Thursday, April 29, 2010

Why weekends away are better than a dream holiday

What a week! My gorgeous boy turned two, I got back to writing work after the school holiday break, and this blog got another award (this time from the lovely and talented Michelle at Warsaw Mommy).

I said to my husband the other night that I feel as though I've been pushing myself to get through the last few weeks. Since Easter we've all had the flu, we've had two of the kids' birthdays (both involving parties) and we've worked a weekend. Add the pregnancy and it makes an exhausting combination.

So we're going away this weekend. Taking a short scenic drive down the coast to a simple beachside house for two nights. It should be enough to recharge our batteries for the next few months.

I prefer a short getaway to a longer holiday. Two or three nights is perfect for me.

I think most of  would be better off with a weekend away here and there, rather than waiting for a bells-and-whistles holiday every year or so.

In my humble opinion.

Here's why:

It's so much simpler to plan a weekend away, so it's more likely to happen, more often. All it took this time was a phone call to a friend who has access to this holiday house, another to a car rental company, and a quick scribble on the calendar.

Man, planning a dream holiday can be stressful, even deciding what great things I would want to do with the time, what to wear etc. and I need LESS stress!

For parents, it's kid-friendly travel. Even the two-year old can cope with little over an hour's drive. And that makes me happy.

Or you can leave the kids at home. A night or two is a reasonable ask for the grandparents to take on childminding duties, if you have that option.

It's far cheaper. Our biggest expense this time is the hire of a small second car so we can take all our gear, and my mum and her things.

It's kinder to the environment. The carbon footprint of a few weekends away each year is a lot smaller than one longer interstate or overseas holiday. In petrol for example, we'll be spending not much more than it would have taken us to get to and from the airport.

It can be good for business. As a freelance writer, I can actually make some earnings from time away. After a previous short trip I wrote a travel article for one of my local newspapers, making back some of the cost of going. And I always come back to work refreshed and with new ideas for my business.

It's answering a need. Of course I would love a full-on romantic European holiday with my husband, or to take a few months to drive the family around Australia in a campervan.

It would be exciting planning and taking such a trip. But it's a want, a 'nice to have' - not a need.

On the other hand I see the odd weekend away as a legitimate need, in order to avoid burnout for both of us and create some lovely memories for the children.

It doesn't have to be ideal. It just has to be good enough.

I have two ideal weekends, city and country. Both include the husband (have to say that!).

The city one would involve dinner at Quay in Sydney followed by a luxury hotel stay. And a makeover, a cruise on Sydney harbour, and a some serious free spending money. A few close friends may, or may not, be included as part of that. But probably not the children.

The country one would involve lots of time to hike through bush and explore little lanes, picnics, cups of tea and scones with handmade jam and triple cream, a visit to a winery, and reading a good book in a hot bath in front of a fire in our luxury retreat. I might let the kids into that one!

But I'm happy to have less than ideal getaways. Mainly I really just need a short change of scene now and then. And my husband, who has an embarrassing amount of untaken leave from his work, needs one to.

So we're going to stay at the seaside in the cool of autumn. A chance to play with the kids at the beach until dark and not have to worry about getting back home late. Try to find a nice picnic spot. Potter around the shops and cafes. Watch a sunrise.
I'm looking forward to being lulled to sleep by the sound of the waves, rather than the traffic. Maybe I'll have calmer dreams.

So what's your ideal weekend away? And is 'good enough' enough for you?

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  1. I haven't had a getaway in a long long time. Wait. I haven't had it ever. But maybe when i start working. i'll definitely have them more often. I loved this post. Enjoy.

  2. It certainly sounds as if you need the little break!

    We are also going away from Sunday to Tuesday to a Japanese style inn (including hot spring/onsen on site) for our wedding anniversary. It will be our first holiday since the little one came on the scene too so it will be an experience!

    It is about a 3 hour drive so we will have to stop on the way to give the bub a break from the carseat (we don`t have a car and borrow from the in-laws so he is not used to been in a car seat in general) and of course so he can have a feed. I am excited though!

    I hope you enjoy your weekend break!!!

  3. Thanks Ratz, hope you have a good weekend too.

    Lulu, happy anniversary! Babies are so portable at his age, they don't care where they are so long as their mum's around. Hope he sleeps in the car for you and that you have a blast.

  4. You're so right, sometimes it's the short break that you really need. The long holiday is something to plan for, the short break is just around the corner waiting for you.

    I got here through Mummy Time's blog hop, pleased to find you and will be subscribing!

  5. Thanks for visiting Barbara, I'll pop over and see you too!

  6. We do these little getaways all the time! For all the reasons you named. But that said I am meant to be organising a "big" one now and I keep putting it off...maybe I need a short break before I start on that one!

  7. I am so glad I found your blog again Marilyn.
    Thanks for all your prayers & support xx.
    The link I had kept taking me elsewhere to your other site.
    Congratulations on the little bean by the way.

    I think we are well overdue for a short weekend getaway ideas in mind but I am in awe of yours; I agree with your humble opinions.

    Have fun planning & I hope your break is refreshing & restful as it can be with samll children in tow.

  8. I think you are absolutely right! I hope you have a wonderful weekend away. It sounds like a lovely trip.

    We went away last weekend, to visit with friends, who live about four hours away. We all had such a nice time, and I came back this week full of pleasant memories and feeling like I had much more energy.

  9. Christie, go for it! And have fun planning.

    Trish, thanks for telling me about my Google ID link, I'll fix it up. Sorry about that!


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