How to (Really) Relax and Enjoy a Vacation

Jun 27, 2016 | Hurray for Lingerie, Hurray Kimmay TV, Hurray Vacay, Mastectomy and Surgical, Mexico Vacay, Underneath | 0 comments

If you’ve ever felt like you needed a vacation from your vacation, this video episode of Hurray Kimmay TV is for you. In this Hurray Vacay edition, I’m sharing my top 5 tips for actually relaxing and enjoying your vacation. Plus, extra tips and photos you won’t find in the video, and great styles from one of my favorite brands!

I love to explore and plan fun things on my travels, but every once in awhile I overdo it and totally regret it. The whole point of a vacation for me is to relax. So with that goal in mind, I’ve gathered 5 of my favorite ways to make sure you actually get some R&R on your next vacay.

{pssst!} Like the fashions in this post? Learn how you can win a $500 shopping spree to Ana Ono!

1. Sleep

I know this one sounds nuts, but sleep is essential on a trip. Between hectic travel, exciting excursions, and time zone differences, your body really needs some zzz’s. Don’t forget to make plans to take it easy, or even turn in a little early so you can actually enjoy the big day you have planned ahead.

I was lucky to get to cozy up in a king sized bed while staying at the Sanara hotel in Tulum, Mexico. {My photographer, Becky, took the smaller bed in the room – what a gem!} We worked hard on the first portion of my 17 day trip, and getting plenty of sleep was important for long days of photo shoots in the sun. Kimmay wearing Ana Ono Rachel Bra and Panty-How to (Really) Relax and Enjoy a Vacation Blog by Kimmay

You may recognize this beautiful Ana Ono “Rachel” bra and panty set and the Miena robe from my recent post on taking the taboo out of mastectomy lingerie. Let me tell you right now, this lace, wire free lingerie set was super comfortable, and the robe is like butter. I couldn’t get over how yummy the material is. Lounging around in this felt so good. What’s more – because Ana Ono is dedicated to beautiful intimates and (new!) loungewear for breast surgery patients, this robe has an optional drainage belt, meant to hold the drainage apparatus worn after surgery. That means any woman can enjoy it, but especially the women that need that extra care, beauty, and functionality after breast cancer. Can you imagine having this beautiful option to wear during recovery from life altering surgery? What a beautiful gift Ana Ono is giving the world.

A few ways to ensure you get good sleep:

  • Pack comfortable PJs and maybe even a yummy sleep bra
  • Make sure you stay in a hotel that suits your sleep needs. I had to have AC for the hot Mexican nights, and the ceiling fan was heaven
  • Bring an eye mask and ear plugs if you want to block out light and sound
  • Skip the spicy or caffeinated foods before bed
  • Bring some lavender oil to put on just before slipping into bed
  • Don’t over plan your day

2. Eat Well 

I love to eat. I know lots of people say that, but I really do. I enjoy savoring yummy foods and exploring new tastes and interesting recipes. But on vacation, especially in some resorts, it can be tempting to indulge in high calorie, heavy foods and lots of alcohol. You’re on vacation, after all! But too much of that every day will result in feeling sluggish, slow, and tired. Don’t mess with your blood sugar levels and digestive system and ruin a vacation. Explore fresh foods, healthy cuisine, and stick to just a few drinks. Trust me, too many of those tropical frozen drinks poolside at lunch may seem like a good idea (one resort had happy hour 2-for-1 drinks at noon everyday!) until it’s too late.

Hurray vacay food-shrimp salad from The Real CoconutOn my trip, I was the luckiest non-dairy-healthy-food-fresh-seafood-loving girl in the world because our hotel had a restaurant that was dairy, grain, and refined sugar free. WHAT?! The Real Coconut uses (what else) coconut for almost everything, including coconut milk cheese in the quesadillas. This place was like an answer to my stomach’s prayers.

