The concept of vacations – traveling for pleasure – has been around for centuries and was said to begin with the ancient Romans, mainly the wealthier ones, who had the luxury of relative peace and prosperity. Their travels weren’t huge – maybe they’d go to the ocean or to nearby Greece – but there were, of course, only so many places you could go within X amount of time when your road trip consisted of your family chariot being pulled by horses ;-).
The concept slowly evolved and developed in earnest during the past two centuries or so. Still just a luxury that only the wealthy could afford, taking an amount of time to visit family, to spend time at the lake, etc., became more and more popular, and eventually accessible to those with less funds.
Staycations (holistays in the U.K.) became popular in the very early 21st century. Although vacations had become more affordable to the lower classes by the 20th century, we were in the midst of the 2007-2010 financial crisis in the early 2000s and many people were looking at ways to enjoy the rest and relaxation of a vacation, but with a lower cost. Staycations are days at a time when people stay home and participate in leisure activities within driving distance of their home and usually don’t require overnight accommodations.
But for some, even that may be too much. So now there’s something new.
Micro-cations (a.k.a. microcations, micro-vacations, etc.) are defined as, “A very brief vacation; a momentary respite from the cares of everyday life.”
If vacations are longer travels to further away places, and staycations are generally shorter and so close to home that you usually stay home, micro-cations are the smallest of them all – generally just a couple of hours to a couple of days (think less than 5 nights).
Micro-cations are currently being used by a wide variety of people:
- those who want to deeply curtail how much money they spend
- people who won’t/can’t leave work or home for extended periods of time
- folks who would rather take multiple shorter getaways than one big one
When people are on a micro-cation, they know that time is of the essence, so their time away from everyday tasks tends to be more organized and better planned than their larger cousin “-cations.”
Some people will use micro-cations as a chance to treat themselves – maybe a spa day, or taking the opportunity to go to a restaurant, show or a special art exhibit. Couples may use the opportunity for some “just the two of us” time, maybe even (gasp!) sans phones, so they can focus on each other instead of the internet.
It’s a cool concept that, funnily enough, Joe and I have been utilizing for years ;-). But now we have a name for it, LOL!
What micro-cations have you taken?
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary