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The most relaxing vacation you can take is going nowhere (qz.com)
215 points by prostoalex on July 28, 2018 | hide | past | web | favorite | 190 comments

No, just no. I'm going to stay at home, think about the projects I need to do around the house and how much my spare activities are going to cost. The best vacation is an all-inclusive resort. I budget for the booking/flight. I get to see a new place in the world and once I'm there I basically eat/drink/sleep whenever I want to, it's the best.

I’ve been thinking about what it is about vacations that’s so relaxing since it’s clearly not the lack of work. I quit my job a year ago but my day is still full of stuff to do. What’s nice about a vacation is the lack of physical possessions. You live without a crap load of clothes that need to be washed. You have maids to clean your room. The kitchen staff washes the dishes. You don’t read you email and worry about having to reply to people. You ignore bills and the leaky faucet and the million other things you need to do.

It made me think that maybe my life is just full of too many complications.

I’ve been thinking about what it is about vacations that’s so relaxing since it’s clearly not the lack of work.

You live without a crap load of clothes that need to be washed. You have maids to clean your room. The kitchen staff washes the dishes

Huh? I think you're confused here. Washing clothes, cleaning your room, washing the dishes, and fixing leaks is work. Vacation is exactly having less work.

Vacation is not about having less work. Vacation is about doing something different than you do usually, on a different schedule and probably with no big expectations to meet. Helping one's uncle to build a shed can be vacation to some people. Writing a program one wanted to write for a long time can be vacation, too. Spending three weeks in one's shop on woodworking can be a fulfilling vacation as well. So can be going on an international tour or doing nothing but reading seven different novels one after another.

Getting out of the daily routine, by either laying next to the pool in an all-inclusive hotel or being busy all day building something in the sun, changes your perspective and increases your stress resilience in my experience. Burnout is often the result of one's inability to put tasks aside for a few days.

Yeah the word "work" can be confused. What I meant by work was work where you are paid to do something for someone else. Maybe "job" is a better word. I don't have a job and I don't get paid but I do indeed still do a lot of work.

So does that resolve your confusion about the nature of vacation? :) Your statement "it's clearly not lack of work" should have been "it's clearly lack of job."

To me at least, vacation clearly is "lack of work" :)

With the exception of your email, isn't that the point of services like Hello Alfred? To get somebody else to worry about the annoying stuff that used to be your housewife's job before we got rid of that chauvinist notion of your wife as a homemaker, because even as we got rid of our sexist notions about who was responsible for the work, the work itself didn't disappear?

I mean, if that's what you get out of your vacation... And you compared the cost of a vacation to the cost of a home concierge service, and found the home concierge to be cheaper - wouldn't you just go with the concierge service?

I think by going to an all-inclusive resort you're not really seeing a new part of the world, but rather a resort.

the taxi ride from the airport to the resort is where you get to see the new part of the world, which probably adds to the allure of the resort

> all-inclusive resort

> see a new place in the world

These two don't go well together.

I don't follow this reasoning at all.

Will the projects not need doing if you go away? Is the flight/resort cheaper than the activities you'd do at home? Can you not eat/drink/sleep when you want when you're home?

It's about the stress of delegating time and money.

With an all inclusive resort the questions "do I really need this?" or "maybe I should be doing something else" don't come up.

I wonder what it would cost to hire a maid and butler for your home for a week. Hmmm. I might just need to try that on our next staycation

Even this is work, though. Hiring help is almost as bad as doing it yourself; they need to be endlessly managed between when they'll arrive/ depart, the scope of work, particularities about how to do the work, etc.

I get your point and can relate, but it's an issue that you can control entirely. You already know that those questions shouldn't come up during your vacation, regardless of if you're at home or far away at the beach. So simply don't let them - it's that easy.

> Will the projects not need doing if you go away?

No, but I won't be able to do them, because I'll be gone. I therefore won't feel like I should be working on them, because it won't be possible to work on them.

But you may ask, won't I feel that I should be home working on them, instead of away on vacation? The answer is no, at least for me. I may be somewhat obsessive about the projects (or at least about feeling guilty for not working on them), but I'm not that obsessive. When I leave, I don't feel like I should be home so that I can work on them.

Exactly. For me, being away is like turning my work "switch" to off. I know I may have email piling up, and that my problems aren't going to go away, but I feel that I'm free to ignore them because I'm physically distant from the location where I usually worry about them. I usually worry about work and emails when I'm home, and staying home wouldn't be relaxing, even though in theory I could just ignore everything.

No matter where I go on vacation (or even if I’m staycationing) I tell everyone in my office I will be backpacking in the mountains without access to cell reception.

No, the best vacation depends on you and what you want when you go on your vacation. Sometimes I want to ride my bike as far as I can for multiple weeks, sometimes I want to go to a new part of the world, sometimes I want to go to a resort and sometimes I want to stay home.

The best vacations for me have always been “take it at your own pace”. Sort of like book a flight to a destination and only book a hotel for a day or two. Then it’s all an open book. what to do, how long to do? You do what feels good to you. Sometimes we’d spend an entire day at the spa, or have a picnic by a remote lake, or hike up a mountain to a beautiful view, or just chill at the markets and talk to the locals, try new food.

