When we think of “vacation,” an extravagant notion generally comes to mind. We think of airfare, hotels, rental cars, dining out, entertainment, and shopping. Vacation can easily cost several thousand dollars, not to mention any income you might lose from having to take the time off of work. Then there’s the idea that if we go away from work for a week, when we return, there will be two weeks’ worth of work waiting for us, totally blowing any relaxation we might have gained from our vacation. We look at all that and decide to not even bother trying to take a vacation this year and we set our sights on next year when things will, supposedly, be better. Well, next year comes and the same thing happens, and suddenly 4 years have gone by and the only ‘vacations’ you have taken were to go to funerals.

Consider, instead, the idea of the ‘mini-vacation,’ short get-aways that don’t require thousands of dollars. You can take a car trip to a nearby city and stay in a moderately-priced hotel or a quaint bed-and-breakfast. You can take healthy snacks, breakfast foods, or picnic lunches with you and reduce the number of restaurant meals you have to purchase. You can certainly pay tens to hundreds of dollars for tickets to attractions, or you can just take in Nature, which is generally free, or a few dollars entry fee to a recreation area.

You can go on a Saturday and Sunday, or even take a Friday or Monday off, or go mid-week when there will be fewer travelers. To get a short break in a work week, a day or two away from cellphones and voicemail and e-mail and projects and all the noise of everyday life is very rejuvenating. No, it’s not an elaborate trip to the Eiffel Tower or a Hawaiian Holiday, but it can be just enough to recharge you for the next several months without breaking the bank or getting you buried in catch-up work.

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