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How to Replicate the Benefits of ‘Vacation Anticipation’

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Illustration for article titled How to Replicate the Benefits of Vacation Anticipation

Photo: NadyaEugene (Shutterstock)

Remember back in March and early April when we were all panic-buying supplies to prepare for spending a few weeks hunkered down in our homes? Our new lockdown lifestyle seemed like something we’d live through for a period of time, and then life—including the summer—would resume, mostly as usual. At this stage, summer vacations weren’t just an annual tradition, or a way to explore a new destination: looking forward to them became a coping strategy for a lot of people.

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When it sunk in that most travel this summer (beyond quick, socially-distanced road trips) wasn’t going to happen, we lost that form of escape, both mentally and in terms of the actual trip. In fact, for some people, anticipating vacations is a form of self-care, Taisha Caldwell-Harvey, a psychologist and chief executive of the Black Girl Doctor tells the LA Times. Here’s why “vacation anticipation” can improve our well-being, and how to recreate it without the actual vacation.

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What are the benefits of vacation anticipation?

For years, I’ve used travel—both the trip itself and looking forward to it—as a way to deal with my anxiety. When everything else was too much and my thoughts were racing, I could take a break and calm down by looking up oddly specific local museums or historical sites at my upcoming destination, or think about what I was going to eat when I got there.

As it turns out, I’m not alone. According to Tom Gilovich, a professor of psychology at Cornell University, looking forward to a trip gives your mind plenty to do—especially during stressful times. “You’ve never been to the Hawaiian Islands, and you try to predict what it’s going to look like. That’s the kind of soothing thought that puts you to sleep,” he tells the LA Times. And the benefits don’t stop there Gilovich adds: after you’ve taken the trip, you then have the opportunity to do a mental comparison between your expectations of the vacation and your actual experiences, which could be gratifying.

But the mental benefits of vacation anticipation extend beyond those using it to manage anxiety. “The emotional system is really geared toward steering people to engage with good things and to avoid bad things,” Leaf Van Boven, a professor of psychology and neuroscience at the University of Colorado at Boulder tells the LA Times. He points out that this is why looking forward to future events can be more satisfying than thinking back on what has happened in the past.

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How to replicate the benefits of ‘vacation anticipation’

We’re not going anywhere anytime soon, but fortunately, there are ways to get similar benefits without booking a flight. Here are a few:

Plan a day trip or a quick nearby weekend getaway

So, you may not be jetting off to your dream destination, but even planning smaller excursions like day trips or nearby weekend getaways can help. “The benefits of experiential consumption can be quite modest,” Gilovich tells the LA Times. “Hopefully, people are taking local trips and … using hiking trails and bike paths in their communities that they didn’t use before.” Not sure where to go? Make a list of the different parks and trails in your area that you’ve never visited before. They may be near where you live, but they are still new experiences you can anticipate.

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Plan a four-hour vacation

The downside of local activities is that once you’re out of that park, you’re snapped back into the reality of your everyday life. But, Caldwell-Harvey shared a tip from a colleague that can give you something closer to the experience of letting go and relaxing while you travel: a four-hour vacation. “She orders her favorite food, she has her wine … doesn’t bring the phone in there with her, and she completely vibes out, listens to music and does whatever she wants to do,” Caldwell-Harvey tells the LA Times.

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Of course, if you live with other people (especially children), a four-hour vacation may take some coordination. But once you’re sprawled across the couch watching your favorite show with a solid snack assortment, you’ll be happy you put the effort in.

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Charge Your Phone Wirelessly With 50% off a Multifunctional LED Lamp

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Best Tech DealsBest Tech DealsThe best tech deals from around the web, updated daily.

White Wireless Charge Lamp | $18 | Amazon | Clip coupon + code ABC88699
Black Wireless Charger Lamp | $20 | Amazon | Promo code ABC88699

When you’re ready to turn in for the night, you don’t want to forget to charge your phone— especially if your mobile device doubles as your alarm clock.

With this wireless charger lamp, you can make this crucial step of your nightly routine even easier by just setting your phone on the wireless charging pad and… well, that’s all there is to it!

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Other functions include multiple lighting modes as well as a sleep timer option for auto shut-off of the light after 30 or 60 minutes.

This lamp can be yours in white for $18 if you clip the coupon on Amazon (it’s below the original $40 price) and add promo code ABC88699 at checkout.

You can snag the black version for $20 using the same code—no coupon though, sorry.

Don’t sleep on this deal! Who knows how long stock or the coupon code will last?

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Keep That Hotdish Hot With 65% Off a Luncia Casserole Carrier, Only $11 With Promo Code

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Best Home DealsBest Home DealsThe best home, kitchen, smart home, and automotive deals from around the web, updated daily.

Luncia Double-Decker Dish Carrier | $11 | Amazon | Promo code SDDU9S7F

It has been a long time since the days we could safely have a potluck or other gatherings, but we have a fantastic deal perfect for once those times return. These double-decker Luncia dish carriers can be had for 65% off when you add promo code SDDU9S7F at checkout and clip the coupon on the site (it’s just below the price). These holders fit 9″x 13″ sized baking dishes.

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That means you can insulate and keep two dishes of food warm for only $11 instead of $30. What’s more, your Luncia carrier will arrive by Christmas if you order today as a Prime member.

Just add promo code SDDU9S7F and clip the 5% off coupon to bring the price down to $11 for the blue or the grey option.

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Grab this offer while it’s still around!


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Conquer Your Pup’s Dander and Fur With $700 Off a Cobalt or Charcoal Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum

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Best Home DealsBest Home DealsThe best home, kitchen, smart home, and automotive deals from around the web, updated daily.

Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum & Mop (Cobalt) | $200 | Best Buy

Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum & Mop (Charcoal) | $200 | Best Buy

Allergies can be bad enough as the seasons change. Don’t let pet hair and dander add to that by vacuuming it up early and often. That chore is easier said than done— unless you have a robot vacuum to do the work for you. This lovely bright cobalt Bobsweep PetHair Plus robot vacuum and mop, only $200 today at Best Buy seems like an ideal option. That’s a whopping $700 off, by the way.

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You can get the same deal for the charcoal version of the robot vac, too. This model is not only specially made for picking up pet hair, it self docks and charges when it’s finished with the work.

It also comes with a mop attachment, so it can take care of those kitchen floors for you as well. Grab it while it’s still available for this fantastic price!

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