A few ways to eat well while traveling:

  • Pick quality restaurants and build a good food allowance into your travel budget
  • Ask around for the freshest and most local places to eat
  • Stay away from the sugary frozen drinks and breaded, fried foods
  • Eat regular meals all day, and pack healthy snacks if you’ll be out and about
  • Drink lots of water!
  • Try something new and different, especially the local traditional food

3. Restore

If you really want to relax on your vacation, make time for some restoration. Slow down your typical pace and take it easy. Personally, I like to do some restorative yoga to ease my body from all the walking and exploring. You can take a class or simply spend a few moments in your hotel room doing simple stretches and deep breathing.Kimmay wearing Makemerry Ana Ono cami on the Hurray Vacay Blog by Kimmay Kimmay wearing Makemerry Ana Ono cami on the Hurray VacayI was so glad that there was an all glass walls yoga studio with an ocean view right at Sanara. This outdoor deck next to it was the most perfect place to go through an easy routine. And the Makemerry for Ana Ono cami I’m wearing is perfect, too! This super soft camisole feels great, and has some pretty nifty functions. First, it has convertible straps, which I made into a racerback. Next (and this is where it gets really cool), it has a pocket if the wearer needs the functionality for a prosthesis. And finally, it’s made with surgery patients in mind because the elastic of the shelf bra is on the outside – which means less irritation and just enough support. How cool is that? Yet again, an item that a woman with many needs (or not) can wear.

I also feel like vacation is prime time to meditate, daydream, or visualize. Without the hectic demands of everyday life or work obligations, you’ll have the mental space and actual time to reflect, tune in, and go deep. Kimmay wearing Ana Ono Sandi on the Hurray Vacay-How to (Really) Relax and Enjoy a Vacation by KimmayThe view from the top of the wellness center at the Sanara hotel is INCREDIBLE. Being able to look out over the ocean, the sand, and the palm trees put a lot of things into perspective for me. And it was a great place to sit and meditate. In addition, I’m wearing a so-comfortable-it-feels-like-you-have-on-nothing set from Ana Ono, which put me at ease while sitting in lotus position. The Sandi Front Closure wire free bra and panty are made of really soft materials, and have really unique uses. Front closure is often a great option to wear post surgery, when a woman may not have the range of motion needed to fasten a bra in the back or over the head. Breast surgery is no joke, and there’s a long recovery time. Plus, the band is slightly longer, giving this bra a soft but secure anchor around the bust. Whether you’ve had surgery or not, this set+meditation = ommmm

A few ways to restore on your vacay:

  • Schedule a massage (I did this and it was the BEST)
  • Do some gentle yoga or take a class
  • Bring a meditation app
  • Escape to a quiet area for some reflection
  • Journal or free write
  • Go for a walk
  • Give yourself permission for some alone time away from your fellow travelers or family members

4. Soak it In

Speaking of slowing down…what’s the rush? Why the go-go-go-I-must-get-out-and-see-everything mode? If you’re afraid of missing out on something, remember that you’ll fully savor and experience each moment if you slow down and soak it in. One of my best experiences on the Hurray Vacay was in the Vidanta resort when my husband and I did “nothing”. We just soaked in the goodness of the pools, the cabanas, the food, everything. We didn’t feel a pressure to HAVE to go out and do anything, and we just enjoyed our time being just where we were.

Kimmay wearin ana Ono Alejandra on the Hurray Vacay-Blog by Kimmay

In addition, the hotel room at Sanara gave me an opportunity to literally soak it in! This beautiful outdoor tub on the back patio of our room came complete with garden lights, palm trees, wild birds, and a fantastic opportunity to take it all in. Even while working the photo shoots, Becky and I would stop, look around, and really take in the experience. We were in awe of this amazing location, and being able to do what we love. We often asked, “What is this life?! How amazing is this right now?!” We were really mindful to take in every experience and really relish it.

Spending some time to take in my surroundings and think about how I got to spend 17 days traveling, working with brands I cherish and admire, and sharing my encouragement with people like you – – – it made me so grateful. If I had just kept moving, working, and sightseeing I don’t think I would have had the time to let so much gratitude into my heart.
Kimmay wearing Ana Ono Alejandra on the Hurray Vacay-How to (Really) Relax and Enjoy a Vacation by Kimmay Kimmay wearing Ana Ono Alejandro on the Hurray Vacay

Speaking of gratitude: I’m so grateful that brands like Ana Ono exist. If I didn’t tell you that the gorgeous blue Alejandra bra and Hipster that I’m wearing are from Ana Ono, a brand designed with breast cancer patients in mind… would you have thought that? I wouldn’t! And that’s the point. Most post surgery bra options are functional, but not beautiful. And sometimes, feeling beautiful is just as necessary as a bra that doesn’t irritate mastectomy scars, or has convertible straps. We often take beauty for granted, as if it’s a thing of vanity only. But beauty is what makes the world a better place. Whether it’s admiring the sunrise or your own reflection – beauty has an important place in the world, and Ana Ono is adding to it.

