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For the workaholic, vacations are stress

If you're an uptight workaholic, it might be unrealistic to expect that a vacation soaking up sun on a deserted island will leave you refreshed and rarin' to meet a new day. Rather, spending vacation doing a lot of nothing will likely only frustrate such fast-trackers, according to Dr. Paul Rosch, president of the American Institute of Stress in Yonkers, N.Y.

Driven personalities "are apt to feel guilty on vacation or while doing nothing because their mind is always on their work," Rosch said. "But if you can combine some type of activity that allows you to feel productive and that still allows some relaxation, then that's a proper blend."

This summer, Americans are expected to take 326-million trips at least 100 miles from home, according to the Washington, D.C.-based U.S. Travel Data Center, a private, non-profit travel and tourism research firm. Stress experts say a large number of those traveling qualify as workaholics.

A good vacation approach for these people is to come up with a game plan before embarking, Rosch said.

"If you have some well-defined purpose before you go and you come back from your vacation with a sense of accomplishment, then I think your vacation qualifies as being productive," he said. Goals might include reading a book, fulfilling a fast-paced travel itinerary or making some business calls.

Vacation plans are equally important for stressed-out individuals, says Dr. F.J. McGuigan, executive director of the International Stress and Tension Control Association in San Diego.

"You don't have to be compulsive about it. It may be as simple as setting a main goal of "I'm going to relax and have a good time and nobody's going to dissuade me from that.' "