Oh, the mini-vacation…I believe I love it even more than the full-length vacation! Today I’d like to present a few reasons why the mini-vacation deserves your family’s consideration this summer.
- The pressure is off. When you spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on a one- or two- week vacation, you want to make sure it’s perfect. You research hotels, activites, & restaurants and plan an itinerary to ensure you have enough fun & maximize your vacation time. We all know nothing goes quite as planned, especially when you add kids to the equation – setting you up for disappointment or frustration if things go south. I find the mini-vacation to be much more relaxed & flexible. You know full well you’re not going to see everything there is to see, so you just enjoy what you can, and what you can’t…well, you can always come back!
- It’s the perfect length of time with kids. Somewhere around Day Three or Day Four, kids start to fall apart. They may be having the time of their lives, but being out of their routine and away from home does something to their little emotions and things just start to become…harder. The beauty of the mini-vacation is that it’s ending right about the time the kids are done, too.
- You get to explore locales close to home. Most extended vacations are to destinations far away. There are tons of places to visit within a half a day’s drive – no matter where you live! Mini-vacations don’t have to be to a major tourist destination. You could explore a national or state park that’s an hour away, stay in a small town that’s always piqued your interest, or camp by a lake somewhere that you’ve never heard of. Just get out and explore. Also, if you stay close you get to support your local economy rather than spending your money in a state all the way across the country.
- The travel is easier for kids. If you’re traveling far, you’re probably driving, parking, flying, driving, and checking into your hotel (accompanied by healthy doses of waiting around for the plane/car/hotel check-in, etc.). Traveling for a full day is pretty exhausting! If you’re taking a mini-vacation, you can probably get to your destination in a few hours (max). This makes it easier for the little ones – and easier still if you can plan the drive time over their nap time!
- It’s easier to arrange time off from work. It’s a whole lot easier to plan a 3- or 4-day weekend than arrange for a full week (or two!) off of work.
- It’s cheaper. Obviously if you’re traveling shorter distances and staying away from home for shorter amounts of time, it’s going to cost you less. Regardless of your budget, you can plan a mini-vacation. If you truly have a zero budget, you can still spend a full day at a local park picnicking, playing games, and taking hikes with your family. The point is to get out & get away. There is no wrong way to take a mini-vacation!
- You can plan several of them. This is my absolute favorite reason to plan mini-vacations. I’m not an “all-your-eggs-in-one-basket” kind of girl anyway, but because you’re not spending all of your time off & vacation budget in one fell swoop, you can do lots of stuff! Once the sun comes out around here, I want to get out and play! I look forward to every fun activity on the calendar – it keeps me going through the more mundane day-to-day. I love to have lots of little things to look forward to, rather than one BIG thing. Even when I am riding the high of one trip, I’m looking forward to the next. It makes for a very happy, fun summer!
Rest assured I’m certainly not anti-full-length vacation. 🙂 I just wanted to give an alternative to help you have more fun during the summer months.
Every family’s mini-vacation will look different. It may be a day trip or an extended four-day weekend. You may have small children. You may be limited by time or money (or both!). Still, I know you can have a lot of fun with your family during the sunny months. I encourage you to find something that works for your family, and get out of the house & make some fun family memories this summer!