How a mini-break turned my 2020 around


Chances are you’ve had so many awesome things cancelled this year. In my case, weddings, holidays and family gatherings were replaced by homeschooling, job uncertainty and takeaway food delivery. Sitting on the couch has never been more exhausting.

If you feel like you’ve been losing it a little (or a lot), I can guarantee you’re not the only one. Right now, few of us have the time, the funds or the permission 😑 to spend two weeks at a Zen yoga retreat, so relaxation feels like a lifetime away. But here’s the good news – you don’t have to have a long, expensive holiday in a distant land to reset yourself. Here are six reasons why booking a mini-break could get you through the rest of the year.

1. It builds anticipation

Just like the Christmas break helps you drag yourself through those last workdays at the end of the year, so too will the trip you’ve cleverly booked in. Never underestimate the motivational magic of something to look forward to, especially this year. I booked my mini-break in July and just the thought of having a few sunny days at the beach in September got me through the drizzly, overcast winter months that I was stuck inside.

2. (Almost) everything is flexible

There are positives to come out of COVID: one being the more flexible cancellation policies around travel. When I booked my trip, things were still a bit uncertain so I made sure I took advantage of the great cancellation policies that a lot of businesses – including hotels and transport companies – are offering. Some places will allow you to cancel up to two days beforehand, without any fee. It’ll give you both peace of mind to look forward to your trip and a little bit of extra security if things change at the last minute.

3. It could secure you some freedom

Holidaying with kids can be memorable and solidify your bond with your babies but let’s be real: it’s not relaxing! Sure, early mornings are easier when you’re waking up to an ocean view but just the idea of lugging a million things to the beach and monitoring sunscreen applications, sleep times, hunger levels, weather changes before even worrying about the possibility of someone pooing in their togs can immediately zap allllll those happy holiday vibes. So if you feel like you’re on the brink and you’ve had far too much time inside with your family, enlist anyone you can (MIL, siblings, mates, a friendly door knocker) to watch your kids while you soak up the silence. You’ll hardly know what to do with yourself.

4. It’s a great chance to do nothing

Okay. You’ve got a sitter, you’ve arrived at your destination and you can’t pick what to do first. Here’s my handy tip – do NONE OF THE THINGS. Or at least don’t plan activities from sunrise to sunset. A true sanity-saving break is where you spend most of your time just hanging out, having a cocktail and thinking about how relaxed you are. I spent my mini-break doing nothing at Palm Bay Resort on Long Island, where the distractions are few and the head count is fewer.

5. You can step outside your comfort zone

COVID has successfully made our comfort zones, well, a little too comfortable. I suggest that if you do choose to slip in a few activities to your holiday, don’t stick to the things you always go for. Stepping outside that well-worn comfort zone and trying something new will give you a rush of adrenaline and make you feel like you are capable of anything (sidenote: you are). You don’t have to bungee jump or skydive to feel accomplished: even something as small as snorkeling out a little deeper to spy a reef shark, like I did, will give you the mood boost you crave (and will make a great story for your kids when you get home).

6. You’ll probably travel more (hooray!)

Travel inspires travel. Once you realise how hassle-free it is to book in something to look forward to, you’re much more likely to do it more often. A beach trip or an overnight staycation in your own city doesn’t have to be a big thing to plan – but it can be a big thing to experience, especially if you’ve had a particularly tricky year. So, book a little vacay and have something to look forward to – your sanity will thank you. Happy planning!

PLAN YOUR NEXT MINI-BREAK

Heads up! Due to COVID-19, government restrictions are in constant review and travel guidelines may change between when you make your booking and when you travel. We strongly recommend that all travellers seek further information about destinations and attractions before visiting, take extra care and follow all rules to ensure their own health and safety.

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