There is no deadline, no next place to be, one activity at a time that feels good. Sometimes you crave adventure, sometimes just do nothing and sleep, read a book, cuddle, have sex, etc.

The world has a lot to offer than just your home.

Actually I think that doing all the projects I want to do during a staycation is perfect. I know I have a ton of time to do them, and I can actually get them done. Instead of stressing and using up my weekends or weeknights doing them.

I’m actually taking a staycation later this month and that’s my plan.

One part I think the article neglects as a negative for the staycation is that when you're at home, your mind is usually in the habits that you have while you're at home (like you said, thinking about all the projects around the house, other things that bother you).

Being able to get way out of your rut, being somewhere new, with no routines, habits, or subconscious triggers can really be a big breath of fresh air.

Isn't that maybe your fault? I have a lot of stuff to do, but if my project for the weekend is RELAXING, I ignore everything else and focus on that for 2 days. I don't get distracted, get extensive sleep and enjoy all the games I have home. Possibly I'll go out with my wife for a walk to get a gelato, but that's it

When I travel I'm not doing it to relax, but to go on an adventure, to experience other worlds, push myself, and get outside my comfort zone. Otherwise, I totally agree. All the people who go on cruises or Mexican resort vacations so they can lay around and be pandered to, that never made any sense to me. I do that at home just fine, for a fraction of the cost and with none of the hassle.

People who can "vacation at home" either:

a. don't have kids

b. don't have relatives and friends nearby

c. don't upkeep their own house or living quarters (has a maid/servent/relative living with them that does everything)

The thought of staying home for my vacation, at least for me, is met with feelings of intense drudgery. There is nothing relaxing to me about the suburban/urban rat race I live in.

A couple of years ago, I took a flight to Jamaica and stayed at a Butler Resort. I literally sat on turquoise water, white sand beaches all day and had rum drinks brought to me on a silver platter. It was all inclusive, including the spa. If it doesn't make sense to you, you aren't going to the right places. If cost is an issue, I wouldn't have been planning a trip to begin with.

I'm not a parent, but if there's one thing I've for-sure learned about parenthood, it's that it gives you license to passive-aggressively dismiss the perspective of any and all non-parents.

On top of that, I too have noticed that parents often talk down to people that haven't experienced parenthood.

Almost as if becoming a parent is very difficult and gives you enlightenment that can be found in no other way.

Honestly in this case; it's somewhat true. Picture a world where you have ~no control of your daily life. You wake up when you hear the screaming in the monitor. You completely structure every non-work hour around 3 hour blocks of potted plants eat/sleep/shit/nap cycles with periods of incredible stress (and uh.. joy) sprinkled liberally through (Holy crap, was that red in the horrible poop running down my leg? Oh we gave him radish, whew.)

I'm being a little facetious here, but i'm just saying that everyones life situation is different. As a relatively new parent, In that situation, I can see it being incredibly hard to simply 'relax' at home. More than anything you'll finally have time to notice the liquified pees that has hardened on the ceiling than actually relax. When i was in my 20s every vacation was 2 weeks of Hostels and hikes, but we are all in different life situations and that doens't make one persons opinion of a 'vacation' more correct than anothers.

PTSD, depression, poverty, lousy roomates, crappy job, etc., all can generate experiences that are not so dissimilar to what you describe. Including, some of these conditions can cause suicide, which might imply they're much worse than parenting, which, ultimately, is perceived as a positive.

Why is parenting, something that gets lots of external support and understanding, the special one here, and not any of these other things? Depressed people don't get a "my life is so hard" horse to sit on continually, often quite the opposite, they have to work hard to hide it.

There's no evidence that parents are special people, none whatsoever, they are best described as people in a tough situation, but there are quite a few different ways to be in a tough situation, and tough situations do not always make people better.

Fair point. Like all situations it’s just another kind of a challenging situation. I’m a first time dad to 3 week old. Our day needs to be structured as little 3 hour days. Sleep deprivation is very real. We get by, by appreciating “other people must have had it worse and their kids did just fine. look at the single moms, or people in poverty, or parents of colic kids. We will do just fine! Nothing special”

> PTSD, depression, poverty, lousy roomates, crappy job, etc., all can generate experiences that are not so dissimilar to what you describe.

Imagine this, and on the top of it being a parent of 3 young children. Unless parents are immune to these conditions.

Any of these problems can be permuted.

But only one of these problems (parenthood) has a special social status.

I would imagine that it is still easier to relax at home than in a foreign place with little kids. If your kids are older and they can more or less roam on their own, yes, it's easier to go on vacation but with little ones now you have to worry that they don't run off, don't get to close to the water, don't run into the bushes after a lizard, or try to swim into deeper waters etc. At home you can at least relax about the environment since you know its safer for them and they are more familiar with it.

Very true, good description of why eating out with children can be hard. Doesn't factor in that you can leave the kids with the (out of town so you don't get baby sitting often) grandparents for a week while you relax on a beach/resort somewhere :)

Free babysitting is a luxury that not everyone has access to :)

> Almost as if becoming a parent is very difficult and gives you enlightenment that can be found in no other way.

