Breaking Away: Preparing for a Restful Vacation




Everybody looks forward to vacation and the anticipation of a trip to the beach, the mountains or a different country. Vacations are important to our health and mental well-being. You need time away from the daily stresses of work and family life. Getting the rest and relaxation you need depends to a great extent on how thoroughly you prepare for that big trip. Failing to do so means you’ll probably carry work concerns along with you and spend precious vacation time worrying about what you didn’t get done before you left. 

It’ll be there when you return

There’s a tendency among some people to work furiously in the days leading up to vacation, trying to do too much and ramping up your pre-vacation stress to unhealthy levels. No matter how hard you try, the work’s always there waiting for you when you get back. It’ll pile up while you’re gone whether you’ve tried to work ahead or not. Try focusing on deadlines and the most pressing items on your to do list. Leave the stuff that can wait for when you get back. If all goes well, you’ll be rejuvenated and in a good productive state when you re-enter. Taking advantage of your time off will increase your productivity when you get back.

Set the contact ground rules

Remember, you’re going on vacation to relax and have a good time. Try to avoid checking with the office while you’re gone. And let your colleagues know that the only reason they should call you on vacation is if there’s a full-blown emergency. Avoid falling into the trap of exchanging emails, texts or calls every day you’re gone. That’s an invitation to get pulled into the very thing you need time away from. It’ll be impossible to relax and enjoy yourself if you’re worried every day about situations that can be resolved by co-workers. Set ground rules before you leave so your superiors and colleagues don’t get the impression you’ll be available every day.

Manage expectations

It’s natural and part of the fun to get excited about vacation as it gets closer. Anticipation is definitely part of the fun. But be careful not to overdo it with expectations that everything will go as you’d hoped. Anytime travel is involved, something can go wrong. A flight may be late, or you might miss a connection. Your car could break down, or you could get a flat tire. The weather may prevent you from going on that coveted fishing trip. Learn to roll with the punches by focusing on other activities if something falls through. Anyway, the important thing is to relax and unwind. 

Don’t squeeze in too much stuff

Avoid scheduling too many activities on vacation. You could end up wearing yourself out trying to keep up with your own schedule, or worse, not feel like you had a break at all. Arrange a few fun activities but work in plenty of down time as well. You might decide you like doing nothing so much that you’ll cancel your plans or redo your schedule. In fact, it’s been found that those who take breaks seriously are more productive overall.

Slowing your mind and body after months of chaos at work can be really difficult for many people. Try preparing yourself to make the mental switch to vacation mode starting a couple of days before you leave. Imagine yourself lying on the beach with a book and a cold drink, or doing some body surfing. Getting ready for vacation takes place in the mind as well.

Pack early

Avoid packing at the last minute, which is the perfect way to forget something important. Pack your camera, an extra pair of glasses and other important belongings days before your departure. Don’t forget to make arrangements to board your pets well ahead of time; many pet shelters book up weeks in advance. If that doesn’t work, try sweet-talking a friend or relative into watching your furry friend while you’re gone.

Vacation is important to your overall well-being, something that everyone needs. There’s a definite correlation between time off and productivity, so taking vacation will make you a better employee. It’s your reward for all that hard work.


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Hear from the pros, tips for a destination wedding and a couple of our photos featured by Travel Channel!

Winter is right around the corner. If you are thinking about doing a destination wedding to get away to a warmer location, check out these two Travel Channel articles, “Expert Tips for Destination Weddings” and “What to Pack for Your Destination Wedding”, where two of our photos are featured. The articles include some ideas that you might not have had the chance to think about. 

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A “Cross between San Diego and Nantucket”, see why everyone, including me, thinks Annapolis is the ultimate wedding destination!

Breathtaking venues, picturesque scenery, and an all around fun time, this is why Annapolis is a top location for a wedding. The Baltimore Sun quotes Mike B. in the article, "Annapolis named best 'under-the-radar' destination wedding location". See full article here

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Pay attention to the writings on the wall while you and your guests fall in love with your wedding day

I'm sure there is a lot to say about about each special wedding day couple. features our photo in the article, “Creative Calligraphy Signs You Haven’t Already Seen all over Pinterest”. Check out these creative ideas for wedding signage that might inspire you, while possibly creating a photo op at the same time. The possibilities are endless! See full article here

Let's Get Personal! See our featured photo and how unique items can add a personal touch for your memorable day.

Huffpost features one of our photos in the article, “Easy Ways to Add Even More Personal Touches to Your DIY Wedding”. Some of the best favors are things that mean something special to the couple. Sometimes that may be difficult to determine. If you need some ideas on how to make your wedding feel personal, check out this article here.

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Annapolis takes #1 for “Under the Radar Destination Wedding Locations for 2017”! See why I think Annapolis is so special.

One of our photos was featured in Popsugar. Popsugar rates, “Under-the-Radar Destination Wedding Locations for 2017.” See why Annapolis is #1 on that list and why Mike B. thinks Annapolis is one of the greatest spots for a destination wedding. Click here to see full article. 

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Mike B is featured in United with Love, Offering Special Photographer Advice for DC weddings

We caught up with one of my favorite blogs, United with Love, to share some advice and tips for navigating wedding day photos in the DC area. To see what advice I have to give and to see some of our special DC wedding photos, click here.

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Summer Wedding Themes, Which is Your Favorite? See what the professionals have to say in All Seated where one of our photos was featured!

AllSeated has featured one of our photos in their blog post, “Wedding Pros Spill on Their Favorite Summer Wedding Themes”. AllSeated asks wedding professionals what stands out most to them at weddings. These professionals might spark some ideas for your summer 2018 weddings. See the full article here

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Our Photos featured in Mountainside Bride. Read Q&A from one of our favorite Fall Brides!

Fall is here, check out what one of our favorite fall brides had to say about her “Romantic Golden Barn Wedding in the Allegheny Mountains” last fall. She might have even answered some questions you have about planning a fall wedding. See Rob and Brits wedding here

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One of our images has been featured in The Huffington Post!

Thinking of ways to spice up the traditional wedding? Many couples are choosing to drop the traditional customs of a wedding and adding their own flare. Check out the article about switching up your conventional ring bearer for a special pup, a groomsmen or an elder family member. Make sure to check out our fun shot from Vanita and Joe's wedding of their ring bearer who was also a groomsmen! Take a look here!  


Two of our images appeared in Story Mix Media!

Two of our couples were featured in an article by Story Mix Media on lighting and three great ways to grab your guests attention and create the perfect ambience for a romantic night. Madeline and Graham's gorgeous reception under a sunroom lit with bistro lights gave their reception the perfect golden hue and under the stars feel to the night! Brooke and Brian's image of their outdoors, waterfront and sunset lit reception accompanied by a beautiful fall night sky allowed for a backyard style rustic country evening. Take a look here!

Our images were featured in Plan The Day!

Our bride Natalie and our images from her wedding to Trey were featured in Plan The Day! Natalie and expert wedding consultant Meghan Ely tell brides why you shouldn't neglect your bridesmaids when it comes to the wedding preperations! Having your girls by your side on the biggest day of your life is important but so are the words "Thank you". Don't forget to say them! Check out the article here!

We have been featured in Charm City Wed!

Kylie and Grant's woodland, chic waterfront wedding was featured in Charm City Wed! From farm tables, table settings accented with a rosemary sprig to bistro lights. Kyle and Grant's wedding gave the perfect airy, polished and minimalistic feel to the reception, held at the family estate. Rain or shine the elements couldn't stop this Maryland waterfront wedding from happening. Check it out here