How to Make the Most of a Short Family Vacation

Taking time off for lengthy family vacations can be difficult for the modern family, between busy work schedules, kids, and all of those unexpected things life seems to throw at us all at once. For our sanity, a getaway is much needed during these times, but taking extensive time off from reality can be, well, unrealistic. Here are five short vacation ideas to make sure you are not left feeling like your short trip was just leading you on.

short vacation ideas

1. Build in time for rest

Somehow we always underestimate how much rest we need. After a long travel day, factor in time for rest before planned activities. Every moment of your vacation does not need to be filled with non-stop activity. In fact, this can make your vacation seem shorter. Plan naps, massages, and downtime. After all, you and your kids will need energy for the exciting activities you do have planned. The last thing you want is to feel tired when you are supposed to be enjoying yourself. Just be sure to set your alarm!

2. Don’t overbook yourself

Of course, your family is excited to explore everything your destination has to offer. But expecting to squeeze in a ton of activities during your short vacation may leave you feeling disappointed. Plan just a couple of activities for each day. You want to allow time for yourself to explore and really soak in the environment.That’s what true luxury is all about: indulging in each moment and not feeling the need to rush. As a traveler, you know that some of the best moments in a new place are the ones that are unexpected. Eye-opening and intriguing conversations with locals, sipping the best espresso of your life, discovering vibrant, music-filled alleyways. Google can’t prepare you for these moments. The key to a shorter vacation is to forget that it is a shorter vacation. Really live in the moment. Allow some flexibility to see where each day can bring you. Plan one activity earlier in the day and then one evening activity (if your kids can stay up). Don’t pack on stress by attempting to complete everything on your itinerary like it’s a task list. Remember, you are on vacation!

3. Connect with locals

Before your vacation, see if you know anyone in the destination you are visiting. Someone who is familiar with the environment can show you unique things so that you can view your destination with a unique lens. Typical tourist attractions are nice, but you will get more out of your shorter vacation if you acquire some rare knowledge or did something off the beaten path. Not only will this make your trip more fulfilling, but it was also create memories that the whole family will cherish. If you don’t know any locals, try hiring a private tour guide who can give you the inside scoop. Venture out and get cultured.

4. Don’t forget to unplug

Try to limit mobile device interaction as much as possible during your trip. You work hard to earn your lifestyle, but you don’t want to spend a fraction of your already shorter vacation staring at a screen. Take a deep breath, trust that everything will be all right, and enjoy what’s in front of you. Work emails, calls and social media all make time fly right on by. Give your thumbs (and your eyes) a break and lay off the scrolling. Again, you deserve this vacation and every drop of magic it has to offer. Soak it all in and be present!

5. End with a bang

Plan something big to look forward to on the last day of vacation. Try to book a later flight. Instead of rushing back to reality, plan some exciting activity early in the day to look forward to before your evening flight. Whether it’s a gourmet cooking class with a prestigious chef, early morning swimming with dolphins, hiking, or horseback riding up a mountain during sunrise. It will feel like you’re extending your last day and leave you feeling fulfilled on your flight home. Nothing is worse than last-day-of-vacation blues, so go out with a bang!

These short vacation ideas will maximize your trip

Simple enough, right? Just remember to rest, plan lightly, connect, unplug, and end the trip with a bang. Short trips can be just as fulfilling as longer ones. With the short vacation ideas we shared in this article, you can feel just as energized and relaxed.

About Ngozi Assata

Ngozi AssataNgozi Assata is a proud Washington, DC native. She currently resides in Philadelphia, where she studies mass media and interns with a local music blog. She loves anything travel/media related and hopes to make a career out of documenting her experiences around the globe. Follow her adventures on her blog, and on Instagram and Twitter.

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