“Afoot and lighthearted I take to the open road, healthy, free, the world before me.” –Walt Whitman
If you’re anything like me, you get restless staying indoors on the weekends. The idea that we have the freedom to enjoy the world outside our front door, makes me want to step out past my front porch every weekend. This is my free time. Away from work, away from the daily grind.
Looking back at my childhood, the moments that really stand out are the times when my family got out of the house to explore. Whether on a road trip, camping, or going on a flight somewhere, it was always an adventure.
That’s why every weekend should count as a mini vacation. A short ride to the farmer’s market in the next town, a day out in the big city, the beach, the mountains, anything goes as long as you treat it as a vacation. Don’t go over the top, low cost and minimal planning are essential. Just pack a few items for the road, flight, or train ride, and you’ve got yourself a mini vacation.
I call these my “breather” trips. Just a chance to get away from the same scene and make new memories with my family. It keeps us sane and show my kids that there’s more to the world than just our neighborhood. We love taking these trips so much, I thought I’d share a few of my top things to make your next mini vacation a great one!
My top 5 list for a great mini vacation
1. Keep it low cost. Don’t make your wallet weep by rushing out to buy every single thing you need for a trip. The idea is to keep it simple, and enjoy being out of the house together. A trick here is to be spontaneous, which leads me to tip #2.
2. Make plans, but be spontaneous. What the hell is he talking about? I mean lay out plans for costs, and plan the mini vacation sometime around Thursday or Friday. Be spontaneous with your free time.
I’ve never been a fan of a minute-by-minute itinerary or tours. Just pick somewhere to go, and let the day take you. When we have a long weekend, we’ll often head to Asheville, NC and surrounding areas, due to the Blue Ridge Mountains and secluded, but small town feel.
3. Come equipped with memory-making gear. This one is my favorite! If you’re like me, you love taking photos of good family times. I’m a fan of making videos of our mini vacations, just check out the video below.
Here’s what I stuff into my daypack:
-Sony a6000: Great compact mirrorless camera that replaced my full sized Canon 60D.
-GoPro 3+: For those times we’re going to the beach and I don’t want to ruin my other cameras.
-Memory cards: Bring a few, I usually pack two 64gb micro SD’s and an adapter.
-Macbook Pro 13″: I bring this thing everywhere, I write a lot so it helps me keep on track.
-Notepad and pen: I never leave home without these, great for quick idea notes.
4. Stay away from chains. If you’ve been to one wal-mart, you’ve been to them all. Make the most of your time by exploring what that region, town or area has to offer. If you must shop, try doing it in places you’ve never been to, keep it local and keep it simple.
5. Sleep somewhere awesome. We make use of AirBNB for all our vacations, even the mini ones. From a home overlooking the Acropolis in Athens, an apartment in the Mexican jungles near Chichen Itza, to our very own barn in the Blue Ridge Mountains, where you stay during your mini vacation is a huge part of the fun.
Read the reviews thoroughly and stick with 4-5 star places, We’ve had nothing but great experiences.
Use this promo code for $35 off your AirBNB stay!
I take my free time seriously, and so should you…you’ve earned it. The objective is to make many of those “remember that time…” feel-good moments you can look back on with your family.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this post. As always, feel free to comment, subscribe, and follow me on Twitter @EatSleepDad.
Happy Holidays from my family to yours.
This post contains links with great promotions to make your mini vacations better than ever!