If you were given a million dollars that you could only spend on leisure/travel and you could travel anywhere in the world…
- Would you leave the country? Why or why not?
- Where would you go? Why?
- What would you do there?
Bonus question: Do you actually need a million dollars to get away or should you have already gone by now?
Feel free to leave a comment!
Is it possible to have a true getaway when you vacation with your kids? Young children need supervision and I admit to being a helicopter mom in many ways…so how do you actually relax when you’re on vacation with them?
- Don’t be the only adult on the trip – try to travel with your spouse, life partner, parents or in-laws. This allows you to take turns watching the kids and while the rest of you participate in activities like shopping at the craft markets or gift stores, taking a walk along the beach or napping (yes, I consider that an activity), etc. Be sure to discuss your arrangements before you travel and come to an agreement that everyone is happy with. This will help to avoid resentment or feelings of being left out while on your trip.
- Travel to places that have a lot of children-focused activities – Most resorts have some type of kids’ club. They usually allow you to leave your children for at least an hour or more. The good ones will have all kinds of entertainment to keep your kids busy and if they’re really good…the kids will be happy to see you go! Make sure you check them out beforehand so that you’re comfortable leaving them there. Then go and have some leisure time with your significant other, friends or family. Just don’t forget to go back for the kids at some point!
- Find activities that are fun for both you and the kids – This can alleviate a lot of whining, boredom and sulky attitudes. Ummm…I’m not just talking about the kids. This can also be a great opportunity for some family bonding and the creation of family memories to cherish forever.
Whatever you choose to do, make sure that you come back from your getaway feeling as if you actually ‘got away’! There’s nothing worse than feeling like you need a vacation from your vacation.
Can the 1st day of school be considered a ‘getaway’ for parents?
One of the things I struggle with on a weekly basis is that feeling of melancholy every Sunday as I prepare for Monday. I know I’m not alone. The weekends go by way too fast. There’s almost an air of resentment each Monday as people head to their jobs. Most of us are just acting out an adult version of the way kids feel about going back to school on Monday mornings.
Then the countdown to the weekend begins once again. We spend so much time wishing for the weekend we basically wish our whole week away. That’s 5 days out of our lives each week that we can’t wait to end just to get to those glorious 2 days so we can cram all of our activities and errands into them. Then, as a result, many times end up feeling dissatisfied, as if we missed something along the way. Looking for an escape from the relentless cycle.
If we could find a way to look forward to and embrace each weekday (including Mondays)…
I wonder how much easier that Sunday evening prep would be?
As we approach the end of Summer, the most common complaint I’ve heard recently is how it “just flew by”. Especially among parents as they begin to prepare their kids for back to school. This time of year can make you feel a bit anxious. A little like “time’s up” on your chances to get away or have time for yourself. Fall is near and depending on the climate you live in, temperatures may be cooling down sooner than you realize.
But that doesn’t have to be the end of your mini vacation opportunities. Autumn can be a beautiful time for a tiny getaway.
Here are some examples of weekend activities to try:
- Wine tasting
- Food festivals
You might need a light jacket (or even a heavier one) for the Fall season. But just be sure to get out and ‘getaway’!
It’s been exactly 5 weeks since I came back from my vacation.
I think I’m about due for another one…
It’s lunchtime, but you have a few things to finish up, so you decide to eat at your desk while you work. Before you know it, you’ve spent your whole lunch working and never took the break that you really, really need. That’s okay because you’ll go for a quick power walk later…right after you finish that meeting scheduled for 2pm. But then your boss asks you to stand in for her at a different meeting that starts at 3pm because she’s double booked. Of course, you say yes because what else would you say? Now it’s almost 4pm and you still haven’t finished everything you needed to. But you’re okay, you’re feeling nothing but…
You’d give anything to book a flight to the middle of paradise right now, but that’s probably not going to happen is it? So is there a way to have a mini break while on the job? Sounds crazy! Let’s explore a few options…
- Grab those headphones or earbuds and put them on. People are more reluctant to interrupt someone on their lunch when they’ve also got their earbuds in. Make sure you’re tuned in to the music of your choice. Or maybe you enjoy listening to motivational talks. Do what works for you.
- Create a nice “OUT TO LUNCH” sign to stick on your desk. Even if you’re at your desk, put that sign up to let people know that this is your time and work will resume once you’ve finished your lunch. Make sure to craft a message that suits the ‘tone’ of your work environment.
- Keep a notebook or sketchbook at work to allow your creative juices to flow.
But what if your work environment doesn’t allow you to do any of the above?
GET AWAY FROM YOUR DESK
- Go for a walk/run
- Get your nails done or a facial
- Take a bike ride
- Yoga class/meditation
- Laser tag
- Picnic in the park
- Local art class
The above are just some suggestions that you can try that will help you ‘get away’ and help break the monotony of your workday. Be sure to do your research beforehand and make reservations where necessary. The point is to take a mental and/or physical break at some point in your day. Your lunch is usually the best time, but use your discretion based on your job and what is appropriate.
Have any other ideas on how to ‘get away’ during your 9 to 5? Please leave them in the comments!
Sometimes it’s just not financially possible to get on a plane and fly off to a tropical destination for 7 days. But you still need time away from the daily grind to decompress, relax, refresh or whatever. So what do you do when the budget keeps you somewhat grounded?
