In years past I rarely took vacations except for the ones you may expect. My family and I usually went away around Christmas. We also typically took a Spring Break vacation. I don’t know why but since my children are grown and on their own, my vacations have become a thing of the past. This year vacations are making a re-appearance in my life in the form of mini-vacations. I just returned from one and I can’t say enough good things about it.
What is a mini vacation?
I am defining a mini vacation as a long weekend away from home. My vacation was from Thursday through Sunday evening. Technically (according to Wikipedia) a mini vacation includes Monday.
Mini vacations are easy
I loved this little vacation because it was so simple. My brother, Chris, and his wife, Joan, moved to Mount Pleasant in South Carolina early in 2022. They visited me in October, and it was time for me to see where they were living. A few days in advance I checked-in with them to make sure I didn’t need any dressy clothes. They confirmed I did not. Packing was easy. I used a large tote bag. Afterall, I was only going to be away for a short time.
Getting there was easy, too. I just hopped in my car. Yes. It is a bit of a drive from Atlanta but, being a professional organizer, I used my time wisely. I listened to interesting Podcasts, let my brain settle, and admired this scenery.
I have always done good thinking in the car. This drive gave me two opportunities to let my brain relax and arrive at solutions to things that had been niggling at me.
They are more affordable
Another good thing about these long weekends away is that they are more affordable than an extended stay at a resort.
Even if you decide to go somewhere that requires a flight, you can often find a less expensive flight if you can be flexible with the time and the day of the week that you travel.
Since I drove and stayed with family, my only cost was gas for the car and a few snacks for me.
Benefits are endless
The benefits of taking a mini vacation are endless. Instead of looking forward to a two-week vacation once a year, scattering min-vacations throughout the year gives you multiple opportunities to relax and unwind.
A long weekend away is enough time to begin discovering a new city or town. If you love the area, you may decide to schedule a return trip. But, maybe you’ve seen everything you want to see during the long weekend. You won’t feel as if you spent too much time there. And, you don’t have to go there again. You can cross it off your list of places to visit.
Leave work at home
A benefit I discovered is that I purposefully left almost all my work at home. I planned my time the week before I left to get everything important off my desk. Alright, I admit to taking one small work project with me which I finished in the early morning hours before Chris, Joan, and I left the house for the day so it didn’t interfere with our fun.
I find that when I take longer vacations it’s necessary to bring quite a bit of work with me. It stares at me from the desk in the hotel room. When that happens, I schedule time out of the vacation days to attend to the work. It’s ok but not as relaxing as spending most of my vacation time away truly away from my work.
It was wonderful to be relatively work free for most of the weekend.
These mini vacations are something I am planning to add to my year. I will schedule them for myself once a quarter.
The 3 Best Reasons
- It is long enough to get away and truly relax and short enough that you don’t feel like you’re drowning in the backlog of work when you return.
- Getting away, even for a short time, let’s you shift your perspective. It takes you away from your everyday surroundings and plops you into something different.
- Frequent mini vacations are better for you than 1 longer vacation.
Leave me a comment and let me know your thoughts. Will you take a series of mini vacations this year or will you take one longer vacation?
Diane N. Quintana is a Certified Professional Organizer® ,a Certified Professional Organizer in Chronic Disorganization®, Master Trainer and owner of DNQ Solutions, LLC and co-owner of Release●Repurpose●Reorganize, LLC based in Atlanta, Georgia.
I love this idea! I really connect with your points about these being easier and more accessible than the long/long-planned vacations I remember taking with my children. I feel like we had to book those a year in advance, and it was a major endeavor to pull them off.
A mini-vacation still provides a “change in zip code,” but feels like less of an effort.
What a wonderful opportunity to spend time with those who are close to you! I hope to do a mini-vacation to see my daughter in May.
I love this! We get such a different perspective and appreciation when we travel for a weekend or for a longer period of time. I do have a bigger trip planned for myself coming up. This is a good reminder to me to make sure that we (my partner and I) plan a weekend getaway. It’s on our list for this year. I think it just needs to get on our calendar.
I love this idea and I have two mini-vacations planned – one in May and one in June. Yeah!
What a joyful description of your recent mini vacation to South Carolina! I’m with you and love a road trip, even if it’s for an overnight or a few days. We always take mini-vacations. The LONG vacation is more rare, but this year we have a special 40th anniversary trip planned to the Carribean, which will be for almost a week. I’m looking forward to that and several mini-vacations coming up.
I love having the chance to step away for a few days, leave work behind, see new things, refresh, relax, and explore.
Having any sort of trip gives me a great sense of joy for something to look forward to. Travel is one of my loves, whether far away or just a quick drive. It helps to give our brains a rest, too, especially those of us who work from home or work for ourselves. It can be easy to try to sneak in a few work-related tasks on weekends when we’re home. But when we take a trip, we can let those parts of our brains rest and recuperate!
Not counting Thanksgivings, I haven’t had a vacation since 2019, and it’s amazing how just telling yourself you won’t work but still staying at home is SO NOT a vacation. I think a mini-vacation is a wonderful idea — long enough to feel like you’ve really stepped away from work and the normal day-to-day, but not so long that you’ll feel hugely behind when you return. I think it’s time to make some space for a mini-vacation! Thanks for the inspiration!