Sometimes the need to get away hits us when we don't have tons of time to do it. But you neither need lots of time nor lots of money to book a mini-vacation. These short trips, usually lasting one to three days, give you the thrill of a full-fledged vacation and enough breathing space to return refreshed, renewed and with fond memories.
With hundreds of national and state parks across the nation, chances are your home is not far from one. Both are loaded with fun activities. Year-round hiking, bird watching and wildlife tracking are just a few options. Take a summer mini-vacation to lounge by the park's lake or river or soak up the sun. Trek to the park in winter for a day of sledding, ice skating or cross-country skiing. Mountain bike when the weather is right and you're feeling energetic. Even if you have visited these parks before, you can try a different hiking trail, activity or area to explore.
Easily extend that day at the park into a weekend with some overnight camping. Anyone with camping supplies can get away from it all even if you are only a few miles from home. If the tent is not for you, there are nearby bed and breakfasts and cabins available. Even if you can't make it to a state or national park, you can find other camping spots near your home. You don't need to be thousands of miles away to have an adventure.
Taking a six-hour drive, or even heading to a neighboring state, is another easy and fast way to take a mini-vacation. Pull out your map and draw a circle around your hometown, with the edges of the circle about 300 miles away. Pick somewhere new and exciting where you've never been---or have visited and adored--for a quick weekend getaway. With a little more planning, you can even pick a route that has several points of interest along the way, so the journey to your destination is part of the fun. If you choose a destination that's fewer than 30 or so miles away, try turning the road trip into a bicycle trip. Take a weekend getaway with just you, your bicycle and, of course, the proper safety equipment and gear in case you happen to get a flat.
Article Written By Ryn Gargulinski
Ryn Gargulinski is a writer, artist and performer whose journalism career began in 1991. Credits include two illustrated books, "Bony Yoga" and "Rats Incredible"; fitness, animal, crime, general news and features for various publications; and several awards. She holds a Master of Arts in English literature and folklore and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in creative writing with a French minor from Brooklyn College.