You got it!

Now, the "talking down to" is annoying. But if it's about non-parents telling parents about how easy life should be, and parents replying along the lines of "fool, no." it's absolutely warranted.

But taking care of children IS very difficult. And, yes, being a parent is the only way to be enlightened in that way. Nothing else will give you the same experience.

Absolutely agree.

Now I don’t talk down to non-parents, because they made that choice or had the choice made for them (temporarily or permanently).

It’s crazy stressful but at the same time so joyous.

Becoming a parent is easy, it's the other part of looking after the kids that is more troublesome and difficult but, agreed, some parents do seem to talk down people who haven't experienced or chose not to experience it. At the end of the day, having kids is a choice (hopefully), and one shouldn't pull the parent card to convey a point... and do kids offer you enlightenment? Sure but so does a good book.

And vice versa, apparently.

Yep, and it goes on to great extents. I don’t have kids but all coworkers of mine get a “one up” for doing the same things I’m doing while being parents.

7 billion people have been born in last 100 years. Raising kids isn’t abnormal.

No, but it’s hard on a level you can’t understand until you do it.

This is an example of dismissing someone else's perspective.

Have you considered that someone might choose not to have children because they understand how difficult it is?

You could say they correctly assume it’s hard, but to really understand it, they’d need to experience it, no?

No. There are many ways to understand.

They could witness a close friend or sibling struggling to raise children.

They could simply reason about the commitment of time and money required and take note of all the other things in life that parenthood would require them to give up.

You can hear about the experience of a POW, but it won't ever be the same as being a POW. Not trying to equate the two, just showing how telling/imagining aren't quite the same as experiencing.

Sure, but that's true for everything, there's nothing unique about parenting here. I.e., you similarly don't have quite the same experience as a no-kids person who has depression.

Yet this argument seems to come exclusively from parents, assigning parenthood a special status, which makes no sense, since parenting is extremely commom.

This is the same argument as “men will never understand women because to truly understand a woman, you have to be a woman” Well, empathy is quite a real thing. Also everyone’s experience is different, so even if you are a woman, you “truly don’t know what it means to be a woman”.

Once you're arguing the philosophy of knowing something as learned knowledge versus personal experience, the discussion has kind of gone off the rails.

Given that people can relate to plenty of other experiences, I'm not sure why they wouldn't be able to relate to such a common one.

"Dismissing the perspective of any and all non-<insert group>" is a generalisation and not unique to parents. Though as a parent I have noticed it too.

Just don't give me advice about kids (if you don't have kids) and we'll get along just fine ;)

Please do give me advice about other things that you know about and have experience with when I need it.

A lot of people suck at parenting which is obvious for everyone but them. Listening to some advice would help them but usually it's the attitude you present that prevents it.

Here is one example: if your kid tries to sabotage you into buying drugs (sweets) in the middle of the supermarket by throwing a tantrum you don't cave. It's simple and obvious yet so many "just don't give me advice" parents are unable to process and apply it rationalizing why they are in very special situation and no one else could possibly understand. They go and buy more drugs to their already overweight sugar addicted children just to get some temporary relief contributing to child's demise in the process.

My only advice is to try not to be self-righteous, but this has nothing to do with parenthood.

The difference is that everyone who has kids has known what life is like with and without kids. The opposite is not true.

This is true for lots of things, though, many much more exclusive than parenthood, why is having kids singled out?

And you shouldn’t speak as if you have first hand experience on those things either.

Would you take the advice of a childless pediatrician?

Absolutely. Parenthood and child medicine are very different things.

The OP said not to give advice about kids. So the question likely is asking if he’d take advice about kids (not about child medicine) from said profession.

I could advise someone not to jump off a bridge even if I didn't build it.

that would depend a lot on whether they never had children or had children that died at a young age

Medicine doesn't quite work that way in the modern world.

All parents have been non-parents. None of the non-parents have been parents. So let me tell you one thing: you have no idea.

I have a couple of issues with your post.

> don't upkeep their own house or living quarters

I have done a staycation (and enjoyed it) and yes I keep my own house. I cooked the things I want to cook but don't normally have time/drive to do so, I did the things that I normally have to ration my time on (playing games/guitar, reading, outdoor walks). It was quite pleasant.

> If it doesn't make sense to you, you aren't going to the right places.

I completely disagree. I did a long weekend in an all inclusive resort similar to what you described on Antigua. I'll never do one again. (At least not with just two of us, maybe if I had children it would be different). I had no access to the things I love (you have to ration books, not bringing a guitar across the Atlantic). I found the whole "make friends with the people you're tipping to bring you drinks/food" thing very strange.

I would much rather stay with some people (recently usually AirBnbs in a room in the hosts homes), get some recommendations of places to eat/drink/see that they like to go to, and explore with my best friend/partner.

> If cost is an issue, I wouldn't have been planning a trip to begin with.

Cost isn't a binary thing. There are otions between spending a week in your house doing laundry and staying in an 800 dollar a night all inclusive hotel and 2000 dollars on flights. I can't afford to spend 10 nights in an all inclusive resort of that caliber while flying to the other side of the world in business class - does that mean I can't have an abroad trip?

