There are some significant advantages to taking one long vacation, rather than a few short vacations every year. You’ll get more time to decompress, and you can have more time at your chosen destination. However, it’s often better to take a handful of shorter vacations, to different destinations, if you can manage them properly.
The Advantages of Multiple Vacations
Let’s take a look at some of the advantages of taking multiple vacations in the span of a year:
- No drop in benefit. According to some research, three-day weekends can be just as replenishing as a longer vacation. In other words, taking a dozen three-day weekends a year could give you all the reenergizing benefits of a dozen week-long vacations.
- More destinations. If you’re taking more vacations and visiting more places, you’ll get more exposure—and you’ll have a host of new memories to enjoy.
- Risk management. If you spend your entire year planning for one awesome vacation, what will you do if it rains the whole time? Or if your flights get significantly delayed? Taking frequent, short vacations minimizes the risk that a streak of bad luck will ruin all your vacation days.
How to Manage Multiple Vacations
Unfortunately, taking multiple vacations a year also has some downsides. You’ll find it harder to manage your vacation days at work, you may struggle to come up with travel plans, and your demand for services like housesitting is going to increase.
Here are some helpful tips to help you manage it:
- Be flexible with your trip options. When you take multiple small vacations a year, your planning won’t matter as much—so take advantage of that flexibility. Instead of extensively planning the details of each day for a week-long trip, you can peruse travel deal websites like Kayak, and jump on opportunities that look interesting. Not only will it make your vacations less stressful, it could introduce you to areas you might not have even considered. Plus, giving yourself more freedom in scheduling will allow you to improvise, and experience less stress when you’re wandering around your destination.
- Keep a steady supply of travel items. When frequently traveling throughout the year, you’ll burn through items like travel-sized hygiene products and travel bags. That’s why it’s good to utilize a service like Ben Lido, which delivers you a collection of important travel products on a regular basis. That way, you’ll never have to worry about being unprepared to travel.
- Have a house sitter on call. Someone’s going to need to watch your home while you’re away, and recruiting someone for occasional long weekends may be harder than finding someone once a year for an extended trip. Use a site like com or ask around your neighborhood for recommendations; once you find someone you like and trust, you can use them for all your jobs in the future.
- Keep work at work. On an extended weekend, it’s tempting to bring your work with you. After all, if you’re only taking off a Friday, you can nix the possibility of being overwhelmed with work on Monday if you bring your laptop with you and knock a few things out while you’re traveling. However, it’s almost always better to use this time to relax and decompress from the job; working while traveling isn’t a vacation.
- Don’t make excuses. Despite more concentrated efforts to take more vacation time, 54 percent of American workers still end the year with unused vacation days. Our culture emphasizes the importance of working hard, so we tend to make excuses for not taking time off. We procrastinate by imagining next year as a more convenient time to take a trip, or rationalize constantly working as a way to minimize a crushing workload upon returning to work. If you want to make the most of this system, however, you can’t make excuses. Make it a point to use up those vacation days.
- Take trips at regular intervals. Having one “hot” month where you take four long weekends will defeat the purpose of this exercise. It’s far better for you to take those long weekends at regular intervals, every few months or so. That way, you’ll get a steady stream of benefits from vacations throughout the year, and your stress will never build up to a point that’s
If you want to reduce your risk of burnout and improve your mental health, start taking shorter, more frequent vacations. Within a few months, after your first short trips, you’ll notice a substantial improvement in your mood and disposition, and you’ll be better equipped to handle the stressful events that come up in the meantime.