Five Mini-Vacations That Won’t Cost Much or Disrupt Your Schedule

Relaxing Mini-VacationRelaxation is important. There’s a certain level of stress inherent to freelancing, and the freelancer who refuses to take a break risks developing burnout and stress-related health problems.

Despite relaxation and breaks being so important, going on a vacation is a difficult thing to do for many freelancers.

For one thing, we freelancers don’t get paid vacation time like most salaried workers do. A beginning or struggling freelancer might not even have enough money to go on a vacation in the first place.

Also, as business owners we have to worry about being out of touch with our clients for an extended period of time. What if a client or a potential client contacts us with that “big job” while we’re gone? What if something urgent comes up that must be dealt with?

Fortunately, it’s not always necessary to go away on a long or expensive vacation to get the relaxation that every freelancer needs.

Here are five low cost or free vacation options that will help you relax and de-stress.

Need to Relax? Try One of These Low-Cost Breaks.

If you need a break but just can’t get away, try one (or more) of these five mini-vacation ideas to help you relax:

  1. Day at the park — Many cities and towns have parks that are open to the public. Often, admission to a city park is free or you can enter a state or national park (in the U.S.) or a low fee. Pack a picnic lunch and plan to spend the day exploring nature. Be sure to take advantage of any natural features (such as swimming) at the park that you visit.
  2. Movie night — Pop some popcorn, rent a few of your favorite movies, turn out the lights, and have your own movie marathon night right in your own home. Laugh, cry, and cheer for some of the best actors of all times (your favorites). Be sure to turn off the phone and any instant message services you subscribe to. For one evening, don’t give a thought to your freelancing business.
  3. Be a tourist in your own town — We often don’t visit the “attractions” located near to our homes. You can save a fortune in transportation costs and hotel bills by playing the tourist in your own town. Grab a list of local tourist attractions from the Internet and make that your guide for a day of fun. Be sure to bring your camera for those all-important tourist snapshots.
  4. Get active — Spend a day focusing on your favorite sport. Not only does physical activity relieve stress, it’s also good for you. As freelancers (and web workers), sometimes we live as though we are virtually chained to our computer monitors. I don’t need to tell you that’s not very healthy. So, grab your golf clubs or phone your tennis partner and spend an active morning (or afternoon) for a change.
  5. Volunteer your services — While this might not seem like a mini-vacation at first glance, volunteering can actually help you to relax and feel better about yourself. To find a place to volunteer, phone your favorite charity and ask how you can help. Also, many larger cities have volunteer networks that can match your specific skills with a need.

How to Make One of these Breaks Really Work for You

The trick to finding relaxation from one of these mini-vacation ideas is to leave your work completely behind you. With that in mind, we’ve provided a list of do’s and don’ts to help you get the most from your vacation.

And, here are some “do’s“:

  • Do focus on the fun at hand
  • Do bring along those people who are important to you
  • Do try new things

Here are some “don’ts” for a successful mini-vacation:

  • Don’t lug your cell phone along so that you can take calls from clients
  • Don’t bring your laptop and try to find the nearest free WiFi
  • Don’t be constantly thinking about your work when you should be relaxing

How Do You Let Off Steam?

Do you have any tips for taking a break when you can’t really get away from your freelancing business?

Share your ideas for fun and easy ways for freelancers to take a break from work and relax.

Top photo by Rene Ehrhardt