It’s Time for a Vacation!

Yeah right!

Sorry no time!

No money.

Kids have sports…etc.

Keep the excuses coming because I have heard them all before. All I can say is, “Everyone needs a break from day to day life to recharge their batteries and help them to focus better on things.”

 You can’t be the best you can be if you are run down, worn out, or just plain tired. No one is superman or superwoman as much as we would like to feel like that each day. So then it comes down to what is more important…your health and well-being or making sure the day-to-day routines are kept. Which is it?

When was the last time you took a vacation? And going to visit family and friends at their place doesn’t count. Now if you were with family and friends at a mutual location like a resort, camping ground, etc then that would count. But think about it when was the last time you took a true vacation? When was the last time you got away from the norm, out of town and did something you don’t normally do?

Webster’s defines vacation as: 1: a respite or a time of respite from something :intermissiona : a scheduled period during which activity (as of a court or school) is suspended b : a period of exemption from work granted to an employee 3: a period spent away from home or business vacation at the beach> 4: an act or an instance of vacating 2: in travel or recreation <had a restful

So after reading the definition when was the last time you had a real vacation?

Vacations can be long or short depending on what you want to do, what time constraints you have, and what the budget will allow. Vacations are very important for your health and well-being so you can be the best you can be. By taking a vacation you are resting your brain from the To-Do list, the daily grind of the schedule and whatever else occupies your time each day. Vacation is an escape from the daily grind. We ALL need to take a vacation period!

Most people think of vacations as something that last 7 days to 2 weeks or longer. You don’t have to take a vacation for that length of time. If your schedule currently doesn’t allow a week long vacation could you squeeze in a 3 or 4 day vacation? Maybe take a long weekend. Take Friday or Monday off or both. You are probably thinking that is not enough time for a vacation. That your spouse will go and pull out the honey-do list and put you to work the minute you mention taking time off work. BUT listen to this, there are hundreds and hundreds of things available to you that you could do over a 3 or 4 day weekend, that you just might be surprised.

While living in Virginia we did a lot of mini-vacations. They were just what we needed to help us recharge our batteries and it gave us a break from the norm. They gave us time to reconnect as a couple. On one mini-vacation we even took my husband’s youngest son with us. But more about that vacation later on.

You can make your mini-vacation as cheap or expensive as you want. Here are some of the things that we did for our mini-vacations to give you some ideas.

One February we went away for President’s Day weekend. We left after work on Friday evening and drove to Charles Town, West Virginia about an hour from where we lived. We were booked into a Bed and Breakfast called The Cottonwood Inn a few miles out of Charles Town. Our weekend at this B&B was amazing. We had no cell phone service, no TV, no radio, no computers. It was a tech free weekend and we loved every minute of it. Despite the downpour of rain almost the entire weekend we still had a blast. We got out and explored the area by car and got out and walked when it wasn’t raining. We spent a wonderful afternoon at the B&B just lazing about reading and snoozing. By the time we got home we felt we had been away for a week. Just those three short days was an amazing break for us.

Another weekend we decided to tell everyone we were going away, then we camped out in our house. We shopped for provisions on Thursday, then Friday after work we turned off the phones and computers and nestled down for a quiet weekend doing nothing but watching movies, snoozing, and reading. These types of weekends we did whenever we felt we needed a break but couldn’t be bothered driving anywhere. We would turn these weekends into movie weekends. One weekend we watched the Back to the Future Triology; another weekend it was all six Star War movies, another was a James Bond fest.

One weekend we took Thursday, Friday and Monday off work and took my husband’s youngest son and the three of us drove to Toronto for the weekend. We left Wednesday evening after work and drove some of the way. We arrived in Toronto on Thursday afternoon. We then spent three full days exploring Toronto and Niagara Falls. Can totally see why the Canadian side is better for viewing the falls than the American side. Then Monday we headed out early for our 10 hour drive back home. It was a great weekend.

Now that we are out here in California, we are able to take mini-vacations here too. We have spent a weekend in Big Bear and our 8 1/2 year old puppy got to come with us too! We have been to Vegas for another weekend away. I have started making a list of all the places within a 4-6 hour drive of where we are…WOW!!!

You are probably thinking this is all well and good but I have kids. Even better!! You can still enjoy weekends away with kids. You could even do things like having a camping trip at home. Turn off the computers, gaming systems, phones etc and turn your family room into a camping ground. Use sheets and chairs to create tents and then put sleeping bags or blankets and pillows in the tent and camp out in the family room. Yes you can even put mattresses in there if you find the floor too uncomfortable. During the day you could pack a picnic and spend the day at the park, go bike riding, go fishing, go explore a museum, go walking, anything that you can do together as a family then come home in the evening and have pizza or some sort of dinner in the tent, maybe make some smores. Instead of using overhead lights, use flashlights or battery operated lanterns to give the camp feel. Sit around and tell stories, talk about some of the fun you had that day. Maybe plan some stuff to do the next day.

There are so many options available to you in your local area that are free and kid friendly. Check out things at your local visitor’s center. They have a ton of information available. Or if you plan on going away for the weekend then B&B’s make great alternatives to hotels. Although some B&B’s are not kid friendly so check first. You could stay close to home or escape an hour away. I even know of people that go and stay at a hotel on the opposite side of town. Did you know that most hotels offer cheaper rates on the weekends?

This is just a very small list of the wide variety of options available to you and your family for a mini-vacation. Remember you only get one life and your health and well-being are going to matter more in five years, than your day to day stuff will. So what would you like to do for your vacation be it a mini vacation or a two week or longer one? Give us a call at 818-528-8300 and check out 3, 4 or 5 night cruise getaways. Go on do it NOW before you forget!

About Helen Brahms

World globetrotter, Helen Brahms, is your Luxury Travel Concierge. She specializes in creating unique once-in-a-lifetime travel memories and charity fundraising trips. Whether your travel dreams include exotic locations or time with your family, you can have it all. Helen loves to help people cross destinations off their travel bucket list before they take a dirt nap! Helen is the host of the Have2Travel Radio Show ( and is the author of the book "Congratulations, You're Going On a Cruise! Now What?" and the co-author of the book "Passionistas Talk!: The Best of the Passion Point Interviews (Vol. 1)"
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