I did a 4 day trip to Palma in Majorca last September. It was stunningly beautiful, the food was incredible and it was a wonderful trip. We spent 300 pounds on flights, about 50 pounds on transport (taxis/airport buses) while we were there, and maybe about 500 pounds while we were there. It was indulgent, and the entire trip was cheaper than 2 nights in an all inclusive resort. I know which I would do again.

I have 2 primary or lower school aged kids and do upkeep my own house, I also have relatives nearby though I am not sure how that is relevant. I love stay at home holidays and am on one now. We do take non stay at home vacations but I don't find them as relaxing. This week I am looking forward to walking the kids to school (something too time prohibitive normally) hiking, reading, playing in the shed and if I feel like it some home maintenance too. Horses for courses I guess :)

From what I have seen, the only thing more hectic than a coworker's home life with kids is his vacation logistics. Parents often don't have vacations for themselves, they develop complex activity programs around the kids!

On your last point, I have mostly been to classic resort destinations as part of boondoggle work trips. I actually find them excruciatingly boring. I'd rather have a "staycation" than go to those on my own volition.

But, I do appreciate a good vacation. For me, that's a retreat to the mountains for hiking, snowshoeing, or skiing. I like to get out of the sensorium of my coastal CA home and enter that of high alpine forests, peaks, and valleys. I don't travel/live to eat and sleep though. I eat and sleep to travel/live.

I also don't need to keep going to different places to sustain some novelty factor. I can thoroughly enjoy seeing the same forests and mountains in different seasons, years, and decades. The forest changes over these timescales and so does the visitor. Each encounter is unique.

Or they can’t afford to do anything other than stay at home during some downtime...

Not everyone makes $100k+ a year and can save for a vacation away from home.

The gas lighting I've seen on this topic in recent years is weird. Who's paying for it or what's their angle? Some kind of travel startup?

I can afford it but I find travelling stressful as you have to get to the airport, go through security, check in at the hotel etc.

Also even though I can afford it, it rarely seems like the best use of the money.

I mainly travel because I have to visit my family (I live abroad) or my SO wants to visit somewhere.

I agree- it rarely seems like the best use of money. At least often.

a. let the kids visit a summer camp for a week or two

b. invite your friends

c. hire a helping hand for your vacation. That's still cheaper than going on a regular vacation

1) of course I don't

2) I love to meet them at a coffee or play boardgames and it is relaxing

3) I finish all house work in less than an hour and don't have servants.

> I finish all house work in less than an hour

Teach me.

Typically this is some combination of:

1. Make enough money to never cook

2. Never cook

3. Live in a tiny Bay Area apartment

4. Have no pets

5. Live alone

I live in a four bedroom home with a huge yard. The secret is to clean as you go about your life. If you leave a room, look around, see if there is something you should take with you. Do dishes while you are waiting for something to cook. Buy a cordless vacuum for quick access. When the weekend comes around your house is already clean.

How do I teach the others in my family to do this? I've tried for years but they still resist or are incapable of it!

I'll let you know when I have kids. I did teach my dog to pick up her toys though.

Also, the less stuff you own, the less stuff you have to organize/dust/hide.

An alternative to not cooking is to enjoy cooking. I look forward to cooking, and enjoy the time I spend prepping for me and my partner, so I don't count it as housework.

Cleanup definitely counts though.

I have occasionally gotten sad when my wife was like "let's just order a pizza" and I wanted to cook something. Admittedly the cleanup sucks, but putting effort into something, completing it and then almost immediately getting positive(usually) feedback is sometimes rare, and can be incredibly rewarding. And that's just from an analytic perspective!

> There is nothing relaxing to me about the suburban/urban rat race I live in.

Then go camping. Going to Jamaica and paying through the nose to be waited on by other people who also hate their rat race jobs isn't a sustainable solution to this problem.

Because MMM appeals to some tech workers, maybe this will help: https://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2017/09/20/seek-not-to-be-en...

Though 'paying through the nose' is different for everyone. There is no 'one size fits all' approach to something as personal as how to spend ones (generally limited) free time.

When I lived in Texas in a house with a back yard and several nice walking trails within 200 yards from it I used to say the same thing.

Then I sold the house and moved into a tiny 1br apartment in Manhattan. I loved the change and enjoyed the energy of the city, sunny weekends in Central Park, etc. but... Within a year I started to crave for just being outside with a book/drink by myself, without the crowds and the noise. We booked one of those tropical vacations and I was surprised how nice it was.

> * I do that at home just fine, for a fraction of the cost and with none of the hassle*

My most-relaxing vacations are getting an Airbnb on a beach or a lake with friends. We don't leave the house, don't have an agenda, and get to enjoy novel sights, sounds and smells. The combination is so incredibly refreshing.

My most-relaxing vacations are getting an Airbnb on a beach or a lake with friends. We don't leave the house, don't have an agenda, and get to enjoy novel sights, sounds and smells. The combination is so incredibly refreshing.

