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Monday, August 13, 2018

Taking a vacation when there is not enough time or money for a full-fledged one

This past year has been busy and expensive, leaving little time or money to get away. So, how do we do a summer vacation under those circumstances? We take a one-day vacation. We choose a nearby tourist location, about 1 hour away from us. Then we get up with the birds and drive to that destination, staying as long as we feel like it. By the time we leave to come home, we often do feel like we've been on a vacation.

Because we don't have a hotel or even a campground stay, and our vacation is just one long day, we can afford a few luxuries which we would otherwise forgo. For example, we bring coffee, milk, and fresh fruit with us, but make our first stop of the day at a local bakery or donut shop, where everyone makes their selection. Then, we take our breakfast to a public park, preferably one with a nice view. The day before our mini-trip, we make a stop at the grocery store to buy snacks. I may spend as much as $15 on snacks for one day. But that cost is less than what we'd spend for one stop at a restaurant for snacks for all of us, let alone multiple stops. We also pack a picnic cooler full of lunch items, ice water, and juice, then find a nice park in which to picnic. In the late afternoon, when we're hot and tired, we stop in an ice cream shop for a cone, each. As a result of keeping our costs so low, we also treat ourselves to a souvenir or two, or splurge on admission tickets to some sort of entertainment, or a nice dinner out.

Why am I telling you all of this? This is the week that we're taking our one-day vacation. We've been planning this all summer, and now the time has arrived. Yep, I'm pretty excited to go away for a day.

We're going to a small tourist town by the name of Poulsbo. It's a 30-minute ferry ride, plus 30 minutes or so in driving from our house. It's on a bay, has a large public park on the waterfront, second-hand shops, tourist-type shops, art galleries, an aquarium, an historical museum, a church tower with bells ringing every hour, a Scandinavian bakery, lots of restaurants, a walking trail along the water's edge of the bay, and sometimes live entertainment outdoors.

If you had to choose one spot, about an hour-drive away from where you live, with lots to do to fill one day, where would you go?


  1. Sounds like the perfect place to take a staycation. You have told us about this place before, haven't you? I think the planning and anticipation are often part of the fun of a vacation.

    If there weren't the craziness going on these days, I would visit the National Arberetum and and other museum in Washington. It's beautiful and so are the museums with plenty of places for picnics and walking. However, I think I will be avoiding Washington for a while. A lot of people are upset these days and have taken to violence to express their opinion. I know that the odds of there being any problems during any one visit are low, but I'm avoiding the area all the same.

  2. hour is hard where we live. If we expand that to an hour and a half, that opens up Oklahoma City and lots to do. 3 hours would give us Dallas. However, we're probably more into outdoor pursuits, so we could be at the Wildlife Refuge where I hike (and where we camp over fall break) in about 30 minutes. Most other state parks that we are fond of are about 2 hours away.

    I'm thinking you and your girls went to this island (or one like it) last year? Sounds familiar. Hope you have a wonderful and relaxing day!

  3. Yay for taking a vacation, Lili, even if it was only one day!!! I have taken day vacations but I've been waiting for my husband to get settled into a job so we could have a true vacation. It hasn't happened in 8 years. I got to the point this summer of almost having a breakdown due to work, getting kids through school, loss of employment due to hubby's retirement, medical problems, a move, family issues involving death and much more.

    On the spur of the moment I booked a vacation for me and my oldest daughter to go to Connecticut to visit my other daughter. We live in Michigan so we flew there, rented a car and a hotel and spent a very nice 5 days there touring the East Coast.

    During this time, I realized that I liked it but a day vacation is more to my liking. We can do that by traveling about 1 hour plus a little to Shipshewana, Indiana where the Amish live. They have an open air market and lots of Amish stores. We can spend as much of the day there and still come home the same day. That is my choice of a day vacation. They have lots of little bakeries so we don't even need to bring snacks. They also have a bulk food store where I love to spend a bulk of my time selecting spices, unique things and lots of reduced priced items. We leave with fresh baked bread and then drive home where I almost always make a huge pot of spaghetti for supper. Sometimes we eat at nice restaurant there but often not.

    I had a wonderful and relaxing week vacation AND I also took my oldest daughter to Shipshewana for a daycation. She needed a vacation as well being a teacher and pulling very long days. And she would not see her sister this summer if we didn't make this happen. They would have missed each other by 7 days.

    I have found out that having time for any kind of vacation is good for our mental health. Even though hubby floats from job to job I think he also needs a daycation. You have me thinking of just going for a day and even the night before and the full next day to give him a sense of vacation. It's not really his fault that jobs aren't going well.


  4. Since I live in your neck-of-the woods, Lilli, I can picture along with your post. Poulsbo is a lovely area. I'm going on a day trip tomorrow with two long time friends to tour the Sa Juan Islands with lunch at Friday Harbor. This is a very non-frugal gift to me by my friends for my 83rd birthday. It is such a generous and loving gift but it's difficult for me sometimes when I need and am in the habit of being frugal. Shirley

  5. I love it! Every time CatMan and I go for a bike ride, I feel like I get a little mini vacation, since our rides generally end at one of our state parks on the outskirts of town - and it still blows my mind that we can get there via pedal power. But we also take occasional day trips, usually down to Manitou Springs to visit friends. I feel so blessed to live in a place where "getting away" is so easy!

  6. Enjoy your vacation, Lili!
    My favorite daycation is the Oregon coast, which is 1.5 hours away to the nearest coastal town. Walking on the beach, having lunch, and just enjoying the change of pace is so refreshing.

  7. Hope you enjoy your mini-vacation. My favorite place to go is about 1 1/2 hours from us--a lovely camping spot with an inland lake where we can swim and take our fishing boat while we camp. It's my happy place. :) However, sometimes I take a 15 minute ride to a neighboring tourist town and enjoy the vacation vibe there--that's a great option if I only have 1 or 2 hours.

  8. We had a blast! Two of us came home with colds, however, but while there we had a great time. All of us said that we truly felt we had been on vacation, and it was only one day. The food worked out great. We packed snacks, sandwiches, watermelon, milk, decaf coffee, ice water, and yogurt.While in Poulsbo we only bought some pastries to have with milk, yogurt, fruit, and coffee, and ice cream which stood in for our dinner. We saved so much on food by packing most of our own that there was enough money for souvenirs. We brought home lingonberry preserves and a box of chocolates. That's our budget summer vacation.

    There are a couple of fun tourist destinations that we enjoy. This one was on the peninsula in the Sound, another one is in the mountains, and a third is in the farm area. A bonus to taking a daycation (thanks for that word, Alice), is that you get to sleep in your own bed. You can't put a price on that!

    I hope you're all getting in some time away from regular stressors this summer. we all need that!


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