How to Vacation from a Vacation

How to Vacation from a VacationYou’ve certainly asked friends, How was your vacation? They’ve undoubtedly answered, I need a vacation from my vacation. Two suggestions. One: Passive-aggressively purchase a book like Cliches for Dummies for their birthday. And two: why not actually do it? That is, why not plan for and tack on a mini-vacation to the end of a long and exhausting trip?


Every summer, I go full speed the last two weeks of August and get thrown into the crush of work that follows Labor Day. So after moving like a whirlwind through Maine, the family and I slowed things down before returning home.


We stopped in a quiet town in Vermont with a fine hotel, a lazy farmers market, a quiet bookstore, and little else to do.


Upon arrival, the receptionist at the Woodstock Inn handed me a room key and a ticket for the farm up the road. When I asked about other attractions in the area—it’s a sickness, really—she shrugged. But it was the perfect response for someone who needed nothing to do.


Nothing to do is obviously quite different than boredom. My wife and I took turns parenting each morning while the other visited the spa. The kids were thrilled with belly-flopping themselves into the pool, exploring the little village where five of Paul Revere’s bells—he did more than ride horses and holler—still top churches, and visiting the farm where cows were birthing wobbly-kneed and slick calves at an alarming rate.


Here’s the trick to a vacation from a vacation: pick a spot where you can skip every single one of these pleasant activities and not miss a thing.


Some other tips:


  • Keep all your luggage in the car. Instead, pack a vacation-from-the-vacation bag so you’re not schlepping giant suitcases for this mini-getaway and sorting through a heap of laundry.


  • Pre-book the services you want to enjoy, so you’re not thinking about schedules and fussing over details upon arrival.


  • Stay at a place with great restaurants so you don’t have to get in the car. To stumble away from the table (drunkenly or sleepily) and not have to commute is a bonus often realized too late. With kids, dining on-site has other unrealized benefits: at the Red Rooster, our inn’s restaurant, the kids rebelled and one parent—the better one—volunteered to take the children back to the room while the more thoughtless one—he who had to write this article—finished his meal.



Posted on by Noah Lederman in Travel Tips

2 Responses to How to Vacation from a Vacation

  1. Jeff Simon

    This is a great suggestion and, as always, you have such a great way with words.
    Thanks for your wise and entertaining thoughts.
    Jeff Simon.

    • Noah Lederman

      Thanks for reading, Jeff, and also for the kind comments.

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