Sometimes for us, but especisllly for me, a vacation is not dealing with anyone except my wife. Often we just want to silently enjoy each others company, read on our iPads and eat and drink with abandon.

You can’t share my-life-is-better-than-yours vacation selfies that way though.

Do you find there are a lot of people in your circle that post those?

My friends (I'm 54) are probably older and more boring than yours, but like if I open Facebook right now there will be grandbaby pictures, look what I did in my shed this weekend, and politics. That's pretty much the formula year round for my timeline.

I strongly suspect that's a trend with younger people. I don't see my friends and coworkers experiencing the same type of satisfaction when posting something that I see younger users having.

Hell, I'm glad I'm not the type of old person that doesn't know how to use Facebook. Just that is really enough satisfaction for me.

I'm 27 and my closest friends don't bother. For a while I thought I was missing something, but every time I try to participate in Instagram, I only feel like it reduces my enjoyment of a thing, because I gotta spend a couple seconds fucking with my phone to get a picture.

It is great to take a couple story videos here and there though. I like looking at those months after.

Tbh I think Instagram makes people more active and healthier.

I'm pretty sure half my friends wouldn't do the things they do if they couldn't instagram it afterwards. Like going for a hike just to have your instagram content for the day.

Hey whatever works. Pokemon go was great for that as well.

I wish Pokemon Go had been the game we've all actually been waiting on. With familiar Pokemon PVP and real-world Pokemon scavenging. The gym concept they have is just not that much fun. But I guess the advantage to Pokemon go is being accessible to younger audiences who weren't alive when red and blue came out (I think I was nearly 30 then!) and also that the lack of more concrete game mechanics lends the game a more expressive nature. I've seen people that just play to collect their favorite one, and that's kind of magical to me.

It'd be cheaper if this were a real service: http://lifefaker.com/

I've done the all inclusive Mexican resort thing and I've done whirlwind vacations going to multiple cities across the world and spending most of my day walking, exploring, etc.

I've found the former helps me physically and mentally recharge better than the latter, but the latter, while perhaps physically and mentally draining in some ways, is way more stimulating and enriching than the former.

In the end, it depends on what I really need. Now that I know enough about myself,I can make better use of that time. There doesn't need to be one "right" type of vacation, any different strokes for different folks and what not.

We're doing both relaxing and having an adventure (kayaking, whale watching, snorkeling, hiking etc). We only prefer breakfast included so we can get quickly going in the morning, otherwise we prefer to eat in different places or maybe in the same place. It really depends. We also like going to the bach to relax and swim. Staying at home is quite boring and the city is exhausting. Your brain gets stuck without new experiences. If we lived in the countryside it would be quite different, but then there are choirs to do in and around the house which on vacation get done be the staff.

>When I travel I'm not doing it to relax, but to go on an adventure, to experience other worlds, push myself, and get outside my comfort zone.

I too don't care to be pandered to in foreign resorts. Can you share some specific things you do to push yourself and get outside of your comfort zone when you travel.

Well, there's a big difference between being at home vs somewhere far away on a beautiful beach.

Buy a house on the beach? :)

There is something in the middle where you go to the beach, relax, and practice some sports without rushing to the office. Obviously, since you have a few weeks of vacations you should decide what kind of vacation you want for the year.

I live in Denver. Laying around and being pandered to here is much more expensive than doing it in many other countries. So we can actually save a lot of money by traveling.

And it’s a smaller footprint on the environment. Less carbon, fewer tourists spoiling places (places which get overrun by tourists).

My son is nearly two years old now, two months before he was born we had a 7 day vacation in a silent cabin in Norway. Since then nothing I've done with our family would fulfill my understanding of the term "relaxing". I really wonder how other parents do it.

We've just been to the beach for a few days. I love spending time with my son & wife, but I really don't get "relaxed" by this, rather a feeling of fulfillment and contentness. It's no "charging my batteries" type of vacation that I've enjoyed before becoming a parent. What am I doing wrong?

You're not doing anything wrong. You're now a parent. Your life has changed forever.

I know that life changed, I'm just wondering what other parents are doing and what works for them. Asking here because working in tech we have similar freedoms that other people might not enjoy.

We fly in my wife’s retired parents for a week in the winter and go off to someplace warm as a couple.

We take the whole family to a four-generation, ~20 person in one large house lake vacation a week in the summer. With enough people, you get some downtime (and some doubled-up-upon time).

We really like the winter week away, but the summer vacation with the large family is more fun and differently semi-relaxing.

Things also get easier and more interesting as they become self-cleaning, self-loading, and self-entertaining (when they can read). Until age 5 and especially 3 and younger is intense. It lightens up some.

Your life as a parent needs to be only partially about your kids. You need to keep and nurture your adult relationship as well. It’s not ALL about the kids.

We also make it a point to split housework and give each other “time off” to do hobbies, go to the gym, go out with friends, play sports, etc while the other adult has the kids. Keep a shared Google calendar to coordinate things.

It’s a series of small things, integrated over a long time.

Your life sounds like a script for a romantic comedy movie.

Unfortunately, I think most of this is far from real for most parents.

