1. It begins at the airport
You vacation mindset should begin the moment you make it through security and into the departure lounge. You have to be there ridiculously early so you might as well start enjoying yourself. Choose a good restaurant - one with a decent view of people if you're a people watcher like me. Have meal, have a glass of wine or two. Don't get pissed. Enjoy it. Savour the start of your vacation.
2. Enjoy your flight
I may never have travelled overseas, but I have flown frequently and no matter what I find a way to enjoy my flight. Screaming baby? I just turn up the music and get lost in my own head and the view out the window. Have another glass of wine (actually wine comes with my in flight meal this time!) Make seat pals with the people next to you. In fact, my best flights have always been the ones where I have interesting people to sit next to.
3. Make the waits count
So I had no idea how long customs would take when I got to Gatwick and, to be honest, I wanted the cheapest ticket I could get for my train up north. So I have nearly 4 hours between when I land and when I leave again. Since my sister, who took a nearly identical flight to mine earlier this month, assured me that it only took her 45min to get through customs that means I have 3 hours to kill on the other side. Let's say more like 2 - 2.5 after getting luggage and figuring out how to get my train ticket.
Solution for that much free time? Let's take a little inspiration from the song Home For A Rest and, if I can, I'm gonna break the seal on my arrival in the UK with a pint. If I can't, that's cool. I have a LOT of postcards to send out and I just might find a few good ones while I'm waiting!
And that more or less sums up the first day of my vacation from the early airport arrival (3 hrs) to the flight (9hrs) to another wait at the next airport (4 hrs) and then a peaceful train trip north (3 hrs) - okay that's only 19hrs, but who's really counting anyway? I have a 6hr time adjustment and that mentally takes up the last 5 hrs. (I am good at math, why do you ask? lol)