10 Ways to Battle Traveler’s Withdrawal

| May 10, 2013 | 0 Comments

As soon as the holidays calm down and the gorgeous weather rolls in here in Arizona, I start thinking beyond spring to “vacation season”.  Usually by April we’ve already decided on our destination and have our accommodations booked.  Travel guides have been purchased and my husband and I spend our free minutes perusing the web and asking friends for ideas and tips on what to do and see while we’re at our next destination.

Vacation Postcard
Travel has always been a priority for me. I’d rather spend time and money on an adventure than almost anything else. Wanderlust is in my soul. I never feel more alive than when I’m breathing the crisp morning air of a magnificent new vista or focusing my lens on the intricacies of a fabulous locale.

This year things are going to be very different.  I was out of work for several months, which limits our vacation budget and I just started a new job at the beginning of April, which limits my vacation time. We’ve also had a member of our extended family living with us for the last few months due to health reasons, which limits our freedom to hit the road. To top it all off, just about the time that I’ll be eligible to start taking vacation, my time off will be somewhat restricted due to the busy season at my new job. With all those variables, it looks as though we may not get to take off even a week of vacation this year, which makes me a bit melancholy.

Maybe you’re stuck in the same situation. Could be for different reasons, but you still find yourself unable to embark on your next big adventure.

So what’s there to do now? How can we get through the “travel season” and survive the boredom of summer? How will we fill those longings without hitting the open road for a week or more?  Here are a few ideas that I’ve found to be helpful.

  1. If you can’t take an extended vacation, take a weekend.  I find it amazing how much benefit comes from a night or two away.  There’s just something rejuvenating about a change of scenery, waking up in a different room with a new view of the world. Depending on your budget it can be down to earth or extravagant, backpacking in the mountains or being pampered at a 5-star resort; whatever it takes to clear your head, relax your body, unplug, and unwind. I’m so thankful and excited that we’ll have a chance to get away for a weekend in the coming weeks.  I can’t wait!
  2. If you can’t take a weekend, take a day. I remember the times when it was tough getting away overnight either because of budget or babysitter shortage or whatever. A day trip can still give the refreshment and dose of adventure that’s needed to feel refreshed and ready to take on real life when you return. If possible, make it somewhere with a distinct change of scenery. If you live in the city, get to the country. If you’re in the desert go to the ocean or the mountains. Anywhere that wakes up your senses and alerts your mind to its new surroundings.
  3. If you can’t take a day trip, take a few hours. Find a place closer to home that provides a break from the routine. If you still have little ones at home try visiting a local resort or park while your children are in school or with a sitter. If you have the benefit of a nice resort nearby, check it out. Oftentimes they have gorgeous public areas just for relaxing. Grab a cup of coffee and read your favorite travel novel in one of the cushy chairs in the lobby, or stroll with your sweetie in the gardens. If you feel guilty about using the resort without staying there, buy lunch or a couple of drinks so you’ll feel more like you belong. Stay as long as your schedule allows and before you know it, you’ll feel like a tourist even though home is just minutes away.
  4. And what if (God forbid) you can’t even get away for a few hours?Maybe your situation has restricted you to home and/or work only. While I hope that it’s only temporary, I understand that we all go through seasons like this. If you’re not able to get out of the house physically, you can at least get away mentally.reading-in the grass
    1. Read a novel set in a unique location
    2. Pick up a travel magazine and learn about new possibilities
    3. Surf the web for travel related stories and photos – maybe you have a place in mind for your next trip. Do a Google search or check out Frommers, Fodors, Trip Advisor, or a myriad of other travel sites to research questions you have about that next destination.
    4. Work on a project from a previous vacation – Do you have a trip that you’d like to re-live? Take some time to write or share about it.  Create a scrapbook, photo album or vacation book from a company like Blurb.com. Help others plan their next vacation by sharing your experiences and/or photos on forums or writing reviews for the places you visited, stayed or ate at TripAdvisor or Yelp.
    5. Help a friend plan their vacation – If you enjoy the process of planning almost as much as you enjoy the trip, see if there’s a friend or family member who has a trip coming up that you can help with.
    6. Enjoy a “vacation” day at home. Whether it’s just you and a friend or significant other or the whole family. Plan a culturally-themed picnic or elegant meal. Set the stage inside or out. Create the mood with themed décor and place settings. Everyone can contribute with decorations, food, activities, movies or games to create the illusion that you’re somewhere exotic. The Oriental Trading Company is a fun and inexpensive place to find travel-themed décor, party favors, etc.
    7. Plan a Staycation! If you’re stuck in town, but have time to do some local exploring; why not plan an in-town vacation. In most cities there are activities and attractions that you may not have taken advantage of. The best way to start is by searching online for “things to do in [your city]”.  Then solicit suggestions from friends, family and co-workers and make a list of things to do. If school-age children are involved ask their teachers if they have recommendations that are age appropriate.
        • Consider tours of local factories, farms, government or sports venues.
        • Visit a zoo, museum, galleries, libraries and parks.
        • Go hiking, biking or boating.
        • Enjoy a new restaurant or shop.
        • Check for free concerts in the area.
        • Learn something new like tennis, cooking or oil painting
        • Have a movie night and sleep-over in the back yard complete with roasted hot dogs and marshmallows.
        • Whatever you do, be sure to treat it like a “real” vacation. No trips to the office, try to avoid chores as much as possible and take pictures along the way, just as you would if you were out of town.

What do you do when you can’t travel as much as you’d like?  I’d love to hear your ideas.

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Category: 1 - 9 Days, Crafts and DIY, Inspiration, Saving Money, Tips on Travel

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