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Jen Atkin’s Top 9 Tips to Prepare and Actually Relax On Vacation

With the madness of the way things have been I feel like everyone always needs time off and away from their computers and calendars to really recharge. As hard as that is for me, because I struggle with stepping away from work, it’s a necessity for my own sanity; so Mike and I always make it a point to take time off every six months.

I know going on a two week vacation isn’t realistic for everyone and it wasn’t for me for a very long time, but it’s so important to disconnect and make some mental room for what’s to come the rest of the year. If a trip isn’t doable for you, there are so many other things you can do within your own city to unwind and connect with nature which is so important. I recently started going on really long hikes with Mike and Roo and it was life-changing; now I get the hype. It was nice to just be in nature, away from the hustle of the city and be with the my favorites.

Here are some of the things that I do before, during and after a vacation:

Before you leave:

Pack Items to Help You Disconnect

I love packing non-electronics (board games) like Rook and Rummicub. I always try on all my clothes/outfits ahead of time and take photos of everything so I never have to think about what I’m going to wear, and know everything fits.

Wrap Up Loose Ends

This is always so difficult to do because you’re sometimes more overwhelmed before vacation than any other time of the year because there’s so many things you need to handle before you shut off. I always try to work with my team to handle some pressing tasks before a long trip.

Pack Your Favorite Books

Try to challenge yourself to read more than you’re on your phone. Set a goal to lower your screen time to half or more and it’ll help you reset but also make you aware of how dependent you are of your phone.

While you’re there:

Be Present

Finishing up all your to-do’s and pending emails so you leave for the trip with nothing else to check off your list is so important. I try to start this process 2 weeks before I leave because let’s get real, it’s NOT an easy task. Once I’m on vacation, I try to always be present. I learned this from some of the books I’ve read on vacation. I always try to read a couple books, they have so much insight and pointers on how to improve small things in your life. Some of my favorite books that I’ve read on vacation are: The Power of Now, The Secret, The Alchemist & The Seven Spiritual Laws of Superheroes. They all have different messages and I promise you’ll find inspiration in any of those.

Stash Your Phone Away

I don’t look at my phone when I first wake up and right before bed. When you look at your phone in the morning, you’re just catching up with yesterday’s events. Starting the day on your own terms will allow you a head start on your own goals for the day.

Sweat it Out

I brought my own resistance bands on my last trip for a quick daily workout. It’s great because you don’t need a lot of space and can workout just about anywhere. I literally feel like a new person after I get a good sweat in.

Indulge Within Reason

Eating healthy is another big part of feeling good while you’re away. Sure, it’s great to indulge (as you should) because “you’re on vacation” but you are what you eat. I try to stick with to eating non-processed foods like fruits and veggies.

Jen Atkin Travel

How to get back into work:

Brainstorm While You’re Away

The best ideas come to me when I’m on vacation. So by the time I get back home I’m excited and energized to bring new ideas to the table with my team.

Mentally Prepare On Your Way Back

Most of the time, I don’t have a day to rest after vaca so I typically just hit the ground running once I’m back home.

Workout to Avoid Jet Lag

Also, if it was an oversees trip, I always work out as soon as I’m back and throughout the week to beat jet lag and get back into my routine. Also, cuddling with Roo always helps.


I wasn’t always able to take nice trips growing up so I’m very fortunate and grateful to be able to travel the world with @MrMikeRosenthal and now #RooRosenthal. This summer we’re planning a trip to Europe and I couldn’t be any more excited. I urge you to get out there, take a day for yourself, relax and unwind. Even if it’s just a day; self care is one of the most important things you can do for yourself.
xx Jen

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