Daycation? Yes, Please.
Last week's post gave a road map to managing your first day back to work after a vacation.
But what If you're not taking a full vacation right now? You might be up for a day trip. This is a great way to unplug from your normal routine. A reset for your brain, so to speak.
Here's how to take a daycation that will decrease stress, not add to it.
1. Start by determining your budget. This will inform what all your other choices can be. You'll need to cover things like gas, entrance fees, food, and a bit set aside for the unexpected.
But don't let money stop you from going. A wonderful day can be had for little to no money. Remember that having a great time is all in your attitude, not in what you're doing.
2. Pick a mode of transportation that works well for everyone who's going. Car? Bike? Canoe? Hiking boots? Then choose the furthest away you can go—and come back. Keep in mind the time you will have before your crew runs out of energy and good humor. (If it's tough to decide. Lucky you! You don't need to choose. You need to plan more than one outing!)
3. Decide what you're going to do. You may tend to go to the same favorite destinations. Try pretending you're new to the area. Find a guidebook, or a website like Foursquare.com to find recommendations for the best things to do.
Who knows what might become of trying something new. Let's say you've decided to try a farmer's market. That trip might inspire you to start your own salad garden!
Act like a tourist and you might find a new favorite place to go!
4. Think about your meals. You might want to picnic at a nearby state park. Or you might check out some internet tools to try somewhere new. TVfoodmap.com highlights restaurants that you might have seen on television. Roadfood.com sorts by state and food category. Skip the fast food joints that are everywhere, and eat at locally-owned restaurants.
5. Preparation might seem to take away from the spontaneity. But, there are a few things you can do ahead that will make it easy to get out and go. Start with your vehicles. Do regular maintenance on your car, boat or bike. You'll take care of problems before they become daycation disasters.
Think about all the little things you might want on a day trip and put them in kits. A travel size first aid kit is a great place to start. Try a kids road trip kit. Bring these things out only when you travel so that they stay fresh and their kit is always ready. A kit for your car can hold travel staples like sunscreen, bug spray, toilet paper, an extra phone charger. Keep these kits somewhere together to make spontaneous day trips possible.