When I was young my father would take our family out camping for weekend getaways. As a young mother with children, from infants to teens and later young adulthood, we took weekend getaways frequently. I loved the change of atmosphere and environment, and could sometimes, feel the stress melt away. (I say sometimes, because with kids, things don’t always go as planned) Later on, as a near empty nester, and later an actual empty nester, I was able to take flights on Delta Air free. This benefit broadened my weekend getaway possibilities tremendously!
Today with increasing financial constraints, which limits many people from taking longer, farther vacations, the quick getaway is a fantastic option. Even a two-night trip can result in adequate recharging of the batteries. Such a break allows me to return with more productivity. More and more travelers are finding short weekend trips provide just as much adventure and relaxation as a week long journey.
“Due to limited vacation time, shrinking personal budgets and the increased cost of living, people are opting for shorter, less expensive vacations,” says Alison Lowenstein, author of City Weekends: Greatest Escapes and Weekend Getaways In and Around New York City.
A recent study published in the journal of Psychosomatic Medicine, “engaging in enjoyable leisure activities can lower stress hormones and blood pressure, make you feel better all over, and reduce your waist circumference and body mass index”. Imagine that! There is real power in a weekend getaway.
In the study, 1,400 people reported how often they participated in activities like vacationing, going to clubs, playing sports, or plain old loafing around. Folks who spent the most time doing many different fun activities reaped the most health benefits. Though the study may sound like “duh” research (what I call studies whose results seem painfully obvious), the scientist at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine who conducted it makes a good point. Getting out of your regular environment can be very healthy, even if it is just for a couple nights & days!
“When youre under stress, the usual thing is to cut back on enjoyable activities because you’re feeling uncomfortable and you need more time to deal with the stress. But these data suggest that;s the wrong thing to do, and that continuing enjoyable activities can be helpful,” says study coauthor Karen Matthews, PhD, a professor of psychiatry, epidemiology, and psychology.
A survey of almost 1400 participants in studies on breast cancer, cardiovascular disease and other conditions, conducted by the University of Pittsburgh Mind-Body Center, found that “Leisure, including vacations, contributed to more positive emotions and fewer negative feelings and depression,” as reported by NPR.
Whether you are meeting up with some old friends, going out on a new adventure of exploring new terrain, reuniting an old flame, or just some solitude time for reading, writing or reflection get out there. It could be a road trip,
to a B & B or camping, like I did when I was young. Just Get Out and Explore this fabulous World of ours!
Consider all the different places you can travel to within say an eight hour drive radius and make a few of these your future quick getaways. These types of trips are great for the soul and easy on the bank account.