We’ve all had stressful days, weeks, and months. We’ve all been through those times when nothing seems like it will go right and the whole world feels upside down. We’ve all been uncontrollably sad, angry, and scared. At times like these, it can be good to take a recovery trip. Get out of your normal routine, shut off your cell phone, and remember what makes you feel joyous, calm, and secure.
The best recovery trips are simple to plan, inexpensive, and focus on self-care. If you can take a week or more, that’s wonderful. But often, when things are going wrong or have been going wrong, a weekend trip is ideal because you don’t need to take time off from work and anyone in your personal life who needs you is more likely to understand and respect you disappearing completely for 48 hours rather than 7+ days.
Kevin and I recently returned from a revitalizing weekend trip. Here’s how we planned it, where we went, and how you can replicate a trip like this one in your own area.
Stay Close to Home
This is a weekend trip to relax, don’t spend it all driving. I recommend driving three hours MAXIMUM. Two hours is better.
A good way to find a place to go is by searching with Google. Use the terms “weekend trips from _____” and insert wherever you live. If you live in a big city, you’re likely to get several lists of options to comb through. If you live in a small town, you might not get convenient lists, but you’ll probably get results listing places to stay near your home.
If you don’t find a place that way, go to Google Maps and look at the names of cities and towns where you live. When you see names that intrigue you, go back to Google to find out things to do and places to stay in that area.
Using a combination of these techniques, we discovered that Clearfield, PA is a two-and-a-half hour drive from Pittsburgh and has several sweet bed and breakfast options.
Make the Accommodations the Destination
For maximum relaxation on your weekend trip, you want a place to stay that’s more than just a crash pad. You want some place with a luxurious bed, a nice shower or bathtub, maybe a kitchen, and some special extras that align with what makes you feel good.
Kevin and I find that bed and breakfasts tick all these boxes. The best ones have owners for whom the business is a labor of love. The best owners take great care to make sure you feel right at home before you even arrive.
On our trip to Clearfield, we stayed at the Victorian Loft B&B. We stayed in the third floor loft, which gave us three beds to choose from, a kitchenette, living area, and bathroom with a whirlpool tub. Each morning, owner Peggy Durant cooks breakfast and serves it in her formal dining room. Having someone cook for us makes us feel so taken care of and cared for, so it’s such a nice way to start the day. It also helped that Peggy’s breakfasts were delicious, especially her pecan pancakes.
If you’re traveling to recover from some kind of stress that comes from an outside source like work or a family emergency, you need to fully disconnect from that source of stress and any other potential sources of stress. Tell everyone that you talk to on a regular basis that you are shutting off your phone, not checking your email, and doing a full digital detox. As far as they’re concerned, you might as well be in Antarctica.
If you want someone to be able to reach you in the case of a true emergency, let them know where you are staying and inform them that they make call the bed and breakfast or hotel if anyone goes to the ER or something equally awful happens that can’t wait.
We left our phones on most of the time, but everyone promised not to call us while we were away and we knew we could trust our family and friends to honor the promise. If your family can’t keep such promises, shut off your phone. We had WiFi but we only used it to look up the hours of places we wanted to go. For entertainment, we played board games, listened to music on TV, and watched movies on VHS. It was delightful. Rewinding the tapes was such a throwback to being kids in the ’90s.
Give Yourself the Freedom to do Whatever You Want
If you want to sleep all day, then sleep all day. If you want to go for a twenty-mile hike, then go hiking. This is your trip. You are totally and completely free. If you need some inspiration, here are a few of the things we did on our weekend away in Clearfield:
Watched Babes in Toyland and Dennis the Menace on VHS. The Victorian Loft B&B reminded us of staying at our grandparents’ homes in the ’90s and these are precisely the movies we would have watched there, too.
Went wine tasting at 10 AM because it felt super self-indulgent to go drink wine immediately after breakfast.
Went out for burgers and beers because that’s our favorite junk food combo. And because Denny’s Beer Barrel Pub in Clearfield is famous for their giant burger challenges. How could we miss out on trying one of their burgers?
Lingered over breakfast with our host Peggy. She had so many stories to tell about other guests who have visited her and the coffee she makes is really good. It was so easy to just chill out with her in the dining room.
Plan These Weekends As Often As You Like!
A weekend trip can be surprisingly amazing. Use these tips often to keep some balance in your life, even if you’re not going through a particularly stressful period!
What are your favorite ways to spend a weekend trip? Share in the comments!