I agree that the trips are not the norm for all parents, but the two vacations cost $5-8K (depending on where we go) and two weeks’ PTO combined. That’s accessible for many tech workers, which was GP’s question. The lake was $1063 per couple this year for everything once you got yourself there (room, food, drink, and boats). We all try keep it affordable so her whole family can easily attend. Everything else in the post is “free as in beer” and should be accessible to most parents if they make it a priority.

The greater point is to structure your life and relationship so as to have an escape valve that lets you keep your individual and adult couple identities/interests and not merely become 100% pure parent for a decade straight without break.

This is wise counsel, especially if you have a similar in-law or parent setup.

My kids are 5 and 2. Nothing really seems to recharge the batteries. Aside from some chill time while they are in bed. It starts to get less intense closer to 3, but nowhere near what it’s like without kids. We went on a 5 day beach vacation recently and set our expectations low - it was great, but also exhausting.

I’ve only been a parent for 9mo but have yet to find anything relaxing. It’s been the most stressful time on my mind and my body. Don’t get me wrong, i wouldn’t change a thing if I had to do it again but some days the thought of just being dead is peaceful and calming.

I hope you mean, "thought of just being dead" not literally, postpartum/post-being-a-parent depression is real and needs to be addressed, please talk to someone if you are feeling "blue" .

I have a 2 year 3 month old - she is the joy of my life and makes me want to live, do well, be a better person for her. Over the last couple of weeks she has started waiting for me to come back from work by waiting near the window. When I leave for work, she gives me a hug and then runs over to window to wave goodbye. I can say this with utmost certainty that no one has give me such an unconditional love like she does. I love her more than life itself, would not hesitate to go to extreme measures with a happy smile on my face. However every now and then I think of times before her and sometimes wish we (my wife and I) can be spontaneous - take a weekend trip to portland with zero preparations, or careless - sleep in until 10am and watch the office reruns, supercut of all godfather movies. You find more relaxing things to do though.

Here is a parenting trick:

Last year on our trip to Hawai'i, we had a room near pool, once our daughter was down for a nap, we'd walk out of the room (with do-not-disturb sign on door knob), with a baby monitor pointed directly at her crib, walk 20 feet to the pool bar, order drinks and hangout and watch her sleep on the monitor. I turned it into a game, order every beer that bar offered (not quantity, variety). That was the best vacation so far.

That's some practical advice! Thank you!

Looking forward to describing this to the Booking Agent:"We need a room, close to the bar & pool. And a kids bed please."

You're many years from that kind of relaxation. The closest you will get is taking time to yourself, but within a day or two you'll likely start missing your kid. Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

Relaxing vacations with kids is impossible. Even if we were at some type of resort where the staff babysits them during the day, we would still need to take care of them in the morning and evening.

To be honest, I can't wait to get back to work after a vacation so I can finally find some relaxation time. Vacations with kids is exhausting. Going to work is like a true vacation after going on a vacation with kids.

If you want a relaxing vacation, you have to ditch the kids. On a regular basis (1-2 times a year) my wife and I have the grandparents take over kid duty while we get away for a few days. This does take some scheduling since our parents do not live in the same state we do.

Take it in turns to look after kids or hire a baby sitter for some of the time. Maybe one day of the holiday

Family vacations are mainly for the benefit of the kids - for the parents, they can often be tenser than staying at home. If you really want to relax, you might consider taking a few days off with your partner, leaving the kids with their grandparents (if that is an option).

You need to internalize that some day soon you won't be able to do this soon. Your son will have other interests than spending time with you. You have his full attention now but it will go away because of friends, career, his own family, etc. This is a very special time in your life. Don't waste it.

I'm gonna go listen to Cat's in the Cradle and stare at the wall for a bit.

Nothing wrong. Just the daily interaction with people whom you care deeply about, but have their own minds, will limit your ability to fully relax.

In my own experience, when the kids got old enough that they didn't need to be watched 100% of the time, it got a lot more relaxing, maybe not down to the "silent cabin in Norway" level, but still pretty darn good.

Some circumstances have been more relaxing than others. For us, restaurants are a headache, and moving from place to place is stressful. So we choose a location in some less-expensive town and rent a cabin or apartment there for a week or two. That way, we can leave our stuff in one place, cook our own meals, etc.

A possible short-term idea is to "vacation" in a place that resembles your home well enough for your kids to be comfortable, but without all of your possessions and responsibilities getting in the way. An empty house with a big back yard. Now that's an idea.

To relax you have to ditch the child with family for a few days. You don’t need to do anything crazy - just leave the kid with someone you trust and get a hotel anywhere and be adults and you’ll be fine.

If being with your partner is stressful, maybe find a way to carve out some days in the woods alone or with friends. It’s not impossible and definitely helps recharge.

My kids are 6 & 4 and you're not doing anything wrong. Either that or we're both doing something wrong. :)

Relaxation comes in small spurts, like getting your head above water, so suck in as much air as you can whenever it happens and live in the moment until the river sweeps you away again.

Beyond that seriously try meditation or yoga or whatever. You can slowly learn to "choose" to be relaxed here and there, but yea no more relaxing beach vacations for you! At least for a little while.

