How to Make the Most of Your Summer Vacation


Photo Credit: PhD Comics

Now that July is here you know what that means: Vacations! Many people take vacations in July because it is right in the middle of the summer and it is a great time to relax with family and friends. Even if your vacation is short take time to unwind and have fun.

How to Make the Most of Your Summer Vacation:

1. Prepare and Create Lists:
This tip may seem like common sense, but I will address it anyway. Send reminders to our labmates, boss, coworkers or other people that we need to notify. Check out Ph.D. comics (When to tell your advisor you’re going on vacation). A good way to remember what you need to do is to create lists. That way you will be able to enjoy all of your vacation and have things in order when you get back.

2. Switch Your Mind to Vacation Mode:
Leave all of your worries, frustrations, and stresses out of your mind for the time that you are on vacation. Check out this Ph.D. Comics post (Vacation vs Stressed). Have you ever been on a vacation with someone and all they talked about was how they are so stressed and dreading going back to work? Don’t let this person be you. Use your vacation as a time to temporarily forget life’s stresses. This is how to take a true vacation inside and out.

3. Leave Your Work at Home:
This is important, especially for my workaholics out there. The purpose of a vacation is to have time to relax, have fun and explore your vacation’s surroundings. If you are working you cannot enjoy your vacation to the maximum potential. Use your vacation time to completely escape from your work for a while. It will not hurt you. Your mind, body, and spirit will thank you for it. When you come back from your vacation you will be ready to get back to work!

4. Try Something New:
Vacations are the perfect time to explore and be adventurous. If you are not an outdoor person break out of your comfort zone and go hiking. Do you like the water? Go snorkeling or try another water activity. Sometimes trying new things can be scary, but after you try something new you will be happy that you tried it. Plus, this will give you the motivation to leave some of the comfort zones in your career.

5. Make Memories:
Vacations create memories. Get creative! Create a photo album, video album or scrapbook. These make great gifts and help you capture your vacation moments. I love looking at my childhood vacation albums. When I was a child I loved going to science and history museums during the summer. It is time for me to visit DC and explore the new science exhibits.

This summer I am looking forward to catching up with some friends. What are you doing for your summer vacation? Share below.

11 thoughts on “How to Make the Most of Your Summer Vacation

  1. I guess I need to start with taking said vacation. Seems like it is always paper writing and grant season. I’ll get some time off on the bookends of an upcoming conference. This dude will try to abide πŸ™‚ But yeah, it is easy to get overloaded when your brain doesn’t take an actual break.

      1. Sometimes I think staycations are better than a vacation to a new destination. Read that leisure book you’ve been thinking about, be a tourist in your own town, or binge watch all 9 seasons of The X-Files. πŸ˜‰

  2. I definitely agree that total breaks are definitely needed to reset the brain. However, I would remind people to also take advantage of meeting new people if traveling on vacation. You can ask to give an invited talk at a local university or just meet up with old lab mates to stay in contact.

  3. These are great tips that I wish some of my fellow grad students would follow. Without having read your post yet, I followed #4 and took a pottery class.

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