THE BLOG
07/28/2010 09:17 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

How to Plan a Vacation

By the time you read this, I will be on vacation. I read once that the glow from taking a vacation lasts only a few days, but the happiness from having planned a vacation lasts eight weeks! I can attest to that. There is something about knowing you have a reservation sometime in the future at an exciting place that makes you feel ... secure, relaxed, and pleasantly anticipatory.

I am by nature an explorer. I have often admired those people who can go to the same place year after year and just relax. I have too many places I want to see in my lifetime. Whatever hormone spikes when you do new things (dopamine?), it's my drug of choice.

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Farmland that stretches for miles on my last trip to Iowa.

But honestly, I have special challenges when planning a vacation. My husband hates fancy things (he often loses out on that one) and loves cold, dark lakes, while I am happiest in the turquoise sea of the Caribbean, preferably in a very fancy hotel. The ages of my kids--as many of you know--range from 4 to 28 (and yes, the 28-year-old still wants to go on vacation with us--I mean who wouldn't, with the joy I take in planning?).

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Boats at rest in Camden Harbor in Maine.

So here are my five tips for planning a vacation that everyone will enjoy:

Plan in advance--at least eight weeks ahead of time. That way you don't cancel out the eight weeks of pleasure from having planned by ending up with a vacation that may not work out as planned (one word: airplanes).

For more tips on vacation planning and more from Maria Rodale, go to www.mariasfarmcountrykitchen.com.

Related Links
My Trip to Seed Savers Exchange in Iowa- Part 1 - Maria's Farm Country Kitchen
How To Plan a Green Vacation - Rodale.com
Secrets To a Healthier, Happier Vacation - Prevention