Realistic Solo Weekend Trips To Get Away From It All
> Juggling life’s responsibilities never end
You see it nearly every week...sometimes, even on a daily basis during certain parts of the year.
It’s all those social media pics of people at far off and exotic destinations.
You see the cliche photos of legs extended on a poolside lounger or on the beach towel along with colorful fruity frozen cocktails.
Or, it’s the lavish five-star resort with all the accoutrements of a pampered luxury lifestyle.
Your mind begins to drift and daydream about how awesome it would be if you were there right now - relaxing and enjoying everything in that environment. Free of any stresses and cares, you’re simply living the good life.
It’s a few minutes of a well-deserved daydreaming mental break.
Then, you snap back to reality and come to terms that there’s no way you can take an extended solo vacation to Bali.
You look back up from your phone toward your computer monitor and all you see is that same damn blinking cursor on the screen waiting for you to type more.
So, you get back to scrambling and racing around to get things done.
It’s non-stop go, go, go. A wacky race through the day that leaves you feeling like you didn’t do anything well. You just barely made it through the day.
You know that feeling when you’re running too fast and feel your legs start to go? It’s trip-over time – watch out for the crash!
It’s the same in your adult life even if you’re not physically running. Going too fast with no time to slow down leads to crashes, mistakes, collisions, and the feeling that you’re way out of control.
It’s time to down-shift from high gear and slow things down.
Those few heavenly minutes you spend in the shower or the few hours of real sleep you get are great, but they’re not enough. You need meaningful relaxation time, all to yourself, that recharges your mental and physical batteries.
Bet you think you can’t have it with all that’s going on in your life, right?
You can, but we won’t lie. It’s going to take some pre-planning organization and a bit of self-discipline.
The Benefits Of A Solo Weekend Getaway
It’s critical to get some time to yourself, even if life feels way too busy for it.
Let’s get one thing straight, right off the bat - it isn’t selfish to want and take “me time.”
Read that three times...seriously.
But if you need permission to take a break, consider it granted by us.
Here are the benefits of a solo micro-vacation.
It’s Scientifically Proven To Boost Your Health
Vacations are a right, not a privilege. Your mind and sanity require them.
Research shows that workers who don’t use their holiday time are more at risk of cardiovascular disease – one of our time’s biggest killers.
This video explains a bit more about why vacations are essential for your health.
VIDEO: The Science Of Vacation
YOUTUBE: TEDx Talks
> Vacations are essential – science says so
> Positive anticipation of a vacation is just as stress relieving as the holiday itself
> You can prolong the good vibes after your vacation too
It’s More Do-Able & Manageable
Saving up and planning for a two-week vacation takes focused dedication and effort. There’s a lot that needs to be sorted out when you’re planning a long trip away from home.
However, a solo micro-vacation that’s close to home and only a two-day, one-night trip requires far less preparation than a two-week jaunt.
And while taking a two-week long vacation is blissful, the fallout in terms of your inbox is intense. Just thinking about it is making us cringe.
Our fav Post-It illustrator, Chaz Hutton explains it best with this little gem.
The holiday feeling doesn’t last long after you get back. Some people call it the “post-holiday blues,” others prefer “vacation fade-out effect” – but it’s the same thing.
To beat it, you need scheduled solo mini-breaks to unplug and unwind on a regular basis. This could be through these weekend getaways or simple time to yourself at home.
In whatever format, these solo breaks will keep you from the boiling point because you’re consistently taking time out rather than waiting a whole year.
You’ll Be A Better Person
Life’s little irritants can push you close to tears, make you snappy and give you a stress headache. If you can feel your patience running thin, it’s time to press pause on life and take a breather.
Taking some relaxation time increases your empathy, calmness, and happiness - in short, it makes you better able to deal with the shitty bits of life without going overboard.
No-one gets any enjoyment from a burnt out and miserable co-worker, partner or parent.
Your family, friends and work BFFs all want and need the happy, efficient and shiny person you are beneath the stress. They’ll notice the difference on your return.
