Are you feeling the stress of work and home building up in your life?
Do you need a break to get away from it all and renew your mind?
Vacations can help, but for most people that can happen only once or twice a year. What can you do when you need a break but taking a vacation seems a world away. Consider taking mini-vacations. Since I started taking monthly mini-vacations with my wife, we have both benefited tremendously.
What Is a Mini-Vacation?
It is a getaway that is typically one to three days long. It provides a temporary relief from the stresses experienced at work and home. It is a restful experience and/or a time of doing something you enjoy. A drastic change from everyday responsibilities.
It can take a few days away from work before your mind escapes the pressures of work and you start getting the full benefits of a vacation, so it is important to follow some simple tips to accelerate and maximize the benefits of this shorter vacation.
6 Tips for Great Mini-Vacations
Here are six tips to help you make the most of your upcoming mini-vacations:
1. Maximize your mini-vacation time
Start your mini-vacation as early as possible. Don’t sleep in at home and do several chores before getting your adventure started. You can lose a significant part of a day. Instead, get your mini-vacation started early on the first day or even start it the evening before when your work hours are completed.
Keep your vacation destination close to home. The hours traveling eats up the time you can enjoy the benefits at the destination. The exception is if you (and your travel buddies) get just as much enjoyment and escape during the “road trip” as you would at the ultimate destination.
2. Use a checklist
Have you ever left on a trip and all of a sudden you realize you forgot to pack something or do something?
- Forgot the transportation or show tickets
- Didn’t pack medications
- Left the stove turned on
At a minimum, this can be costly. It can also shorten or end your mini-vacation if you have to return home to take care of it.
You will be following the same basic steps to prepare for each mini-vacation, so why not create and follow a checklist so you don’t forget anything? It needs to include activities you need to do in preparation of the trip (like booking a hotel) and a packing list so you don’t forget to take something important.
3. Disconnect from work and home
We live in a time when most of us have one or more mobile devices that allow us to stay connected 24/7 with home and work activities. To be present during the mini-vacation, eliminate or significantly limit the use of this technology while you are away. Staying connected doesn’t allow the stress break you need.
4. Be flexible
My family took a mini-vacation to our favorite beach in the early springtime. We had visions of walking together on the beach each day, experiencing terrific sunrises and sunsets. Unfortunately, the weather turned to rain and cool temperatures for the entire time we were there. It would have been easy to let the unexpected add stress. Instead, we did several fun and restful indoor activities.
There are some things out of our control that can dampen our expectations if we allow it. If this happens, be flexible and find new ways to get the mini-vacation benefits you deserve.
5. Create a wish list
If you plan to vacation with other family members or friends, develop a destination list together. This is a “bucket list” of places you want to see and things you want to do that are close enough to home for you to travel and experience them in no more than a few days.
6. Spend less
Don’t stress yourself out by spending more than you can budget for this purpose. Use discount services for food, lodging and entertainment when possible.
To save money for lodging, I use Priceline.com to get deep discounts on quality hotels. I also use the loyalty program at Choice Hotels. They frequently run specials for Choice Privileges members that gives a free night in a hotel or gift cards with just two stays.
To save money on restaurants, I have purchased vouchers at Restaurant.com.
Are you ready for a getaway? Decide on a destination, schedule it on your calendar, and take steps to make it happen. Start experiencing the benefits of regular mini-vacations.
Question: What additional tips do you have for making the most of mini-vacations? You can leave a comment by clicking here.