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Relax, Don't Max Out Your Two Weeks Off From Work

Feb 26, 2008
In a year, workers can only take two weeks off from work. That's a lucky break because the unfortunate can only take a week off. Whatever, don't nuke your plans; devise a way to enjoy a 14-day break before flying off to Costa Rica.

Globe Trekker at Your End

After watching several episodes of the Globe Trekker, you're ready to pack up and leave the bone-chilling weather. The idea is great, but fortunately, your break is scheduled for summer; you can't trade the slush for sun and sea. With no option now, you can only watch more Globe Trekker episodes, Lost, or Saturday Night Basketball, just to lull your wanderlust until summer.

In-between wishful thinking and TV episodes, mentally go over the preparatory routine same as last year. Decide where to leave the dog and the houseplants, when to make the embassy inquiries, when to schedule shots, and how to settle other pressing matters before taking off for distant airports with family in tow.

Make up your choice - Greece for the June Miaoulia Festival, or see the famous nearby Patmos Island where God is said to have appeared. Toss a coin - heads for Solomon Islands, and tails for Costa Rica. It's hard to make a choice if you only have two weeks to squeeze in the new sights and sounds.

But it is unwise to make every day of the 14-day break a sightseeing marathon. You don't have to go to all of the shops, eat in all the cafes and restaurants, and look in every nook and cranny of Costa Rica or Greece. With a plan all mapped out, you can savor each day, enjoy your family, and have fun without the stress.

Travel Safely

To ensure your safety from any legal repercussions, check out with the Department of State and report your travel. The Department will alert you to high risk areas for your own and your family's safety. You can get information about the customs restrictions of the country to be visited and the things you cannot bring or take back with you. It is prudent to do research on the country's local laws and customs.

Learn how you can get funds from your country of origin and how to replace your passport in case you lose it. Don't forget to get an international driver's permit, if you're planning to drive yourself around for your sightseeing tour. This saves you time arguing with the local police.

Get health insurance, in case your present insurance does not cover hospitalization abroad. If you have to take medication with you, ask your physician for a certification for your prescription, or better yet, check out the foreign embassies to make sure your medication does not fall under banned narcotics.

Squeezing the Fun In

Renting a fully-furnished apartment beats hotel living. You can still watch your favorite TV shows in the evenings and have more space for the children to romp around. Meals can be delivered when you're bone-tired, and a washing machine takes care of the laundry. Rent a car, get a map, and do your sightseeing at your own pace. You don't have to wake up to an alarm clock just to catch up with the morning tour.

Do what the locals do in Costa Rica. Enjoy the Tabacon hot springs, fly the canopy, and visit the old Spanish settlement in Cartago City. Breathe in the sights and relax - there's no need to hurry. That's the trick in capturing the magic of an annual 14-day break. Hurrying through everything robs you of enjoying the character of the place. A relaxing break does wonders to your body and mind, so why hurry when you're on a break?
About the Author
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