You’ll Appreciate Everyone More
On return from your micro break, you’ll be able to appreciate your family.
Perhaps you won’t miss them during your solo “me time,” but it’ll give you space to realize what they mean to you.
When someone is nagging you to spend “just $5” on a game when you are trying to finish a report, cook dinner, and figure out where the hell your car insurance documents are, then appreciation of your kids is last on the list.
But, when they’re away or you’re away for some length of time, your perspective changes. It’s like how the saying goes, “The heart grows fonder with time and distance.”
All too often we lose people and opportunities before we have the time to appreciate them - and that guilt stays with you for life.
Time alone allows you to leave the shit behind and just be at peace.
Appreciation is important, being grateful and happy with the good things in your life is what it’s all about.
You’ll Be On Fire At Work
Too much information overloads your processor.
You get burnt out and start failing at stuff. However, spending time alone on a micro-break allows you to clear out your mental temp files and reset the processor.
When you get back to work you’ll be an unstoppable decisive doer that achieves twice as much.
You'll Get More Creative
Time alone equals time to figure out problems creatively, but not by thinking about them.
Eureka moments can happen when your conscious brain is unplugged and zoning out. The “shower moment” and “not seeing the forest for the trees”, these are old clichés but absolutely based on fact.
When you’re relaxed and your mind is at ease, the answers appear auto-magically.
Your Family Gets A Change Too
Depending on how you structure your solo weekend getaway, your family can enjoy new weekend activities too.
With you out of reach, they’ll be forced into a change of scenery with a new activity, maybe seeing other family members or a babysitter with tons of energy.
When you get back, your kids will be delighted to see you and tell you about their fun times instead of grunting and asking for the iPad because you’ve got the grumpy-ass face again.
Your family needs a happy and rested parent. When you’re happy, they’re happy and more importantly – they feel stable. Kids notice when you get over-stressed and tired, even if you think you’re hiding it like a pro.
They’ll be there when you get back in 36 hours time.
You Know What? It’s Just Nice
Just getting that peace and quiet is enjoyable. Getting away from life’s chaos and craziness feels oh so good.
Life’s nonsense isn’t going to disappear and it’ll be waiting for you when you check back in - that’s for sure. But damn, it feels so good to tell it to go stand in the corner and take a time-out.
These self-care breaks don’t have to bring piles of benefits either. You can enjoy a grand time from tiny pleasures and these are things that everyone should be in favor of.
How To Pull Off An Overnight Micro Getaway
So, we know why you NEED time to yourself, but how to GET it?
It’s an age-old question. Shakespeare himself was heard to say “How to get a solo weekend getaway - that is the question.”
The main challenges with getting away for a micro-trip boils down to two things:
1) Coverage for the kids
2) Coverage for yourself
The first one is pretty self-explanatory if you have kids. You’ve gotta figure out a way to have someone take care of and watch the kids while you’re away.
The second one is how to handle all the tasks that usually fall on your shoulders during the weekend.
When you’ve got both of these things addressed, you’ve freed yourself.
What we’re aiming to do is find a way for you to be able to take a 36 hour micro-trip where you leave on Saturday morning and return on Sunday night.
Let’s get started.
Coverage For The Kids
Yes, the kids are your little bundles of joy (and sometimes anguish) and you love ‘em to bits. Who you’ll allow taking care of your kids is no small matter.
It’s paramount to know that they’re being taken care of so that your mind is at ease. And when your mind is at ease, you’ll be able to really relax deeply.
There’s no point having a solo micro-break if you’re just worrying.
Here are some options that you should consider.
1. Your Significant Other
If you have a partner in crime, they’re your first port of call. The idea may not be greeted with enthusiasm at first, but when you arrive home refreshed and happy, they’ll realize it’s worth the effort.
Make it easy for them by arranging all the stuff you’re usually responsible for in advance and make sure they know about any birthday parties the kids are invited too, where the gift is, how to get there, and the parents’ names.
