Is the daily grind wearing you down? Do you not have time for a vacation?

Don’t be dismayed. You’re not stuck.

We have a solution to set you free: the mini-vacation!

A mini-vacation, or a microvacation, is a 3- to 5-day trip. Think of it as an extended weekend getaway, one where you can truly unplug and refresh your body and mind.

The mini-vacation is increasing in popularity, with popular travel platforms like Expedia offering specific mini-vacation packages to a variety of destinations. Thanks to air travel, you’re also not limited when it comes to destinations for mini-vacations. If you live in the USA, for instance, a 4-day long weekend in Puerto Rico or Mexico City is entirely doable.

So, if you can’t get the time for a two- to three-week adventure, a mini-vacation is a great alternative to longer trips. Short trips offer a range of benefits too, which we highlight in this article.

Read about the five benefits of a mini-vacation below.

1. Mini-Vacations Are More Feasible Professionally

Only 48% of US workers use all their vacation days, according to a Pew Research Center study. While that’s an issue (people should be using all their vacation), the reality is many workers fear falling behind on work, leaving too much on the plate of coworkers, and appearing to not be fully committed.

A mini-vacation eliminates these concerns. For example, if your 5-day trip is taken over a weekend, from Thursday to Tuesday, that’s a maximum of 3 days you need to request off work. If it’s a holiday weekend, then you only need to request 2 days off.

Not only does this save vacation days, but it’s much easier to get this time off approved by your boss. You also don’t have to worry about work responsibilities piling up while you’re on your trip.

2. Mini-Vacations Are More Affordable

While the affordability of a mini-vacation is obvious, it’s important to note:

  • A one-week vacation ranges from $739 to $5,000+, with the average around $1,991 (Chime).
  • A 4-day mini-vacation can be as low as $581 (ValuePenguin), but obviously transportation prices can impact this a lot.

If you plan well, you can lower your expenses even more by finding cheap flights and lodging (or even camping). By lowering your costs, you also open up the opportunity for more frequent trips!

Just think: Instead of stressing out about how to plan one two-week vacation this year, you could take 3 or 4 short trips instead. You’ll get to see more places and you’ll get to unplug from work more often.

3. A Mini-Vacation Is a Great Way to Reduce Stress

If you’re reading this article, it’s probably because you want and need a break. There’s no problem in saying that. Over 65% of workers experienced burnout in 2023, according to a study from a human resources company. It’s more important than ever to take time off for yourself.

Research has consistently shown the mental health benefits of vacations. Vacations relieve stress and burnout, boost happiness, and improve overall productivity in work and life. Even short vacations deliver these benefits.

According to a study done in Germany, short vacations improved stress levels and well-being for participants (who were all middle-managers). As researchers observed, “leisure and free time, a special form of recovery, has the potential to distract people from stress and enhance their positive mood.”

If you want to cure burnout but don’t have time for a longer break, a mini-vacation is a solid option.

4. Mini-Vacations Help You Avoid Vacation Burnout

We talk a lot about the digital nomad lifestyle here at Frayed Passport. Many of us travel almost non-stop, or at least enough to say that the road is our home.

While travel has the power to reinvigorate the body and mind, traveling for too long can also lead to travel burnout. As one travel blog notes, travel burnout is real, and it becomes obvious you have travel burnout when you stop being curious about your destination and start “craving familiar things from home.”

For example, if you’re on a months-long adventure in Asia and start visiting KFCs and Starbucks more than local eateries, you may just be experiencing vacation burnout.

Mini-vacations eliminate the potential for vacation burnout. They are quick getaways, where you dive right into the local culture and action. These short trips are like a movie that ends at the right time, leaving you wanting more but also not annoyed that it dragged on too long.

5. Mini-Vacations Keep You Connected with Loved Ones

Whether you’re a single person in your 20s or a Millennial with a spouse and kids, life gets busy and relationships with friends and family can get put to the side.

Mini-vacations provide a way for you to consistently focus on these relationships. Whether it’s a 3-day weekend trip to Nashville with friends or a family vacation to Southern California, taking consistent short trips ensures you prioritize these relationships and keep them healthy and thriving.

There is also research to show vacations help relationships. According to a Psychology Today article about romantic partners taking vacations, vacations can boost relationship satisfaction, especially if “engaging in self-expanding activities while vacationing with a partner.”

Is It Time for Your Mini-Vacation?

Mini-vacations provide a variety of benefits, from being financially and professionally more feasible to helping reduce stress and burnout. Short trips can improve your most important relationships too.

So, if you need a break but can’t get a longer time off work, consider a mini-vacation. You’ll come back feeling much better.

What is your top destination for a mini-vacation? Join the community and start the conversation.

About the Author

Nick Callos has always had a passion for reading, writing, and discovering the new and unknown. Originally from Cincinnati, Ohio, Nick holds a Bachelor’s Degree in English from Boston College. He currently splits his time between his hometown, Chengdu, China, and the open road. A full-time travel writer, Nick hopes his work can inspire others to explore the world more deeply and enjoy the digital nomad lifestyle.

Featured image by S&B Vonlanthen on Unsplash

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