What NOT to Ask About Someone’s Vacation.
(Plus 5 Questions to Ask!)
We all know that feeling of getting back from a vacation and going back to work and “real life” only to wish we were still on vacation or feel the need to take a vacation to recover from vacation to ease back into our daily routine, right?
My biggest PET PEEVE is this question below. I know people mean well and are genuinely curious, but I am here to help you genuinely ask a question, if you really want to know how their vacation was or if you are being passive and nice and just want to ask to ask and get on with your day.
“How was your vacation?”
Well, do you have an hour? Do you really want to know or do you want the canned response of “good” so you can go along your day?
It’s like asking “how are you” to your coworker or random person on the street that you really don’t want to talk to, but you want to be all “Minnesota nice” to. (FYI, honestly, if I ask you “how are you?” I usually genuinely want to know and will take time to listen. I don’t ask it for fun anymore, rarely. However, if people are always negative, I stop asking.)
So, if you genuinely want to know how someone’s vacation went or want to learn about where they went, here are some questions you can ask to dive a little deeper and get curious. I ask these on planes and in airports to random strangers, too.
Five Questions to ASK about Friend’s Vacation or Trip
1. What was the BEST part of your vacation? This helps you strike up a conversation with them and helps them recall memories from their trip to share with you and some key pictures. It also helps you live vicariously through them and decide if it’s a place you would want to visit.
2. What’s ONE word you would use to describe your vacation? If you’ve worked with me 1:1, in my Coaching Circles or online health and fitness groups, you know I like to simplify with words. Words are powerful. This helps you know if you want to ask more questions. (Example: if they say “Disaster”, then that might be your cue to stop asking questions!)
3. What was the most favorite place you visited (or thing you did)? If you like to travel a lot, like I do, I always want to know what people do on their vacations, places they visit, and what they would or wouldn’t recommend. It also helps you learn more about them, especially if they are normally pretty quiet.
4. Would you go back or return? (or would you recommend others to go there?) I love this question and often ask this question to myself. It helps bring out specifics of their trip. For those of us that love to travel, it helps us decide if we would want to go there, too. I’ve been to over 20 countries, many I have returned and some I enjoyed, but would probably not return. I love adding stamps to my passport and learning about new places, but some places just have that “Naturalita spark” and I can tell that my journey there is not yet finished. Japan was one of them.
5. How did you choose to go on vacation (or take a trip) there? I love asking this question, probably because I love getting to know people and love asking curious questions. I’m also always wondering why people are traveling and their reasons to create that connection. I asked a lady on my plane ride back from Cancun this very question. Her response: “My husband and I are celebrating our 20th wedding anniversary. I saw that my coworker went to Cancun, Mexico and came back looking so relaxed, happy and excited. I had lunch with her to learn more about what she loved and decided that is where we would go to celebrate.”
BONUS: What was your favorite picture that you took there? Why? I love taking pictures of random things when on vacation and especially in a new country and culture. It’s a way for me to relive my experience as well as share the experience with others. Not often do people want to see EVERY picture, but they for sure have 1-5 favorites which, in turn, tell a little story.
Personal TIP: If you don’t want to share a lot about your vacation, but really want to remember or record your memories from your trip, you can answer the above questions in a personal journal or somewhere you can easily go back to reflect and keep your little “life adventure” alive.
“Vacations aren’t you escaping your life, but adding a little more life to your journey. Keep them alive with memories, pictures, moments and sharing with others and, in turn, you will keep yourself feeling more alive in your present and daily life.”
Where are you traveling to next?
I would love to see your comments below.
Will you schedule a staycation, playcation, adventure or a big trip away from home? The JOY is in the JOurneY, so create little adventures in your day to day life.