Offer to reciprocate by gifting them their own "me time" in return. Fair’s fair after all.
2. Your Parents Or In-Laws
Parents and In-laws can be close to their grandchildren and kids love to spend time with them.
They may be delighted to take the kids off your hands for a night, especially if they don’t get to see much of them.
Leaving your kids in their capable hands feels safe and that means you can relax. But just a heads up, they might return them feral, pre-diabetic and uncontrollable.
And, be prepared to get this response for the next few days, “But grandpa let me do it.”
3. Your Brother (in-law) Or Sister (in-law)
Your kid’s aunts and uncles are relatives with potentially more energy than your parents and in-laws.
If your kids have a favorite aunt or uncle then go for it. Reciprocate with their children, or if they are still single and carefree, offer up the gift of free “try before you buy” parenting.
Heads up - you may only get one shot at this so make it count.
4. Kid’s Friend’s Parents
Did playdates save your sanity in the early years? A sleep-deprived chance to vent over coffee kept you going then, and these are still great sanity savers. Chances are that your kids have already participated in a sleepover at some point.
Ah, the overnight playdate - making romance happen again. Well, in this case, it’ll be a relaxing night of stress-free bliss.
This is a great choice because the other parent’s kids are entertained too, so they get free time as well. It’s a win/win.
Again, reciprocation is important.
5. Trusted Babysitter
If you don’t have family or friends nearby that you feel comfortable leaving your kids with, try out a trusted babysitter.
Ask your friends and neighbors to find out who they’ve hired in the past and that they trust. This should be your first source.
If no recommendations are available, there are lots of companies that hire out babysitters for a weekend.
These wonder-workers are vetted, background-checked and trained to work with children. Just check all the credentials and reviews first.
Of course, you’ll have to get your kids on board with this option as it might not be something they’re happy with.
A good way to start is hiring a new sitter for a few evenings here and there before moving up to a 36 hour micro-getaway. The kids get to know them, and you can build some trust.
Coverage For Yourself
There are tons of tasks that fall on your shoulders during the weekend. The key here is to figure out a way to address and manage these tasks during your 36 hour escape.
One method that we use to address tasks is called the 4D method: Do It, Delay It, Delegate It and Dump It.
There are many different variations of this method. We’ve tweaked it here for the sole purpose of helping you address your normal weekend duties and tasks so that you can get away.
1. Do It
Do the things that need to happen on the weekend in advance. These are the essentials that will result in major fallout if neglected.
For kids, the most important essential usually involves their stomachs.
Buy in enough meals to last a whole weekend and more. Literally, label it “Saturday lunch” or “Sunday dinner” - microwave is fine, in fact, it’s probably better if no-one but you can use the oven.
Or, the easy option: let them go out to eat for all the meals. Just be sure to stock up snacks at home for the times between the meals.
Next, remember food for Monday and beyond because you don’t want to rush back out to the supermarket when you arrive home. Try to knock this out before Friday night or order online and have it delivered when you get back home on Sunday night.
There will also be odd bits that crop up in the week that aren’t regulars but need addressing.
This could be as simple as signing a school permission form or something as horrifying as a special school project. “Build a working model of the Titanic” - Oh Jeezus...FML.
Just do it now, or better yet, delay or delegate it.
2. Delay It
Delaying is an under-rated tactic. Nothing bad will happen if you delay non-essential tasks.
Maybe the car is due for an oil change, you have a hair appointment or need to get some new clothes for the kids - all of this shit can wait.
It can wait ‘til next week. Prime “me time” is more important.
3. Delegate It
You probably delegate better at work than at home. Often the parent becomes the sole operator of the washing machine, vacuum, and oven but that doesn’t have to be this way.
If your partner or children can operate a smartphone or iPad they can certainly do some housework, get the laundry done and organize the various messes around the house.
Delegate some of the household responsibilities that usually fall on your shoulders on the weekends and keep those new responsibilities in place on your return to make your life easier in the long run.
