Short Vacations Are Still Healthy
by Jessie S.
Vacation Deprivation is an alarming term for the negative side effects that result from not taking vacation frequently enough. Over the past few weeks, we’ve learned that taking a vacation is not only good for your mood and general wellbeing but is also scientifically proven to be good for your health. On the flip side, not taking depression can lead to unhappiness at work, low productivity, low creativity, higher stress levels, sleep disturbances, and can increase your risk of depression. Two of the most common reasons cited for not going away include “I don’t want to return to a huge pile of work” and “I can’t afford a vacation.” Although we strongly encourage getting away as much as possible, we understand those two concerns. Luckily, even a short getaway can give you the benefits of a vacation!
- Why You Suffer from Vacation Deprivation
- How Vacation Deprivation Affects Your Health
- How Vacation Deprivation Affects Your Work Productivity
Consider a Weekend Getaway
Although it’s proven that many people take 2-3 days into their vacation before they can even start to relax, this delay or waiting period is caused by our inability to unplug, disconnect, and stop worrying about what potential disaster is developing at work. Add to the fact that your week+ long vacation is likely the only one you’ll take for the whole year (maybe even longer) and that you put a lot of money into the trip, the fact that you are still checking your work emails on day 3 is not only concerning but completely negates the reason for vacation in the first place!
If this sort of traveling just doesn’t work for you, consider taking short vacations instead! “Weekend getaways” are becoming a very popular form of travel. A survey conducted about travel opportunities in 2018 by Enterprise found that 85% of Americans 25 or older had planned weekend trips for the year instead of trips that were at least 7 days. Use Saturday and Sunday and take off a Monday or Friday (or both!) for the easiest weekend getaway and do it several times throughout the year.
Feel Less Pressure About Work
When you’re only taking off a day or two, you feel less pressure to check in at the office. Plus, you know that there will only be about a day’s worth of back logged work and emails. Between office meetings, holidays, and other situations, you are probably used to handling this sort of backup to the point where it won’t even phase you. Plus, coworkers, bosses, or employees, should be able to easily fill in or find a temporary replacement if needed since it’s just for a couple days. Short trips may be considered “just a day or two off” to your company but to you, it can and should be treated like a full vacation! If you truly feel like you can't step away from the office for even one day, it might be time to take a hard look at the pressure your job is putting on you.
Feel Less Pressure About Your Itinerary
Part of taking a vacation is visiting new places and trying things you’ve never tried before. You may have found some great restaurants online, heard about neat attractions from your friend, or maybe you’re planning to follow a bucket list you found on a travel guide. If this is your only vacation of the year, chances are that you’re going to feel like you have to pack everything you possibly can into your trip because when will you ever make that trip again? It’s great to have new experiences and explore new cities but if you’re rushing non-stop because you feel pressured to get your money’s worth, you aren’t going to be able to relax or have any fun!
Instead, plan a weekend trip to somewhere within driving distance. Pick a few highlights to explore. If you can’t get to it all, no worries. Just visit again in the following months! While you can definitely use weekend getaways to explore a different destination every time, there’s nothing wrong with coming back to a city that you know you enjoy and want to spend more time in.
Feel Less Pressure About Money
We understand that traveling can be stressful, especially when you’ve spent all that money to go away and all that time planning the trip. When you’re planning a week-long trip, chances are that you and your party members all had to take off work months in advance which means you’re pretty much locked in to a week. This can become an issue because planning that far in advance is planning with no regard to what is going on in your life during that time or what may be going on at your destination during that time (like a hurricane for example). You probably you had to buy plane tickets and a rental car in advance, or put deposits down on lodging. Plus, you had to save up a week’s worth of funds to cover everything from food and alcohol to entertainment and gas, all which adds up pretty quick when your itinerary is loaded down with activities.
Weekend trips generally allow for more flexibility. You probably don’t have to request off from work as far ahead meaning you can better anticipate potential issues that may interrupt or otherwise ruin your trip. Plus, you have a chance to look for good lodging deals and you won’t have to save up as much “fun money” to cover expenses incurred over your trip. Three days of restaurant meals and lodging may be easier to save for than seven days.
Let The Good Times Roll
Why limit your happiness to once a year? Instead of using up all your vacation days, strategically plan out a couple weekend getaways throughout the year so you have something fun to look forward to every few weeks. Studies have shown that simply planning for a trip can give you benefits similar to that of actually taking a vacation. Instead of dreading the fact that you won’t get away from your desk for the next 11 months, enjoy the mental health boost that comes from the anticipation of an upcoming trip which strongly helps to alleviate your stress. Essentially, you’ll create a positive timeline for yourself where you'll be looking forward to a trip (thus improving your mood), then you get to actually take your trip (which gives you all the health and work benefits of taking a vacation), and by the time your post-vacation mood boost would normally fade, you’ll already be excited from anticipating your next getaway. It’s the total opposite of a vicious cycle and will keep you from suffering from vacation deprivation!
Hit The Beach!
Most people probably associate a trip to the beach as a getaway requiring at least 7 days and while you can easily spend a week or two (or more!) here, the Outer Banks is the perfect spot for short getaways. We even offer dozens of awesome vacation rentals that are Any Day Stays! That means you can choose from a selection of top-of-the-line, gorgeous vacation rental homes that allow stays with just a minimum of 3 nights. From multi-bedroom oceanfront homes with private pools to classic beach boxes with modern amenities, we have the perfect Any Day Stays available so that you can get all the benefits of a vacation with a short getaway to the beach!
Ready for that happiness boost that comes from planning your next vacation? Click the button below to get started!
Jessie has been coming to the Outer Banks since she was just 5 years old. She loved it here so much that she finally relocated in 2018. Now her mission is to show the world that the Outer Banks is an incredible place that everyone should experience. When she isn't working, you can find Jessie hanging out with her friends, chilling at home with her awesome cat, Yoji, or discovering a new Outer Banks adventure.