….or Micro vacation
Not even in the dictionary – microcation. Can you believe that? Well, since Merriam-Webster doesn’t have a listing I guess that means it’s up to us to define it.
Let’s face it, life is moving at a pretty quick pace with no sign of things slowing down anytime soon. If you are anything like my wife and me, you are often sitting around wondering where has all the time gone, and why am I just sitting here letting life pass me by? Traditional vacations are expensive and getting more expensive – an average Hawaiian vacation with no excursions or perks will cost you in the ballpark of $5,000 to start. That’s a lot of money for most of us chumps that have to work every day.
We (my wife and I) live pretty stressful lives in public service, and often feel like we need to get away. It is a proven fact that vacations and time away are one of the best ways to relieve stress, relax, and reset. However, many people do not have extra money or vacation time to get away in order to shake off that stress, at least not often enough.
Enter the microcation. Micro vacation just crammed together to form microcation. I first heard of the concept of the microcation a year or so ago while doing some research on stress, burnout, depression, seasonal depression, etc. The concept of several micro vacations over a period of time has been shown to be even more effective at relieving stress than a longer vacation taken only one or two times per year.
A microcation defined would be a short getaway; usually three days or less, or a long weekend. The thing about the microcation is that it requires much less planning and obviously much less cost. Putting less planning and money into the microcation will likely allow you to relax more and enjoy yourself with fewer expectations of needing to “squeeze in” as much as possible to maximize a longer vacation, and be less stressed about how much it is costing you.
Here are some of our microcation tips to help those of you get away and enjoy more of your life.
- Keep the travel time to under 3 to 4 hours. If you cannot leave work early on a Friday, that still puts you at a destination by 8 or 9pm.
- Make a list of places, nearby states, parks, etc. that you have often thought of visiting but have not. Regardless of where you are there must be dozens of places within our 3 or 4-hour travel window that would make great weekend getaways.
- Just plan to relax, sightsee, and eat good food. Be spontaneous. Putting too much planning into a short period of time will only stress you out more than you already are.
- Lower your expectations for lodging. Since we are not spending too much time planning ahead, you may not get into that 4 or 5 star hotel you want. Call ahead if that is what you want.
- Try a Bed and Breakfast if you have never been. I know, I was skeptical at first too but we have been several times and have always enjoyed it.
- If you cannot get away for a long weekend, do a “Day Trip”. Take a drive and look around. Our world is pretty beautiful if you just take the time to see it.
- Leave, or at least minimize, the technology devices. Enough said.
- Take the time to enjoy your loved ones, partner, spouse, or whatever. They will be the ones you need when the going gets rough.
So, if you find yourself frequently stressed and in need of a getaway but you either can’t or don’t have the vacation time to take, or just do not want to plan a long vacation, give the microcation a try.
Here are a few snapshots of our most recent microcation/day trip we took not far from our home. Enjoy, and as always, thanks for reading.