Life is busy. And if you have kids, even more so. Sometimes it’s difficult to imagine where you can fit in a break or two to just breathe. And with all the changes we are going through as of late, it can really start to feel like a break from the norm is exactly what we need.

The truth is we often overthink our vacations. If you are a family, then there’s that extra layer of planning that comes with any trip we want to take—heck, even going to the store can seem like a massive undertaking.

But we can also allow ourselves a bit more freedom and an extra dose of spontaneity. With a little creativity we can find escapes and create vacation moments, even if just for one day.

Here are some ideas for getaways that can reinvigorate your mind and soul.

Visit a state park or national forest

A lot of vacationers are planning bigger trips to larger national parks, which require a lot more planning than most people think. Sadly it also means many of the national parks can be overcrowded and booked. Instead of adding to the tourist numbers and the strain on natural resources, plan a visit to a state park. State parks vary in what each has to offer, but there’s usually a lot of beautiful landscapes to take in, endless opportunities to enjoy nature, and some even allow for overnight camping.

Road trip to a small or rural town off-season

Many small towns and rural areas are bustling during the summer and early fall months. But winter and late fall months tend to be a much quieter scene. Plan a visit off-season and prepare to take on some cold-weather activities often enjoyed by locals, such as snowshoeing or ice skating. This is also a better time to find great lodging prices.

Keuka Lake, NY courtesy of Pleasant Valley Winery

Book a hotel in the city on a weekday

If you live in the suburbs or outside of the city center, book a hotel in the city in the middle of the week. This is when the hotels are least crowded and offer better prices. Even if the stay is not that far from home, staying somewhere where you can get room service, a massage, or just don’t have to worry about making the beds, can feel like a wonderful retreat from everyday life.

Break the rules, take Monday off

We’ve all done it—called in sick on a Monday. But instead of calling in sick, just plan a day off from work! It’s okay to miss that one meeting, the company will survive without you. And while you’re at it, pull the kids out of school too. Live a little. Break the rules. Plan an easy day of anything from apple picking to sitting by the beach. And better still? Turn off your phones and completely disconnect.

Just go!

Sometimes just a weekend or even one day is enough to give you the energy to keep going. The other great thing to note about smaller trips or excursions is that they are easier to plan last-minute and incorporate into your life on a regular basis.

Make sure to gift yourself, and your family, vacation moments every now and then. You deserve it.

Note: All travel is subject to frequently changing governmental restrictions—please check government advisories before scheduling trips.
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