This not only gives you more time, but it also teaches them self-reliance and self-respect.
This video might help get you started.
VIDEO: Why Chores For Kids Matter
YOUTUBE: Health Science Channel
> Chores teach and improve work ethic
> Assign chores that match their ability
> They forgot to say it gives us a break
You could also think about hiring someone in to do the chores for you.
Hiring help is becoming more popular as people work longer and longer hours.
It can mean something simple like ordering a pizza for dinner through to someone cleaning the whole house, walking the dog, doing the laundry and sitting with the kids.
Imagine having a blissful mini-break, and then arriving back home to a spotless house. It’s the stuff dreams are made of.
If you can afford to pay for those mundane chores, make it happen now and gift yourself some me-time away from it all.
4. Dump It
Some stuff can just be called off or cancelled.
These are the requests and tasks that aren’t priorities for you and your family. Not doing these won’t have any negative impact, in fact, it instantly frees up time.
If your kids have been invited to yet another party by someone they barely know, just say no and send your apologies. Unless it’s major on the kid scale, it’s not worth the effort.
Ditto for any work-related weekend events. They’ve got enough of your time during the week. They don’t need more.
Bonus Idea: Time-Off Gift
Or how about this genius idea - request time off as a gift.
You could ask your family and friends to give you time instead of traditional presents for birthdays and Christmas.
If your family is aware that you want and need time away, it’s much easier to manage. A voucher for a weekend hall pass is worth its weight in gold for a stressed and frazzled parent.
How To Protect The Trip From Sabotage
Your pre-trip planning should take care of all the necessary stuff by addressing the two major areas of coverage for the kids and yourself.
Now, you’re going to block out Saturday morning to Sunday evening for your micro getaway and people need to know this is not a joke.
That’s gotta be crystal clear.
Tell friends you’ll be out of contact and give your family specific times when they can call or better yet, tell them that you’ll check in with them at a specific time.
There should be no calls to you unless it’s an emergency. “Where are my swimming trunks?” does not count.
You may find that your friend loves the idea of a micro-getaway and suggests she comes too.
That’s nice, but no.
This getaway is time for you and you only to unwind. Plan another trip with friends if you like the idea, but if you take another person along, you have to make allowances for them and then, you won’t be able to fully unwind.
When it’s solo, everything’s to your preference, pace and schedule.
Where To Go - Solo Overnight Trip Ideas
One night away isn’t going to break the bank if it’s done wisely. Weekend getaways are far less pricey than weeks away that soak up thousands of dollars.
So, let’s take a look at some ideas that you can consider when planning your solo weekend getaway. All of these should be within an easily drivable distance from home.
1. Relax in a full-service spa resort
It sounds cliche, but a full service spa is an actual piece of heaven right here on earth.
It’s warm, cozy, stress-free and everything is on hand, right there on the property with no need to go anywhere else.
Once you arrive and park your car, it won’t be turned back on until the moment you leave. You’ll be in a relaxing bubble of isolation.
Check the major online travel booking sites for local deals near you.
2. Kick-back in a hotel with “spa amenities”
A cheaper version of the full spa resort but still downright nirvana for busy parents.
Your hotel room is a private little hideaway, so order room service and head down to use the facilities whenever you please.
Some of the major hotel chains are more biased toward business travelers, so their weekend guests are fairly light. These hotels may offer some great deals for weekend getaways. Check online and see what they’ve got in store.
Here’s a tip: if you’ve got a friend or co-worker that doesn’t use his/her hotel points or just has a ton of points, ask if you can buy some for this little overnight at a cost that’s less than the night’s stay, of course. Who knows, they might even just gift the points to you.
3. Get Zen’d with a meditation/yoga retreat
Some companies put on package deals for those with an interest in unwinding with meditation and/or yoga.
Even if you’ve never tried yoga before, a yoga retreat can do you a world of good.
There’s usually a schedule of stress-relieving activities and guided meditations that almost force you to unwind.
