worth it, while others definitely aren’t. Use this simple mental trick to determine which ones are worth the queue.
Want to see a place for what it really is? Set out on a mission you would normally reserve for home—finding a wedding dress, say, or stocking up at a local pharmacy—and see what happens.
How to handle work
The most important day for enjoying your vacation is the one before you leave. In other words: don’t try and clear your inbox at the departure gate.
Worried about the mountain of emails that will be awaiting you upon return? Do like Ariana Huffington does, and simply auto-delete each one. (The important ones will find a way back to you.)
Whatever you do, don’t return home on a Sunday night—and make sure you have a reality re-entry game plan in place.