Thanks for starting this thread!

The difference between a trip and a vacation is you don’t take your kids on vacation.

It gets better in a year or two when they spend all their time on a phone.

My wife had the idea to go for a week in S. France and leave our three old with grandparents in Canada.

Worst descision ever. By day two we were miserable thinking about our little one, and every toddler we saw made us cringe.

Eh, I think it’s healthy for both parents and children to spend some time apart. I have loads of friends who have kids ages 3-5 who have never spent a night away from them. And not because they don’t have the option.

My wife and I both travel regularly for work and fun, sometimes with our daughter, sometimes just the two of us, sometimes on our own. Anything longer than a few days does result in us missing her, but really, it’s fine and probably healthy.

I can imagine that well. I sometimes have to go on business trips for a day or two. It's always pulling at my heartstrings. I don't think a holiday alone is a good solution, I was just wondering if there is something that I can do to ease the stress of managing the needs of a kid in a holiday setting.

Better would have been still doing the grandparent thing, but staying somewhere else near by (but away from the other family).

This way you can visit if you need/want to, but can also focus on relaxing and recovering.

I think everyone vacations for a different reason. For instance, I'm leaving on a two week vacation around Ireland Monday. Sure staying at home would have been "less stressful" - in the sense I have less to worry about, but I'm not taking a vacation to reduce risk.

I think life is about experiences. I've worked in different roles, lived in different places, traveled around, because that's what I enjoy. By moving around and seeing different walks of life, you learn to empathize and understand others. You come back to work with a different perspective.

In fact, I view stress itself as a perspective problem. I will be more relaxed on my vacation (even though I'm traveling with my 6 month old son) because I simply won't worry about the mundane. It's going to be good food, company, and sights. I see no reason it would be less stressful at home.

Now, I have also taken "staycations" - and I love them as well, often I get stuff done around the house, or just chill on my bed all day. It's a different flavor, but I don't find it any less stressful or more enjoyable. I think, in part, it's what ever you (and those around you) view as relaxing and vacations.

Exactly. I take a pretty wide variety of trips though I tend to avoid the beach resort thing. I’ll sometimes stay at home over the holidays, sometimes group adventure travel, by myself or with some else in cities, countryside, camping, etc. it really varies and that’s just one person.

> I think life is about experiences.

I'm going to hijack this quote to discuss an incredibly unpopular idea (among my generation, at least) that I've been kicking around lately. I encountered the exact idea in a book recently, so I'll just let the book explain it:

> Romanticism tells us that in order to make the most of our human potential we must have as many different experiences as we can. We must open ourselves to a wide spectrum of emotions; we must sample various kinds of relationships; we must try different cuisines; we must learn to appreciate different styles of music. One of the best ways to do all that is to break free from our daily routine, leave behind our familiar setting, and go travelling in distant lands, where we can 'experience' the culture, the smells, the tastes and the norms of other people. We hear again and again the romantic myths about 'how a new experience opened my eyes and changed my life'.

> Consumerism tells us that in order to be happy we must consume as many products and services as possible. If we feel that something is missing or not quite right, then we probably need to buy a product (a car, new clothes, organic food) or a service (housekeeping, relationship therapy, yoga classes). Every television commercial is another little legend about how consuming some product or service will make life better.

> Romanticism, which encourages variety, meshes perfectly with consumerism. Their marriage has given birth to the infinite 'market of experiences', on which the modern tourism industry is founded. The tourism industry does not sell flight tickets and hotel bedrooms. It sells experiences. Paris is not a city, nor India a country --- they are both experiences, the consumption of which is supposed to widen our horizons, fulfill our human potential, and make us happier...

--- Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari, p. 115-6

I looked at my Mom's generation and was majorly put off by their general obsession with material possessions. Fight Club profoundly moved me when I first saw it, partly for this reason. So I told myself that I'd spend my money on experiences. Only recently, after having the good fortune to be able to travel around the world a bit, have I come to the different opinion that it's still consumerism. Instagram culture made this very clear. Even my love of reading is a form of consumerism.

It was a bit of a shock to see that passage in Sapiens, because for all of my supposed individualism, I realized that this is probably a widespread trend among my generation (I was born late 80s) and that I wasn't as unique, contrarian, and individualistic as I had imagined myself to be.

I'm still a rebel without a cause, so now I'm focusing my efforts on creating. Painting. Writing. Starting a business. Programming stuff, with the sole purpose of fun and expression. Creating feels like more of a qualitative shift away from consumerism. Don't really have a name for it, though. Creatorism? Creationism...? ;) But who knows, 5 years from now maybe I'll realize that my creationist phase was as much of a herd mindset as my romantic consumerist phase.

Just because Romanticism is overtaken by Consumerism doesn't mean they are the same.

I'm not arguing that they're the same. I'm arguing that consumerism has co-opted romanticism.

I think this is an interesting way of framing things. I'm not someone who travels a lot, although I have the means and the time.

Over the years, multiple people have wondered out loud to me why I don't "travel the world". I rented an apartment from someone recently, and this was one of the first things out of his mouth -- as if it were a given that anyone with the means should do it.

