Micro-cations: The Busy Gal's Guide to a Summer Trip

  • Kylie Stine
Jul 11, 2019

Times just aren’t like they used to be. 

I think most of us can agree that, as members of the digital age, business and pleasure mix much more often than any of us would prefer. In fact, business and leisure have become so blended that there’s now a word to describe the combination: bleisure.

Bleisure vacations allow a work-life balance on the go. Remote employees may see bleisure trips as just another day in the life, but for those of us who rely on face-to-face meetings ad resources only available in-office, even lengthy bleisure trips can be a bit stressful. A week away from the cubicle may sound like a dream come true while booking a flight or scrolling through Pinterest, but even the most adventurous ones of us can start to itch to return to our established routines after an extended vacation.

Aside from work, familial and social obligations often keep us tied to our bubbles, and we feel guilty just thinking about taking some time to ourselves.

So, is there truly any possible way to travel without falling too far behind? 

Thankfully, yes. The answer? Micro-cations.

“Micro-cation” is the term for a leisure trip that lasts four days or fewer. In addition to saving money, micro-cations allow us to get out of the office, the house, and our otherwise mundane day-to-day lives for a few days without falling behind to the same degree we would on an extended vacation.

Though you may not be able to build Rome in a day, it may be possible to hit all the hot spots in four. Here are five tips for making the most out of a micro-cation.

1. Plan a long weekend

Weekend calendar

Instead of a Monday through Thursday trip, try taking a Friday through Monday or Thursday through Sunday mini vacay. This way, you still take a four-day trip, but only have to miss two days of work or picking the kids up from school. 

2. Pack items in a carry-on bag

Person with travel insurance stows away carryon

When you’re in a hurry to leave an airport, the only thing worse than waiting for your luggage is finding out it’s delayed or lost. Since your trip isn’t even a week long, pack all of what you need in a carry on and a personal item. This combination can be a duffle bag and a backpack, a backpack and a large purse, etc.

Worried you have too much stuff? Try packing clothes that are diversifiable so that you can wear them multiple days as pieces of different outfits. Also, don’t forget to use travel-size containers for liquid toiletries!

3. Take the red eye

Airplane takes off early in the morning

Minimize the amount of valuable vacation time wasted on transportation by booking the first or last flight of the day. Sure, it’s painful to wake up at 3 a.m. to head to the airport, but the reward of more time at your destination is worth it! Get cozy in your airplane seat, snuggle into your travel pillow, and catch some Z’s en route. Plus, why do you think flight attendants offer coffee? 

4. Make an itinerary before you go

Woman with travel insurance schedules her vacation

If you’re like me, the pressure of a time crunch causes my brain to rapid fire in tons of different directions. It’s hard for me to decide what to do when I don’t have a set schedule with time constraints. Channel your innermost Type A and make an itinerary before you arrive at your destination so that you don’t get overwhelmed when you arrive.

This way, you can make reservations to guarantee your spot at a restaurant, event, or tour as well as create an accurate estimate of time each activity will take (including transportation to and from).

5. Stay at a hotel in a central location

Overhead view of city

I recently traveled to New York City, and the hotel I stayed in was right off of Times Square. While the cost per night may have been a bit more expensive than a room in a different borough, almost everything I wanted to do and see was within walking distance. Plus, staying in midtown meant it took roughly the same amount of time to get to the upper and lower east and west villages. Time is money, people, and I saved a lot of it by staying in a central location.

Overall, a mini-vacation can be a fun way to cross something off your bucket list without leaving behind your family, job, and other aspects of everyday life for too long. Just in case something does go wrong, like a delayed or canceled flight, be sure to purchase a trip protection plan for your micro-cation.

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