School's out and we're all dreaming of summer vacation! If you're like me, everything has to be planned out to the letter, so here is my not-so-scientific guide to planning the perfect vacation:

  1. First things first, plan ahead. Half of the fun of a vacation is the anticipation of actually going. It's one of those things that just makes you happy to think about during your normal, otherwise lame-ass, existence. Researchers even say that happiness is actually greater than the actual vacation itself. So instead of booking something a week or two out, book your vacation a few months out. You'll save money and gain even more in happiness.
  2. Next, studies say to take shorter vacations. Apparently, you're better off with several short trips than one BIG long trip. This plays back into the first tip regarding the anticipation of a vacation. The more trips you have, the more you'll get to anticipate the next.
  3. Plan activities during your vacation. It may sound relaxing to just chill on the beach, but the truth is you'll be happier doing something active like para-sailing or snorkeling.
  4. Finally, plan at least one awesomely huge, unforgettable, activity. When you're back home reminiscing about your vacation, you'll be much happier talking about that 'epic' moment than reading a book on the beach.