And, you don’t need to be a frequent meditator or yoga contortionist. There’s usually always options for “newbies” in these programs.
Search online for local yoga/meditation retreats. Undoubtedly, there’ll be a few within driving distance.
4. Get outdoorsy with a country cabin
For those of us that live and work in major cities, getting away from the concrete jungle and urban rat race back into the arms of Mother Nature is an incredible way to unwind.
The sounds of car horns and people are replaced with chirping birds and babbling brooks. Ahh, the sounds of nature.
Nature lovers benefit hugely from the great outdoors. Try renting a country, mountain or lakeside cabin on Airbnb and breathe in the stress-free fresh air.
It’s a different world - one where you don’t have to wipe anyone’s ass...just your own.
5. Be a “local tourist” in a neighboring city or town
If you aren’t an outdoorsy nature type then traveling to the neighboring city is a good bet.
There are plenty of rooms to rent out from major hotels to independent Airbnb’s.
Then, just wander around and take in the atmosphere without listening to “I’m bored” comments or constantly searching for snacks.
You can be a “local tourist” and discover so many new things that you just never noticed.
6. Take-in a weekend “experience” trip
If you aren’t the type of person who can unwind without something to do, book an experience weekend.
There are lots of these available on travel booking sites and even on Groupon (they make great gifts, so hint to the family).
You could try a homemade beauty product weekend, foraging for fungi (mmm, truffles), blacksmithing, golfing or learn to cook some fancy French cuisine.
There are so many options to choose from that there’s bound to be at least one that is right up your alley.
7. Relive the old days
If your old hometown or college is in driveable range book a room and relax in an environment that reminds you of stress-free pre-kid days.
Nostalgia is proven to stimulate the release of feel-good hormones in our heads. Experiencing and seeing your old stomping grounds can bring all those great memories back.
You can add to the nostalgia by listening to a playlist of songs from that special time.
8. Home-swap with your parents/in-laws
This isn’t the most ideal choice, but one that’s pretty much cost-free.
Try swapping homes with your parents or in-laws. It’s free and maybe they’ll look after the kids too. The only downside is having to clean your own place up in exchange.
Again, if money is tight, this is a good option because frankly, any solo “me-time” is better than none, right?
It’s the time away from all the noise that’s valuable.
Look Out For Deals
We mentioned this here and there on this list.
Be sure to check for last minute deals online and if you’re able to book far in advance, looks for deals there too.
It’s worth keeping an eye on vacation sites and grabbing a bargain when you can. You can save a ton of money this way and stay in some beautiful luxurious places.
Another helpful tip: Don’t forget to check with your credit card companies, banking, etc. for any potential reward points that you may have earned or accumulated.
You’d be surprised at how many people forget about this. You might be sitting on a pile of unused benefits.
Start Planning Your Solo Weekend Getaway Now
It might seem like a distant dream, but getting solo “me-time” to relax and unwind is essential for your health and your family’s happiness.
It isn’t selfish.
You’ve gotta take care of you first, so that you can take care of others later.
The trick is to get organized so no-one feels like they’ve been abandoned or gone without something they really need.
Remember those exotic vacation pics you were daydreaming about?
Well, now you can get those same feelings at a fraction of the time and cost. While your experience may not be from the tropical beaches of Bali, they will be special to you nonetheless. And, that’s what really counts.
Before long, you’ll feel as happy as this little guy.
VIDEO: Dog spa
If things are super busy right now and it's really truly impossible to get away even for a night, then at the very least, treat yourself to some budget-friendly "me-time" at home.
Well, we’ve got a few ideas brewing in our heads for next month. So, we gotta get to planning. Hopefully, you can muster up a few simple solo micro-trip ideas for yourself this week.
Do the planning.
You can do it.
Get away for 36 hours.
Your family will be fine.
Your work will be fine.
The world isn’t going to end without you.
In fact, your family, friends, co-workers and the world wants to see a more relaxed and happier you. They deserve it and so do you. Go for it.