One way to know you’re trying to do too much is if you’re feeling in a hurry, anxious, or worried while on vacation.
Often we get so excited to be in a new place and we want to see and do everything. Who knows when we might make it back, if ever?
Here’s the thing, it’s not possible to see and do everything. That’s the reality.
A great way to help you prioritize your time on a trip is to set an overall intention for your vacation.
Are you taking the trip to relax, sightsee, connect with family, experience the culture, explore in nature? You may want to do some or all those things, but one will stand out as the most important.
This will be the intention you focus on when planning your trip. Going somewhere to sightsee as the priority is very different than traveling to a destination for the purpose of relaxation.
If you’re traveling with children and want to get the most out of family time, an aggressive schedule with hard times to meet may leave you feeling strung out as you herd cats - cats that don’t want to see this or that monument/museum.
It’s best to get input from those traveling with you, but overall one person has to be the primary decision maker. That’s the military in me, but it does work. You’ve heard the saying about too many cooks in the kitchen.
As an example, the kids and I are traveling together this summer for my son’s birthday. The intention for the trip is for him to see and hang out with his good friends. I’ve not planned anything else other than our transportation.
It’s not a sightseeing trip - though that will probably happen anyway, but organically and not because I scheduled it. Knowing the intention, I can release any concerns about FOMO (fear of missing out) on something because the purpose of the trip doesn’t revolve around my desires.
My daughter knows that this trip is not about her and that she’ll have a separate birthday trip (yes I’ll have to remind her repeatedly). I’ve just found it to make things a lot easier.