Relax…Unwind…Slowcation!

Turtles Tanning

Big turtles and iguanas sunning themselves in Puerto Rico

Normally in the morning I read the paper and get right to work.  But last week, since we were out of town, I took the opportunity to do some relaxing and morning television viewing.  I came across a segment on Good Morning America on vacation trends.  Apparently the fad of “Staycations” has passed.  The hot new vacation is the “Slowcation”.  New?  Huh, I never knew we were so cutting edge in my house.  In fact, my husband is pretty sure he invented this!

Since we are in the hospitality business, we do a lot of traveling for work.  Many times we are attending meetings and conventions where our time is scheduled for us.  If you’ve read any of my other posts, you know what a control freak I am, so this letting-someone-else-plan-my-day obviously drives me a little nuts!  When it comes time for our vacations and brief getaways, slowcation is exactly what we do.

The picture of the turtles and iguanas is from a trip we took with some friends to Puerto Rico.  We made sure we had very few things scheduled.  With just a little research, we found the best meal of our whole trip at a tiny restaurant called El Rincon del Sabor.  We hiked the El Yunque rainforest and explored Old San Juan.  It was relaxing and rejuvenating and just what we needed; all at our own pace.

Ben with his walleye on Mille Lacs Lake, MN.  Fishing opener 2012.

Ben with his walleye on Mille Lacs Lake, MN. Fishing opener 2012.

Another favorite slowcation we take regularly is to go fishing.  There is no better way to get kids “unplugged” than to take them away from cell towers and put them in a boat; especially when the title of Biggest Catch is up for grabs!  We have a rule when we are camping, all the technology stays behind.  There are no phones or electronic games/tablets.  We make our own fun and (believe it or not) have live conversations!  It’s amazing how that happens when the screens get left behind.

Fritz looking over Lake Superior towards Spirit Mountain and West Duluth, MN.

Fritz looking over Lake Superior towards Spirit Mountain and West Duluth, MN.

Looking for some ideas to plan your own slowcation?

  • Find a destination 300-500 miles from home.  Locate two or three places on the way there to spend a night or two.
  • Plan minimally!  Book lodging and very little else; gather info on activities and restaurants, and put them in a folder so you can decide as you go.
  • UNPLUG!  Yes, that’s right, everyone.  Go old school for a few days and reconnect.  I promise, you can do it, and even teens will begin to speak…eventually!
  • Have plenty of activities for drive time.  Remember the old games we played on those family trips before there were cell phones?  Now you’re talking!  Don’t forget travel board games, too.
  • Have rewards for good behavior.  Maybe let them pick the next activity or restaurant.
  • Go multi-generational.  There are too many benefits to list, and frankly, kids tend to be a little better around grandparents…usually!
  • Of course, don’t forget your pet.  I know Fritz, our Miniature Schnauzer, loves to go boating, fishing, and in general, slowcationing.

 

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