Sunday, February 3, 2013
The Secret of the Five-day Vacation
I have discovered a low-investment/high-yield activity that could change your life.
Say you have ten precious days of vacation to spend in a year. (I have three weeks of Personal Leave Time annually after working for my company for almost 13 years, but that includes sick time and family leave type time off.) You might save it all up to take a two-week vacation in the summertime with your family to some beach resort, or you might like to take yours during winter holiday time so you can visit faraway family. Or, you might like to save it up to take a trip to some amazing destination that involves a two-day car/train/jet travel time.
But, you could use it a little bit at a time and get a lot more bang for you buck.
What if you find a place within a one-to-two hour drive from you home, and take three days off. Make sure it is a place where you do not have access to the internet, and hopefully, not even a phone. Pick a place where you can't do anything but swim. Or anything by ski. Or anything but sit around and look at the beautiful trees. There are 6,624 state parks and 59 national parks in the U.S. (according to Wikipedia) and I bet some of them are within a one-to-two hour drive of your house. Many parks have cabins and campsites. And I am betting the rest have hotels or motels not too far away. So... think about this. You could spend a day driving to some resort beach with tons of "recreational" activities all lit up along the highway, spend your two weeks of vacation hurry hurry do do do spend spend spend eating out every night and then drive all day to get home, then crash on your couch because you are exhausted from your vacation. OR, three or four times a year, you could pack the minimal amount of clothes and games and recreational equipment, drive one hour, check into a rustic cabin with no TV for the kids to fight with you over, and cook easy meals in the sparse kitchen, and ENJOY having play time with your family. Three vacation days plus two weekend days... five days to enjoy doing some Nothing. Then, after three and a half days of that luxury, pack up your car, have a little more fun, and drive one hour home. Unpack, do some laundry, and you are ready to go back to work and school and taxi-cabbing your kids to all their sporting events. Yeah. Three days of Vacation that were truly relaxing. Make it even better by doing it with another family, or several families... all your more laid back friends with kids who enjoy your kids. Jackpot. This is the good life.
You can do that THREE or FOUR times a year with your precious vacation time. Get a real break from work, get some real play time with your family, and actually reduce your stress rather than increase it.
Just an idea.
You can thank me when your are soaking your feet in Epsom salts because you had SO MUCH FUN cross country skiing for miles all weekend with your friends and watching your kids slide down the steepest sledding hill you have ever seen.