Editor’s Note: This is first in a series on vacations.
Most of us don’t think we get enough vacation. And most of us are right.
The average American gets two weeks of vacation a year, and if one week is typically spent visiting relatives that leaves just one week for a true getaway. Not much compensation for 245+ days of work, is it?
As part of your overall lifestyle design, you can start working on long-term plans to give yourself more leisure time, such as training for a better job, paying off debt so you don’t have to work as many hours, or starting a side business with the expectation that it will turn into full-time income.
But what do you do NOW to get more vacation in your life?
There are plenty of opportunities to create vacation space within your everyday life. When you have a good balance of work and leisure, you will be more energized and better enjoy the time spent in both activities.
Here are some practical ways you can add more vacation into your everyday life:
- Join or start a Meetup group for your favorite hobby. You’ll meet new people who share the same interests and you’ll be able to regularly participate in your favorite activities, such as hiking, biking, knitting, wine tasting, making/listening to music, cooking, etc.
- Tour your own city (the “staycation”). Why wait for your relatives to visit to see your local landmarks, visit your museums, and play in your parks? Most newspapers or community blogs have a weekly list of local events to guide you.
- Indulge in a massage. No need to wait for vacation for this treat. Whether you like massages, manicures, or facials, scheduling some time to pamper yourself in the middle of your everyday life can be a huge pick-me-up. And if you have a willing partner or friend, you don’t even have to pay for it.
- Try meditation. Learning to quiet your mind is a vacation in itself. No to-do lists running through your head, or worry about work or home. Seattle Insight Meditation Society has free audio on how to learn to meditate.
- Break up your vacation into smaller trips. Instead of one big trip, why not plan several long weekends to replenish yourself throughout the year?
- Use alternate forms of transportation. If you normally travel by plane, try the car or a train for a change. This new way of seeing the world will make a trip (especially a repeat trip), more interesting.
- Exercise. When you get regular exercise, you sleep better and have more energy every day. By committing to regular exercise, you are giving yourself a little bit of vacation in every single day.
How do you get more vacation into your life? Please share in the comment section below.
Betsy Talbot writes about carving the lifestyle you want out of life you already have. When she’s not writing, she’s paring down, saving up, and getting ready for a year of travel with her husband.