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Summer Vacations: 7 Universal Laws for Survival


Summer vacations - what better topic could there be for a mental health column than one so likely to separate you from your own mental health?

With that notion in mind, here are 7 Universal Laws for Summer Vacations.

The Law of Preparedness: It's been said that "prior planning prevents poor performance." Planning for a vacation is one of those interesting paradoxes of life: the more you plan, the more room there is to have fun.

The Law of Plan B (or C, D, etc.): If it's good to plan, then it's also good to have a back-up plan, sometimes more than one. What are you going to do if they have lost your reservation or your luggage? What are you going to do if the amusement park or other attraction you have traveled so far to see is closed for the day?

The Law of Good Time: Sometimes parents, and not just men, measure the worth of a vacation by how fast you can get from point A to point B. Sorry to disappoint you, but being able to say "we made good time" is not the mark of a good vacation.

Instead of asking "how fast can we get there?" ask "in how many ways can we make this a very good time for everybody?" Being able to say "we had a really good time" is the outcome you want. Remember, the point is not to make good time, the point is to make good memories.

The Law of "Are We There Yet?": If you are traveling with small children, it's important to remember that their concept of time is very different from ours. As a matter of fact, their perceptions and concepts of most things are very different from ours.

When it comes to state lines, time or any other conceptual area, we have to put it in terms they will understand. Several years ago my wife came up with the "finger approach" to understanding time. A finger equals one hour. So if a trip took five hours, then it was a five-finger trip.

The answer to the question "how much longeeeeeeerrrr!" then became two fingers if it was two hours. I still haven't figured out what fingers have to do with time, all I know is that it works.

The Law of Traditional Obligation: If going to the same place at the same time to see the same people works for you, then by all means go and have a good time. If you are doing it only out of drudgery and obligation, perhaps this is the year to break with tradition and begin a few traditions of your own.

The Law of Pace: Many families tell me they feel as if they need a vacation from their vacation when they return. One reason is that many folks try to schedule their vacations just as they do the rest of their lives, which results in stress, irritation and disappointment.

If your vacation goal is to see as many people, places and things in as few days as possible, you need to change your vacation goals.

For that matter, why have goals on vacation anyway?

Slow down. Perhaps even stop. Enjoy a slower pace.

I know I'm starting to relax when I wonder what day it is, and then realize it doesn't matter.

The Law of PRP: PRP stands for "Post Reinforcement Pause," which is a fancy psychological way of describing what it feels like to get back to the normal routine after lots of good stuff.

Some folks struggle with feeling a little down as they get back to normal life after a vacation. One way to handle and prepare for this is to schedule something fun two or three weeks after you get back.

Having something to look forward to always helps.

Jeff Herring, MS, LMFT, is a marriage and family therapist specializing in working with teenagers and their parents. A nationally syndicated relationship columnist and speaker, Jeff is also the founder and CEO of http://www.ParentingYourTeenager.com, where you can subscribe to his free internet newsletter "ParentingYourTeenager." E-mail Jeff at jeff@parentingyourteenager.com


MORE RESOURCES:

Vacation Rentals - Google News

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Council sticks with vacation rental ban in some areas of Palm Desert; extends sunset provision - The Desert Sun


The Desert Sun

Council sticks with vacation rental ban in some areas of Palm Desert; extends sunset provision
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It took council members several failed motions to reach consensus, ultimately voting to keep the ban on vacation homes in residential areas zoned R-1 and R-2 it had approved on Oct. 26, but extending the sunset date for currently permitted short-term ...

Newport News Times | Council to vote on vacation rental limit - Newport News Times


Newport News Times | Council to vote on vacation rental limit
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NEWPORT — The Newport Planning Commission has completed its review of the vacation rental dwelling rules and is ready to present it to the city council.

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TurnKey Vacation Rentals Honored as a 2017 'Built In Austin' Top ... - PR Newswire (press release)


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Norfolk holding second town hall on short-term vacation rentals ... - WAVY-TV


WAVY-TV

Norfolk holding second town hall on short-term vacation rentals ...
WAVY-TV
The City of Norfolk will again discuss a big issue impacting tourism on Thursday night.

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Group delivers petition calling for changes to Palm Springs vacation ... - The Desert Sun


The Desert Sun

Group delivers petition calling for changes to Palm Springs vacation ...
The Desert Sun
A group opposed to the proliferation of short-term vacation rentals said it delivered a petition demanding Palm Springs limit vacation rentals in residential areas.

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These cities have more vacation homes that allow pets than any others in the US - Los Angeles Times


Los Angeles Times

These cities have more vacation homes that allow pets than any others in the US
Los Angeles Times
San Diego, Palm Springs and Big Bear Lake ranked among the top five pet-friendly cities in the U.S. for vacation rentals, a recent trend report by HomeAway said. The vacation rental company looked at places with high numbers of rentals that allowed pets.

Savannah short-term vacation rental rules under scrutiny - Savannah Morning News


Savannah Morning News

Savannah short-term vacation rental rules under scrutiny
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The number of properties that can be used as short-term vacation rentals in Savannah is quickly decreasing following the passage of new restrictions on the industry, as industry representatives criticize a last-minute change to the revised ordinance ...

Vacation Rentals: 10 Epic Treehouses to Rent for the Night | Money - Money Magazine


Money Magazine

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Vacation rentals: The 10 most popular treehouses you can book on HomeAway—and how much it costs to spend the night.
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Strict Limits On Vacation Rentals Find Favor With Oregon Coast Voters - Northwest Public Radio


Northwest Public Radio

Strict Limits On Vacation Rentals Find Favor With Oregon Coast Voters
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Voters in Gearhart, Oregon, sent a decisive message this week about limiting vacation rentals in neighborhoods. The Oregon beach town is the first Northwest place to hold a vote of the people on an issue that's cropping up in city councils across the ...

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