Have you ever noticed the times when we need a vacation the most are the times when it’s nearly impossible to take one? As planners, our summers are full of making others’ dreams come true, which often leaves our summer plans to shrivel in the heat of the sun as we adjust veils and set aisles and straighten place settings. Today, then, we wanted to offer up a few creative ways to vacation without vacationing—and the best part is they won’t break your bank or require reworking that packed schedule of yours. So kick back, pour yourself a glass of wine and get ready to treat yourself this month—you deserve it!
Take an Unplugged Day Away
As planners, our lives often revolve around sending emails and rushing to meetings and replying to client texts, which is why there’s absolutely no better way to vacation without vacationing than to take an unplugged day away from it all. Look over your calendar for the next month or two and choose a day that you know you can comfortably afford to play hookie and check out from all of your devices. Work toward getting all of your tasks done leading up to that day—and choose a designated person to take emergency calls and emails in your place should you receive any. Then, set your away message and simply spend a day unplugged, doing whatever it is that recharges your internal battery and lets you relax. This could be anything from allowing yourself a day to binge-watch reality television, to spending some time at your favorite spa. Whatever you choose to do with your unplugged day away, just be sure to have all of your party-planning ducks in a row before you check out—that way, you can allow yourself to truly relax rather than worrying about that looming contract you didn’t complete or that client email you forgot to reply to.
Play Tourist in Your Town
When limited time and a slew of professional responsibilities keep us from leaving town, we can still get that vacation-inspired pep in our step by choosing to see our town or city through a whole new set of eyes. Spend one of your days off strolling through that cute boutique hotel you haven’t yet had a chance to check out or eating lunch at that restaurant you never thought of treating yourself to. Think of the fun activities and awesome attractions you’d want to take your closest friends to if they were in town for a day, and then treat yourself to those same activities and attractions. The goal is to see your town as a tourist would—with fresh eyes and an open mind. It may not be the Bahamas, but learning to find excitement in what you would normally see as mundane is a great way to freshen up your mindset and reinvigorate yourself in the midst of a grueling busy season.
There’s tons of research out there that points to the positive effects getting a little fresh air can have on our mindset, which is why taking a day away from the office to recharge in the wide, open outdoors can be one of the quickest ways to get a little extra pep in your busy-season step. Don’t fancy yourself an avid outdoors(wo)man? Not to worry—getting outside doesn’t mean you have to go rock climbing or surfing or backpacking; it can be something as simple as camping out in the backyard with your kids on a weekend night, or setting up a hammock in the park and hanging in the shade for a few hours. The goal is simply to get away from the space you’re used to and breathe some non-office air (while keeping your devices shut off and out of sight if at all possible).
Overall, busy season can be such an energy drain, which is why it’s so crucial to remember to take care of ourselves as much as we take care of our clients, our families and our team. It doesn’t take a plane ride or a five-star hotel to treat yourself—when you look at vacationing as more of a mindset than a physical destination, you’ll find that there are countless ways to take everyday vacations right from the locale you call home!