PLANNING IS KEY
Make sure you have planned out your day(s). If you need to book a few days vacation from work or if you are using your weekend, have in mind what you want to do so that you are using your time wisely. Make restaurant and hotel reservations, call ahead for tickets if needed, book a babysitter or talk to the in-laws about watching the kids. Get all of this out of the way so you won’t be stressing when you should be relaxing.
Once you have your plans in place. It’s time to get your vacay on! (Yes, I just said that. Sorry if it sounded corny…wait do people still say ‘corny’?). But you still need some ideas on what to do!
It might not be the same as staying in an all-inclusive resort but a tiny getaway can still have its advantages. Afterall, the objective is to take a break from your daily routine, right? So what are some things you can do?
- BE A TOURIST IN YOUR OWN CITY – If you’re anything like me, there are parts of your neighborhood that you have yet to fully discover even though you may have lived there for a while. Maybe that restaurant you drive by every day and keep promising to visit but never have. Or the new exhibit at the museum or the zoo. When is the last time you visited your local library? Check their activity calendar; most libraries have daily/weekly events planned. Perhaps there is a car show, an art exhibit or a local concert. Now is the time to act as if this is the first time you’ve been where you are and start exploring!
- ROAD TRIP…SORT OF – Yes, you are getting in your car to start exploring but you’re not going too far…unless you really want to. But perhaps there’s a picturesque village or town that’s within 1 to 2 hours drive from where you live. If you’re lucky enough to find one, you can bet they have a few great antique shops or maybe a farmer’s market. They may even have a bed and breakfast or tiny inn if you’d like to extend your stay.
- SPA SLEEPOVER – Okay, so usually when someone mentions the spa, I automatically think I’m going to have to spend all day in a salon and spend way too much money. But it really doesn’t have to be like that. Why not invite some of your closest friends over for an adults-only sleepover? Hey! I don’t know where your mind is, but I’m talking about a ‘spa sleepover’. Geez. There are now mobile spa companies that will come to your house and treat you to all the luxury of a regular spa appointment. Why not stay in and be pampered, order takeout, enjoy a nice bottle of wine and maybe a movie with some of your nearest and dearest? Wait…you did remember to arrange for a babysitter for the kids right? Like the grandparents…at their house? Just checking.
- BACKYARD CAMPING – Okay, so if you’ve decided that you’re not getting rid of the kids for your staycation, how about a camp out in the backyard? I for one am NOT a camper. But I’d be willing to try a mini version in my backyard with my kids. What would we need? A tent, some backyard lights, sleeping bags and then the essentials…like marshmallows. I could handle that. Maybe stick with homemade or takeout pizza or something else easy for dinner so you’re not stressing over what to eat. Backup plan in case of rain? Move it indoors! If the tent won’t work, at least you still have the sleeping bags and stuff. Flameless candles can safely add the right ambiance. Nice!
Those are just some ideas for making your staycation, mini vacation, tiny getaway or whatever you want to call it…worthwhile! I hope they’ll be useful to you.
Got any other great staycation ideas? I’d love to hear them! Leave them in the comments.
Check out this article on Greatist by Shana Lebowitz: https://greatist.com/happiness/40-ways-relax-5-minutes-or-less
Lebowitz lists forty different methods to reduce stress in this article. Nothing unrealistic or unaffordable. Just real life things that can be done in a day or even a few minutes to help you ‘get away’ from the stress in your day. Some of my favorites are #1 and #2 because I love green tea and chocolate! ‘Take a quick walk’ (#28) is something my friends and I try to do at least 2 to 3 times a week on our lunch break. We’re fortunate that we can choose our break time for when it’s most convenient for us barring any meetings or pending projects. ‘Write it down’ (#29) works for me, but I must admit I don’t write as much as I should. My excuse is never enough time…hence why this article is so appealing. ‘Dance!’ (#31) really does work, especially when trying to embarrass my children. Number 38 is ‘Laugh’ and I think we never do enough of it. In my opinion, it is the best way to relax. Last but not least…#40! ‘Plan a vacation’! Need I say more?
What are some of your favorites? Is there anything not on the list that you think should be?
Feel free to leave a comment.
According to Meriam-Webster (online), the definition of a vacation is “a period spent away from home or business in travel or recreation”. I don’t think this is much of a surprise to most people which is why we save our money to afford that once a year (or maybe longer) trip to an exotic island, ski slope or luxurious resort.
But there is also another definition that I personally believe to be relevant to understanding how to maintain that vacation feeling. It’s the 3rd definition: “a respite or time of respite from something” in other words an ‘intermission’. I think this definition is also very important in our quest because many times people think that if they’re not traveling long distances on a plane, in a car or on a cruise ship, it can’t be considered a vacation. But can’t the act of just getting away from your everyday routine and the things in your life you consider to be stressful be viewed as a type of vacation?
For example, my employer allows me to work from home once a week. Perhaps to some, this is not a big deal, but for someone like me that has longed to work from home on a permanent basis, this is definitely a small but positive step in the right direction. As sad as this may sound, the feeling I get the night before, just knowing that I don’t have to step into the office the next day is a feeling of such peaceful satisfaction. Waking up the next morning without that extra anxiety of trying getting to work on time after dropping the kids off…
So it is not hard for me to relate to the thought of a respite or intermission as an everyday vacation. What about you? Can you relate?
Next time, we’ll do some research on the types of everyday vacations we can treat ourselves to. Some are obvious, but are there any out there that are a little more unique?
Ok, we’ve got some work to do.