What is your vacation or holiday philosophy? I've always been a see it all girl, use every minute of my vacation for going places, doing stuff, and seeing sites. I can't help it. I take after my father -- if there's a spare 30 minutes there must be something we can do or eat to take our vacation to the max. However, I married into more laid back stock. My man likes to travel but he being the introvert needs a bit more recovery or rest time in his time off.
The last year at my day job has required a lot more of me and I've had to travel for work several times too which is just mostly work and hotel rooms, not at all in the fun category I like to achieve on my own personal travels. If it goes really well, sometimes a work trip will have one afternoon of fun or site seeing.
I did a six week video shoot for my day job September and part of October, so knowing we would be wiped out afterwards I booked a vacation for immediately after this intense time to recover and relax. I've never really planned a relax trip.
We booked a Villa in Portugal thru a Groupon. (The jury is still out on whether I can recommend travel with Groupon offers. I've done two and I remain neutral. Neither overwhelmed by awesomeness nor repelled.)
A few things made this vacation more relaxing than any other I've done. One: we stayed in one place the entire time. Two: the villa was a separate house that didn't have cleaning service, so we could sleep in silence to our heart's content. Not something you can do in most hotels. Three: it rained several days which made us less inclined to try to see the whole of the Algarve area where we were staying in Portugal.
If and when I need another relaxing trip, I would definitely consider renting a place (apartment, house, whatever) because you really could lounge around in your pajamas. At the same time, I would make sure there was carry out food or delivery available so that we don't end up with the stress of trying to grocery shop and set up house the entire time. We had a food delivery option from the villa people which made it just right.
We did make it out a couple of days between rain showers to do a few site seeing things which rounded out the trip nicely, so we felt we'd seen the area to a certain extent and hadn't missed out.
This has opened up a whole new way of thinking for me, since my travel before had always been about seeing it all and doing it all. The idea of choosing to go away to relax has not come natural to me. I think I will deinitely do it again sometime though not for all my holidays. I might pick a place that doesn't have a lot of sites so I don't have any psychological pressure from my get out and see it side to conquer the region.
I used to think I'd never do an all inclusive resort type thing because that's not my style (nor my checkbook!) but I perhaps begin to see the appeal of being taken care of on vacation.
Which kind of travel do you prefer? See it all or lay back and relax? Turns out I like them both, depending on my energy level, but it took 40 odd years or so to find out.