5. Have fun

Well, duh, right? But take a moment to think back on your most recent vacations. Did you do something that made you laugh til you cried, or made your mouth drop open in awe, or gave you memories that no photo could possibly capture? If you did, hurray! And if you didn’t, here’s an opportunity to make space for some fun and adventure on your next vacation. This is truly the best way to turn a regular vacay into a hurray vacay!Kimmay wearing Ana Ono romper on the Hurray Vacay-How to (Really) Relax and Enjoy a Vacation by Kimmay

If you feel pressured to go to the typical tourist spots, or follow along a strict itinerary, I encourage you to try to do at least one thing a day that isn’t planned. It can be something easy like trying a different beach or a new food. Or push yourself to try something as grand as getting in the car and driving to an unknown destination, or making friends with strangers in a foreign city.

I’m a planner by nature (hello, Capricorn) but I always try to leave a little room for magic. During the first days of the trip, while on a business retreat with the Conquer Club, a fellow Conqueror took us to a nearly deserted beach to take some photos. When we tried to return, we realized that none of our phones got service, and there was no one at the “beach club” (in quotations because I swear it looked like no one had been there since 1990) to help us. We flagged down a man with missing teeth and a big smile, who only spoke Spanish. It was my first real test at using my Spanish speaking skills, but I decided to go for it if it would help us ladies get back to our hotel safely before the sun set. In the end, it all worked out and we got some gorgeous photos, and that experience gave me the courage to speak only Spanish with Spanish speakers during my stay. I mean, if I could get us out of a jam, I could order dinner and get around town using Spanish, right? Just thinking in a different language and challenging myself to practice was a treat for my brain! It was a whole new way of thinking. Kimmay wearing Ana Ono romper on the Hurray Vacay-Blog by Kimmay

Later, the fun and adventure continued. My photographer, Becky, is far more adventurous and let’s-see-what-happens than I, and it’s one of my favorite reasons to travel with her. She encourages me to be daring and to let loose, and that always ends up with richer memories of the trip (and great photos, again). In fact, she met a couple while staying in Play del Carmen and spontaneously invited them to join us on a day trip back down to Tulum. We had such a wonderful time getting to know this couple. Meeting new people and doing new things can be scary, but it always lights me up!

With my husband, we did a lot of “nothing” and relaxed, and then took a chance by going all in for the dinner experience at Joyá, the local Cirque du Soleil show. There, we experienced a feast of the senses and many surprises, including eating Dragon’s Breath (I had a very similar experience to this girl!) and marveling at the impressive things the human body can do. It was unbelievable!

We also trotted down to Playa del Carmen and explored the shops and a local restaurant. It felt so great to get away from the resort and discover a new town. I’ll never forget it!
Kimmay wearing Ana Ono romper on the Hurray Vacay-How to (Really) Relax and Enjoy a Vacation by KimmayIn order to let loose and have fun, you need clothing that can go with the flow, too! This new Conley Romper from Ana Ono is SOOOOO cute and comfortable. It’s part of their new loungewear collection meant to give surgery patients something easy, comfortable, and elegant to wear during recovery, but can have a place in any woman’s wardrobe. Don’t you think? I could just as easily wear this around the home, or to the beach as I could on a long car ride, to dinner, or out for dancing. As one of the first to wear it, I give it a huge hurray!

{pssst!} Like the fashions in this post? Learn how you can win a $500 shopping spree to Ana Ono!


Do you have any travel plans coming up? Whether you’re traveling the globe or staying home, making space for real rest and relaxation is key to a real hurray vacay. Want more? Follow #hurrayvacay on social media, especially my Instagram for bonus photos, tips, and stories!

xoxo kimmay

PS: Becky, from Around Digital Media, and I work on a lot of photo projects together, including the images and video in this post — and I never photoshop my body. I’m committed to erasing the idea of false perfection and celebrating bodies as they are. Hurray!

PPS: Ana Ono is a proud sponsor of the Hurray Vacay campaign. That means they paid to participate and for content like this post. They are a fantastic brand with a worthy mission, and made this trip possible. For both, I’m truly grateful. The sunglasses in this post were provided by Under Armour and lafont.