Do you wish you had the time for a vacation but work for yourself?
Are you struggling to find time off for you and/or your family?
The good news is you’re not alone! If you’re working in a regular 9 to 5 job then most companies provide paid vacation time. When you are a freelancer it’s on you to make that happen.
It’s important to set aside personal time to refresh and refuel. Of course you don’t want to fall into the trap of feeling like you need a vacation from your vacation. That’s why I’ve decided to take mini “staycations” as they are commonly referred to. This could be a day trip to your nearest city or camping overnight. There are many different ways you can get away without sacrificing your work or spending too much in your budget.
If you have a booked schedule then you’ll need to get creative — like taking the laptop with you and spending an hour or two sight seeing. For example, I need to take my daughter to work in beautiful Downtown Edmonds. Instead of returning to my home office I take my laptop and smartphone with me and get the important tasks of the rest of the day done. Then I take a walk, visit a friend at a coffee shop, go to the local library, or just sit at the beach. In just an hour or two I get to enjoy a mini vacation in a tourist town:
Taking the time to become a tourist near your own hometown is a great way to connect with your followers on social media as well — take them to your favorite spots on Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, ect. This gives them a behind the scenes look at who you are and ‘humanizes’ your personal brand.
Here are few ways you can take some time off without sacrificing your business or pocket book:
Check out the events calendar
If you’re not sure about what’s going on in your area go online and find out the latest happenings. These are typically found on the Chamber of Commerce websites or in the online newspaper. Of course there is always social media where you can use hashtags like #eventsinseattle or #thingstodoinlosangeles in order to check out the latest events.
Grab a Groupon deal
Before you head out that door plan ahead on a deals website like Groupon to save on eating out, spa days, that new hair style, and so much more! Every day they offer something new and this is a fun way to experience something new for the first time. Be sure to read the customer reviews first before making a purchase and always check out a business on places like Facebook and Yelp to make sure they are on the up and up.
Outdoor movies at the park
You’d be surprised to find out how many local parks offer free family outdoor fun with the latest movies — and these aren’t just for kids any more! I just saw a posting for Rogue One, which plays tomorrow night in fact. So grab a blanket, bring some popcorn and buy cheap junk food there and enjoy a night under the stars watching a great movie with your family.
Go for a small hike
If your area has a lot of natural trails then this is a good opportunity to have a hike without having to trek for miles. Some places are absolutely stunning and the walk is just under one mile. In Washington State we have several waterfalls to visit and a lot of large former homesteads that have been converted into trails. There are even some shopping centers that have natural areas where you can stroll around for a while.
Hop a ferry ride
A lot of states offer ferry service with short trips to the other side where you can find shops, cafes, parks, ect. When I take the ferry I take advantage of their Wifi service and enjoy the view for 30 minutes each way. Many of these ferries have small eating areas, and of course the trip and view can be absolutely amazing!
Check out an outlet center
These days discounted shops are all the rage and it’s so fun to head over to a new town where you can find the best deals and grab a goodie at the same time like a caramel apple or fancy fudge. I usually go online first to see what coupons are being offered and check out where there is to eat close by as the food court is typically expensive to eat at.
Visit the local farmer’s market
Instead of shopping at the grocery store support your local farmers by making a trip in the summer to your area’s farmer’s markets. The fruit and vegetable selections are amazing along with other small outdoor vendors you wouldn’t find anywhere else. Grab a bite to eat and chill out next to some free music and do some people watching at the same time.
Take a ‘stay at home’ day
Unplug all of your devices and enjoy some time off at home — do some reading, listen to music, watch movies. Whatever you like! This is great to do on rainy days or with super hot or cold weather when you can’t get out as much. Take spa bath and get a pedicure kit to make the day off even more enjoyable.
These are just a few ideas I’ve come up with, but I bet you have some great ones to add as well!
Remember to creatively use your ‘off’ time to refresh, refuel, and enjoy your work. This will help you be more creative and focused as well. Happy staycationing!