How To Turn Any Weekend Into A Summer Vacation
It’s fully the dog days of summer now, those long, hot days where anything could happen.
Or at least, that’s how it felt as kids. As we grow up, summers seem to get shorter and shorter.
Hopefully, you’ve found a way to get some safe traveling in (or even great staycation time) this summer. There’s still time, of course, as Labor Day is still seen as the last hurrah for kids and adults around the U.S.
Odds are, though, that even if you did get a vacation, it pales in comparison to some of our European counterparts.
Part of that is because of laws: in the U.S., full-time employees may earn on average 10 days of vacation, but there is no federal mandate. In Germany, that mandate is 20 days. In Spain, it’s 22.
In France, it’s 25.
At that point, time off goes from being a national law to something more cultural. Even though France receives millions of tourists in the summer, a good number of businesses shut down in August to take two, three, even four weeks off.
Heck, the vacation vibe is so strong in Paris that sites actually have to make a point of writing about which restaurants are staying open in August.
Surely there must be a way to channel that attitude here… even when we don’t get 25 days off a year.
Tricks For Making Any Weekend Feel Longer
We can debate until the leaves color and fall off the trees the merits of more time off, but so much of the vacation time decision is out of our hands. Maybe it’s related to our seniority, the type of work we do, or just the government’s decisions.
Instead, let’s talk about how to get the most out of the time off that we do have. So here’s a few brief ideas about how to make every weekend feel a bit more like a vacation.
Bring The Friday Fun - It’s tempting to phone it in after a long week and not make any plans, but if you can find a way to set Friday apart (like this takeout picnic idea by Happier!) you’ll start your time off right and wake up Saturday already feeling like you’ve been on break for a full day.
Embrace The New - Part of the secret to what made childhood summers seem so long is that we were always doing new things, meeting new kids, and finding new ways to shock our parents. When you can add a dab of newness to your weekend, like jogging a different path, seeing a movie at a different theatre, or treating yourself by going to a restaurant you’ve always wanted to try, you’ll be creating new moments and memories, just the kinds of details that help the weekend feel that much longer.
- Don’t Let The Chores Win - Long days at work can make the idea of doing chores during the week unpleasant, to say the least. But that doesn’t mean you need to give up an entire glorious weekend day to them, either. Try scheduling a 2-hour window (Sunday afternoons or evenings are great for this) that’s just for the To-Do list, and you’ll be surprised at how much you knock out, while still saving time for the stuff that make weekends great.
It may not be possible to turn three nights of fun into 25 days off, but when you realize that four weekends a month makes for twelve nights, you’ll see how much potential you’ve got to really kick back and get the most of your time.
What about you? Do you have any go-to ideas for making your lazy Saturdays feel even longer?