1. Change Your Scenery.
One of the reasons why vacation days seem to last forever is because they are filled with new experiences. Think how slow time moved as a child as every experience was new – your first day of school lasted forever, the first time you went to a pool seemed so long, and a sleep over at a new friend’s house seemed to stretch until time had no meaning. You observe more when things are new, so your brain slows down – kind of why detailed dreams seem to last forever, though they are really a matter of minutes.
Some people are experts at watching for vacation deals and are lucky enough to hop on a plane to change their scenery; I’ve never had a schedule flexible enough to take advantage of these tempting offers (though I do love to window shop). Luckily, there’s a way that you can change your scenery without hopping on a plane – in fact, without spending a nickel of money or an hour of vacation time.
My husband and I, because of our well-known love for cats and dogs and his affinity for plants, are often called upon to be house sitters. Just sleeping in another bed, showering in a different bathroom, and taking a different route to work makes me feel as if I’m staying in a bed and breakfast. Even chores are more fun and interesting. Grocery shopping, for example, has a new purpose because we’re planning on what to cook for the week, rather than just stocking our culinary coffers.
In the summer, house sitting gigs abound. If you let it know that you like house sitting because you like taking care of pets and animals, friends, family, and co-workers will seize the opportunity. If you’re without vacationing friends and family (which I find hard to believe), you can also post on Craigslist and other forums.
Another way to fix a change in scenery without spending a vacation day is to use your weekends for camping or visiting friends and family with a place for you to stay – preferably someone with a pool, near the beach, or near a fun city! Two days in the wilderness or exploring a new town can feel like three or four days. Keep the preparation to a minimum – you do not need four kerosene burners – and if you’re looking to invite others, let them know well in advanced; weekends fill up quickly.
Or, you could just move!
Watch out for Tip 2 in a couple of days!