Whenever I tell people that I am the one who plans out my boyfriend and I’s vacations, their response is always something along the lines of, “That sounds so fun!” But in reality, planning trips that are relaxing and also offer healthy forms of exercise can be stressful. I’m a pretty indecisive person, so trying to make a decision on what vacation spot to travel to is a struggle. It can get even more difficult when trying to find affordable (but fun and stimulating) excursions once I finally figure out where I want to go.
Because I know I’m not alone in this feeling, I want to share with you all some vacation spots and excursions that I’ve enjoyed throughout the years. I’ll provide some beautiful places and fun things to do that make me feel calm and happy, while still challenging me physically.
My sister has been all over the world, and she’s a big workout advocate, so she often shares with me her own trip itineraries. These genuinely help the planning process, and it makes me feel better mentally to make a decision on going somewhere I know someone close to me has visited and enjoyed! I’m hoping that my advice will help you as hers helped me.
I read in an article by IndependentTravelCats that stated that, for most people, the most stressful part of travel is what happens before the travel: planning the trip. This includes finding a place to go and making an itinerary. But in my opinion, these things should be fun, so hopefully, my personal trip suggestions and experiences will help you be less stressed when wondering where to go and what to do on your next vacation.
While I want to provide fun and relaxing options, I also want to offer options that promote staying active while vacationing. An article by TheWashingtonPost says that taking a break from work should not mean taking a break from working out, because “working out is a great habit that once broken can be hard to pick back up. But you can still fit it into your overseas tour or beach visit.” I very much agree with this, and I personally feel like I enjoy my vacation more and am happier when I squeeze in time for some sort of workout.
Excursions are a great opportunity for sightseeing and enjoying your trip, while also exercising.
I have no choice but to start with the vacation spot that makes me cry tears of joy when thinking of it, and that’s the Caribbean island of St. Kitts. There is something so magical about this place, and I think everyone should experience it. I specifically recommend staying in the Marriott Resort & Royal Beach Casino. This hotel is beautiful with many relaxing amenities, while also containing light exercise options like a swimming pool, beach volleyball courts, and walking paths surrounded by flowers and other exotic plants.
There are many excursion options on this island as well that offer memorable views and some physical challenges. You can rent four-wheelers to ride up and down the most magnificent hills of the island by booking a tour with Sunny Blue Rental, joining yoga classes on the beach, hiking Mount Liamuiga Volcano, or going snorkeling on the Deluxe Catamaran Lunch Tour. St. Kitts is a place I strongly encourage everyone to see at some point in their lifetime.
While all national parks are full of scenic routes and hundreds of hiking trails, Acadia National Park is outstanding in so many ways. Acadia is 35,332 acres of piercing greenery and mini beaches, with over 150 miles of trails. It's island-like structure makes for beautiful views at the top of every mountain you climb.
If you’re looking for a more challenging and thrilling hike, I suggest the Beehive Loop. It’s a one and a half mile rung and ladder trail that will leave you breathing heavily and feeling accomplished after climbing to the top, while then allowing you to catch your breath and relax once going back down. For a less physically challenging, but still beautiful hike, walking along the top of Cadillac Mountain is the way to go. You’ll drive your car to the top, and roam along the very open and wide hiking path, with beautiful views of the Atlantic Ocean on both sides of the trail. For a soothing break, maybe layout on the warm sand of Sand Beach, located in the midst of the park.
The last trip that I feel needs to be mentioned is the Oasis of the Seas cruise that stops in Jamaica, Mexico, and Haiti. If Oasis isn’t an option during the year that you’re looking to book, there are many other cruises that set out to these three destinations. In Haiti, there are multiple exhilarating excursions that keep you active. You can do the world’s largest over-water zipline called the Dragon’s Breath, or glide down the Dragon’s Tail Mountain Coaster in Labadee. When you hit Mexico, take a hike through the Mayan Ruins to get a history lesson and see some old monuments. And lastly, when the boat stops in Jamaica, take a thrilling and adventurous walk in the Dunn’s River Waterfall.
There are so many different places around the world that offer great accommodations and excursion opportunities, but these are some of my personal favorites that I wanted to share. These trips have provided me with an endless amount of fun, prospering mental and physical health, incredible views, and memories that I will hold with me forever.
I encourage you to try and not put too much pressure on yourself when planning trips, and to remember that no matter where you go, there are always opportunities to exercise and experience relaxation while vacationing.
By Emma Baugher