It’s an eternal holiday-planning dilemma: Do you take one big trip and spend all your vacation days at once or do you budget them out over several mini-vacations?
Many say that one week to 10 days is the ideal vacation length because it gives you enough time to enjoy recreational activities and relax, but at the same time, you’re able to ease out of it quickly and return to your normal routine with a boost in productivity and energy levels.
Long or Short?
Taking a break from the daily nine-to-five grind can be really beneficial in lowering work-related stress and anxiety as well as avoiding burnouts. But if you haven’t had the chance to disconnect from the world and escape into relaxing mode, don’t worry, you haven’t missed the window. Experts say that taking several short vacations throughout the year is a much better approach to cashing in all your days on a single vacation.
Psychotherapist Jonathan Alpert from Manhattan, who is also the author of Be Fearless: Change Your Life in 28 Days, says that short vacations can be anything from having an extra day off with the weekend or taking a few days off during the workweek to escape life for a little while without affecting your work.
There are plenty of benefits for taking smaller vacation as opposed to longer ones. For example, you may want to cross the seven seas and go to a destination far, far away for as long as possible, but long trips, several hour of traveling and not having accessibility to internet can make vacations more stressful than they need to be.
Side Effects of Long Vacations
Alpert likens long vacations to oversleeping. You know when you haven’t had a single night of proper rest during the work week and you end up using the weekend to catch up on sleep – but then it gets too much at one point, leading to unwanted symptoms like headaches, lethargy and a messed up sleep cycle.
Vacations also work the same way: take a single long trip and you’re bound to feel happy while on the vacation but the feeling is short-lived. In comparison, taking several short vacations give you plenty of opportunities to unwind and recharge your batteries without spending a ton of money or time away from work.
This is a big reason why weekend trips are becoming more popular. A recent survey by Enterprise Rent-A-Car showed that 85 per cent of the Americans were planning to take weekend trips in 2018, which shows an increasing interest in frequent getaways from the daily grind.
More than half the people who wanted to take such vacations cited stress as the number one reason for their decision. But what was really surprising was that almost all the survey members said that they wished for a ‘true getaway’ which involved no social media, emailing or reading news.
Why Choose Smaller Vacations
One of the biggest reasons why most people prefer weekend getaways over longer vacations is because they far less stressful to plan. With just a 3 or 4 day trip, there’s a lot less travelling, and a lot more room for being spontaneous and planning something exciting on the whim. You don’t necessarily have to book tickets in advance or save for months to get a room in an expensive resort. You can simply take a car and book an Airbnb on your way there. Boom.
Another big perk of shorter vacations is that they are much cheaper, so you won’t have to spend a fortune on tickets and hotel booking. Plus, taking multiple small vacations means that you’ll have a lot more to look forward to the entire year than if you were to spend all your days on one holiday. Having something exciting to look forward to is motivating to work hard so that you can vacation hard later.