Ideas For A Relaxing Vacation To Increase Your Gratitude

Being on vacation lets me reflect about the gratitude that I feel, how I can express it. As I was walking through the 23rd Annual Downtown Sarasota Festival of the Arts I was thinking about different types of vacations that I have taken.

Do you go on vacation planning to rest, refresh, and relax only to return home feeling just as worn out as you did before you went? If you truly want a relaxing vacation, consider the environment and location when weighing your vacation options. Not every fun vacation can be relaxing but a relaxing vacation can be fun. Do your vacations include gratitude? My trip to visit family members is actually a little bit of both! I have family members on both coasts of Florida and this trip is for the Left Coast family 😉

Consider the following relaxing and fun vacation suggestions. Whether you spend a weekend or an entire week, you’ll return home feeling refreshed, renewed and most of all relaxed!

Here are Some Great Relaxing Vacation Ideas that will get your gratitude to skyrocket

Nature can be very relaxing. I was born and raised in Manhattan, New York City! Even people who have spent most of their lives in the city feel different the minute they step into the unspoiled outdoors. Your gratitude towards nature and outdoors will become instantly apparent as you get off the concrete sidewalks and walk on a dirt path. I love getting out into nature to hike, backpack, and camp. This got me to thinking about the following four vacation ideas. All of these highlight different elements of nature that can easily drive you into relaxation mode!

1. Take a skiing trip. Although skiing tends to look like a physically trying sporting activity, it can actually be quite relaxing cruising down the slopes of snow-covered mountains. The air is fresh. The scenery is breathtaking. And skiing downhill is an absolutely liberating feeling! I have to tell you something that only a few people know… The last time I went skiing, I was asked to leave the mountain! I am not a very good snow skier, and I was on a hill that was a bit above my skill level. (Thanks for the trip, Marco!) I was able to express my gratitude for the Ski Patrol as they helped me off the mountain! 🙂


2. Spend a weekend at a nature-oriented spa. Can you imagine what it would feel like to spend an entire weekend at a secluded spa surrounded by the beauty of nature? The experience would definitely put both your mind and muscles at ease! In college I attended a wellness weekend. More recently, a few years ago, I spent a week in upstate New York at the Omega Institute and enjoy it tremendously. While at a nature-oriented spa, consider the following”:

  • Spend a couple hours each day in a sauna.
  • Receive signature facial treatments while you overlook a river or the ocean.
  • Choose a different type of massage for each day you’re in the spa.
  • Even if you are a male, you can benefit and enjoy these activities!


Gratitude-Half-Dome3. Go camping. A camping vacation is one of the ultimate vacation ideas for rest and relaxation. There are campsites all over the country and even more options if you decide to travel abroad in search of campsites. This is one of my favorite outdoor activities. I have been ‘car-camping (where you drive your car up to a campsite) to backpacking through Yellowstone National Park and hiking up Half Done.

When you camp, you’ll be able to unwind as you:

  • Take in fresh air found only in the midst of nature.
  • Gaze at the stars at night.
  • Listen to the soothing sounds of nature’s creations.

Any chance I get, I will go camping! Ahhh… The Love, Joy, and Gratitude I have for camping…


4. Take a countryside cottage vacation. City life can be stressful, and sometimes a trip to the countryside is all you need! A cottage rental in the countryside can take you far away from the hustle and bustle of city life. It’ll feel like being at home, but without the lights, noises, and stress found in the city!

5. Spend time with family in a different part of the country. Depending on your family circumstances, you may be able to get away and visit family members.  That is what I am doing right now. It is great to connect with your family in areas that are not your typical routine areas. A change of scenery, a different town, or a family vacation often will let you renew your gratitude towards one another.

Important Note: Decide On Your Budget First

Of these 5 ideas (and there are many more), each one has a different cost associated with it. Hiking can be free, and skiing week in the Alps can cost thousands. Remember that the idea of a vacation is to be relaxing, refreshing, renewing, and leave you feeling grateful. Embarking on a trip that will cause you to feel stress due to financial constraints is NOT a good idea. It is important to recognize the value you’ll get from these relaxing vacation ideas. 

If ultimate relaxation is what you’re looking for, one of these vacation ideas may be just the break you need. Regardless of which one you select, it only takes a few minutes to reflect on the things that bring you gratitude. Remember to think of them as you vacation and relax. Your body and mind will thank you for it!

Be Well.
The Gratitude Guru


  1. Tea Bestavashvili on February 21, 2011 at 8:06 am

    These are great ideas!

  2. Frances on February 21, 2011 at 8:19 am

    Great idea Paul! All this snow and ice was making me blue and keeping my dogs from running (which is what they love to do most). So I packed the dogs in car and booked a weekend at a seashore cottage just a few hours away without the snow. Off season, the rates are great, the beaches deserted and best of all, no snow!

  3. Laurence Hansen on February 21, 2011 at 11:27 am

    I live in Northern California. Some of the most relaxing vacations my wife and I have had were in Palm Desert, the first week of each year. It’s about a 9-hour drive for us and the drive to Southern California is a perfect way to start the unwinding process.

    We stay at the same timeshare every time so we know exactly what to expect and don’t have to spend a lot of time figuring out where to go or what to do while we’re there.

    I always bring a little work to do and the slow pace of the week allows me to think, plan and organize for the new year.

    After a week in Palm Desert, even the 9-hour drive home is relaxing and I am filled with optimism for a productive year.

  4. Kelly on February 23, 2011 at 11:57 am

    I love this post and think it is relevant to all of us! We often get caught up in our work schedules and to-do lists and forget to relax. Some vacations are so booked with activities that you come home tired and frazzled. Not my idea of fun. We enjoy camping too. We have a 5th wheel and go several weeks every year. We take our dogs and go on lots of day trips to the ocean, water falls, hiking in the mountains, etc. Sometimes we camp with family members, sometimes not. Sometimes I like to just sit in camp and read. The whole experience is refreshing. And, the cost of the camping site for 7 days about the cost of 2 days in a motel!

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