well, sort of...

36 days to go and I'm wanting every single day to just zip by so I can be back to Jamaica that much sooner!

Except... when I get there I want time to completely stop!

I have my ways - here's some of the best - what are some of the things you do to get the most out of the time on your vacation?

1> I used to start my vacation when i got to the resort - "Ah, finally here, now vacation can start..." The problem is it takes a day or two to get relaxed and really start to get into the mindset...

So now, I start my vacation the minute I walk out of work and don't end it until I have to walk back in. I even kick it off right with a Bahama mama or some dark rum to get my mind ready.

This way everything is all part of the vacation... Heading to the airport, waiting for the bus... All just another aspect of my relaxing vacation.

By the time I get to the resort - I'm there mentally too!

2> There are no lines!! Waiting to check in? waiting to talk to the water sports guy who is busy with someone else etc?... This time gets sucked away...

I learned to get this time back at Tower Island as I was waiting to check in - as I was staring straight ahead wondering just how many questions the people in front could possibly ask I happen to look over and there's the island - and the water - so gorgeous... Why am I in a hurry?

So now, if there is a line for something I either twist myself around to find the hidden view to enjoy or I'll come back later when the line is gone...

3> No reading! (especially news) I want to be 100% mentally at the resort.

I'm a software architect so I read/write all day, all week so it's time for my brain to have a break.

Once, I spent an hour watching a barracuda stalk fish in the shallows near the mineral pool - very interesting - I would have never even noticed if I was buried in a book.

btw - I realize this isn't for everyone including my wife who is busy right now loading tons of books on her kindle. It works out though because I'm perfectly content sitting on the beach doing nothing while she reads.

4> Un-pack everything and put the suitcase away! You'll thank me on this one if you haven't tried this already. I learned this in London many years back and finally convinced my wife to do it on our last trip.

It seems fine on day 1 to just live out of the suit case, but by day 5 it's a disaster and each time you have to dig around hunting something down you're wasting time... "I know I brought XYZ, where could it have gone?"

5> Make dinner reservations for as late as possible. A 6:00 reservation may seem completely reasonable when you check in but you're forgetting about the time to get ready which means you leave the beach when there's still a lot of day light left.

I also find that no matter how good our intentions are - we don't do much after dinner so the later we make the reservation, the longer we play on the beach and the longer the overall day will last.

6> Sleep? Who needs it! Our 2nd trip to Couples was also our first trip away from our kids - who were very little at the time - all we wanted to do was sleep! and we did sleep a lot on that trip so I understand if this is one thing you are looking forward to...

But on the last three trips I made it a point to either set an alarm or leave some of the drapes slightly open so I can see when the sun is up - if it's daylight - I want to be outside!

It took 3 trips, but my wife has said she'll be joining me on my early morning swim, walk, yoga etc. this time...

You would be amazed at how much you can get in between 6:00-9:00am!

7> There is no such thing as a quick trip back to the room for something we forgot... We bring a big pool bag - if there's even a slight chance we need it, it goes in the bag...

Any other tips?