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What is a mini-vacation and is it a viable option in these uncertain times?
We all know the world is in various stages of recovery from COVID-19 and international travel is unavailable this year.
This makes it necessary to search for some viable vacation options.
My husband and I love to travel and with the current global restrictions in place, we had to rethink our vacation options.
So what can we do about vacations this year?
Turns out there are several options available.
We heard about ‘staycations’ and also ‘mini-vacations’.
So what is the difference between the two?
According to Wikipedia, a staycation is a period in which individuals or families participate in leisure activities that are within driving distance of their home and do not require overnight accommodation.
Activities for a staycation could include:
- relaxing at the back yard pool
- visit local museums or art galleries
- learn about the local tourist attractions and become tourists of your local area
- attend local amusement parks
- Attend local festivals
As you can see there are plenty of ideas to keep a staycation fun. Plus you get to learn about your local area which is pretty cool.
I know we have lived in our area for 20 years and when my husband’s mother came to visit we learned so much about the history of our area because we took her to the museums and local tourist attractions.
Isn’t it funny how we didn’t even know about a lot of the places we visited with her until she started to ask about what there was to do here?
A minivacation is a short 3 or 4-day vacation within driving distance of your home. Unlike with a staycation, you will require overnight accommodation.
Usually, a mini-vacation is scheduled around a long weekend or holiday so less time is taken off from work or school.
Mini-vacations are a more affordable option in place of a traditional week or 2-week vacation.
This year rather than a single vacation to some exotic place, we will take several minivacations.
We just got back from one last night.
We are fortunate to be the owners of a 26′ McGregor sailing boat.
We live along the St. John River in New Brunswick, Canada.
This river has a nice deep channel (30ft in some places) which is perfect for sailing.
We left Friday and came home late Monday evening and what a great time we had.
This was certainly an affordable mini-vacation because we could sleep right on our boat.
Our boat also has an alcohol stove and a propane bbq on deck, perfect for preparing meals.
There is just something so peaceful and relaxing about being out on the water.
We are already planning on taking the grandkids with us next time. Of course, that will take a bit more planning to be able to manage our grandson’s type 1 diabetes but we will manage that just fine.
I realize not everyone has a boat so here are a few suggestions for a great staycation:
- book a motel within walking or bicycling distance of a local beach
- stay at a local Bed & Breakfast
- enjoy local beaches or water parks
- rent canoes or kayaks
- go camping for a few days.
The main difference between a staycation and a regular vacation is both its affordability and its shorter duration.
This makes it possible to take a couple of mini-vacations rather than just 1 vacation, especially since you don’t have to book any flights to get there.
Another thing to consider with your mini-vacation is that if you book off-season (May or September) you may be able to get reduced rates.
In these days of recovery after COVID-19, most people are struggling to get their finances back in order and we still have many necessary restrictions in place making travel difficult if not impossible.
There are many benefits to both ‘staycations’ and mini-vacations such as:
- Renews Energy – taking a mini-vacation or weekend getaway may be just what we need to boost our energy and improve our performance at work. We all are aware that simply going somewhere different or trying something new adds excitement to our lives. This excitement stays with us once we return home.
- Resets the mind – we are constantly bogged down with never-ending to-do lists, calendar reminders, and all sorts of distractions pulling us in every direction. We need to take time away from these stresses and reset our minds and get focused again on what is important to us.
- Rewards hard work – we tend to get caught up in spending hours after work, working to meet deadlines. This habit of taking work home with us eventually takes its toll. We need to take a break from work, cell phones, computers, and any other devices we have running. Think of this deserved break as a reward for all the hard work you every day.
- Reconstructs goals – you can use some time during a mini-vacation to write our new or existing goals and the steps to achieve them. Be specific and ensure you make at least one goal for every area of your life: physically, financially, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally.
- Recaptures youth – we tend to get so focused on work on projects and meeting deadlines that we don’t take time for play. Mini-vacations give us a time and place to kick-back, relax, and just have fun for a change. Allowing our inner child the time it deserves for that bike ride, ice-cream, or days of exploration and wonder is such a fun way to relieve the stresses of our busy lives.
- Reduces stress – we all know that stress is a leading cause of obesity and many life-threatening diseases. Taking a min-vacation of staycation gives you plenty of time to relax with a massage, join a yoga class or meditation retreat. Plan these times to purposely reduce stress and take time to relax.
- Reconnects with loved ones – vacationing with friends and family gives you a chance to re-connect with each other. Min-vacations are the perfect time to encourage deep discussions, enjoy quiet moments of contemplation, and just enjoy being together.
- Saves money – a staycation or mini-vacation is a much more affordable vacation idea. Without having to pay for plane tickets or expensive resorts, you could have 2 or 3 staycations rather than 1 vacation.
By staying home or close to home we can get caught up in these common pitfalls, so beware.
- do not check work emails or do any form of work while on your staycation or mini-vacation
- just because you are home doesn’t mean get caught up on chores around the house and yard(that is not vacation activities)
- vacations take planning. Go to the local tourist information center and find new things to do or places to visit that you have never been to.
- decide ahead of time if you will be going overnight and if so book your accommodations
- will you have a picnic lunch or explore new restaurants (picnics require you pack some food)
- if outdoors be sure to have sunscreen and sunglasses with you
With the proper planning, your staycation or mini-vacation can be full of fun and adventure with minimal expenses.
Now that we understand ‘what is a mini-vacation’ it is time to start planning yours.
Where will you go, the local beach, a local museum, go to an amusement park, hike some trails, canoe or kayak local rivers or lakes?
The possibilities are endless and you are only limited by your imagination.
We will be taking several ‘staycations’ or mini-vacations this summer and even though we just returned, I am already planning the next one.
Will you take a ‘staycation’ or a ‘mini-vacation’ this year?
What things did you find to do in your local area?
Please share your ideas in the comment section below. I look forward to reading your ideas and hey, maybe I will try some of those ideas as well.
“I am not in any way a medical practitioner, please do not rely on the information on our website as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or another healthcare provider. We only share our experiences.”
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