I've always confused by this sentiment. Sometimes I pick up the implication that they think I'm incurious.

I think it boils down to the fact that I care about ideas (and realizing ideas) more than experiences. I listen to (and play) plenty of music, eat all types of food, and I might even know a slightly more diverse set of people than most, but I don't particularly feel a need to travel to do these things.


I had a similar conversation with someone here on HN a year or two ago. I'm not sure if I'll be able to find it, but the idea was that "the only authentic mode of travel is work". There was actually a book that espoused this idea as far as I remember.

There was an implicit criticism of those who spend a lot of money to go sightseeing and "get experiences". "Experiencing" is not the same of participating.

I think this is what your quote means by "romanticism" (although I question the use of that word, since it has so many other meanings.)

(BTW I'm in the queue for Sapiens at the library, so thanks for renewing my interest :) )


I also carpooled with a stranger up the west coast (one of the few times I travelled). I told him about this idea -- that the only authentic mode of travel is work. He travelled the world to shoot documentaries and happened to agree with me (naturally). A lot of his friends seemed to be into Burning Man and he questioned the value of spending so much money for experiences that are divorced from the world.

I don't necessarily endorse his viewpoint, but I think it's a perspective that might spark an interesting conversation.


Anyway, I think you're right that there's a form of "experiencism" in modern culture that is akin to consumerism. I didn't directly connect the two before!

I don't think there is anything wrong with acquiring possessions, or acquiring experiences... but there does seem to be clique-ishness involved. In my experience, as yours, people who value experiences do tend to look down on consumerism.


EDIT: I found the comment, a good re-read :)


In "The Rebel Sell," another one of those books that I continue to think about and reference many years later, the authors make the provoking claim that, contrary to the self-images of most tourists, backpackers, and lovers of foreign culture, the only authentic way to travel is on business trips. With a tangible reason to go abroad, a plausible desire for mutual exchange, instead of the usual leering and viewing and aimless wandering, the business traveller is authentically engaged and directed by a real project.

> Fight Club profoundly moved me when I first saw it, partly for this reason.

This is a serious misreading of the message of Fight Club. The point isn’t that an interest in possessions is bad– it’s that extremist views are bad. The idea is that living in a hovel with a lunatic terrorist should (hopefully) be more abhorrent than flipping through the ikea catalog in a condo.

> "serious misreading"

This is profoundly disrespectful to me. Please do not speak to me as though you're the keeper of The One Correct Interpretation of Fight Club. It's absurd to me that you'd try to speak authoritatively on something as subjective as how I interpreted a story. Your interpretation to me, likewise, seems far away from (what I think are) the main themes of the story, but I'd never label your view as a "misreading."

It's not like I'm coming out of left-field with my interpretation, either. The main character says "the things you own end up owning you." A good chunk of the movie depicts a man who seems to be genuinely happier, freer, and more alive because of his radical rejection of material possessions. E.g. not caring about his condo enables him to stop working a job he hates, and so on. Yes, he ends up being an ethically-ambiguous extremist, but to me that doesn't invalidate the freedom and happiness that he seemed to achieve along the way by renouncing material possessions. Renouncing material possessions does not inevitably lead to becoming a terrorist, either. There's a lot of precedent in Buddhist thought [1] that material possessions keep a person suffering in this world, and only through freeing oneself from attachment to material possessions can that person achieve enlightenment.

P.S. I'm talking about the movie, not the book. I've read the book, but this is one of the rare instances in my opinion where the movie was better than the book.

[1]: https://digitalcommons.unomaha.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?artic...

> A man who seems to be genuinely happier, freer, and more alive because of his radical rejection of material possessions.

This man is a terrorist and is responsible for the death of Robert Paulson, and (possibly) many other people in the explosions at the end.

Most Buddhists AFAIK do not supplement their Buddhism with terrorism.

At the end of the movie they say that they evacuated all of the buildings before the explosions. We could sit here and argue "well maybe they didn't get everyone out" (which I'm guessing is why you said "possibly") but the movie explicitly says that the buildings are evacuated.

Sorry if I came off harsh or aggressive in my other reply. I just got heated. I'm going to stop here, because in my opinion your perspective is too black-and-white for us to have any constructive conversation.

> Most Buddhists AFAIK do not supplement their Buddhism with terrorism.

People do violence, even Buddhist people. Most people are profoundly ignorant of the religion they claim to follow.


> Most Buddhists AFAIK do not supplement their Buddhism with terrorism.

FYI, Buddhism is associated with significant political and ethnic violence in Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Thailand, etc.


If I say,

> Most Christians AFAIK do not supplement their Christianity with terrorism.

Will you link me to the wikipedia on the KKK? There's a difference between some and most.

That's interesting, because I think I generally took it as pro-extremist. While it may have created revulsion by design, it seems so thoroughly devoid of a positive alternative, that it never really occurred to me that the author might be against terrorism or fascism as a means to a sense of authenticity and purpose.

After 9/11 I found the foreshadowing of the end of the movie to be disturbing and wondered if it inspired anyone. I can't remember when I watched it (not in the theater so it might have been afterwards).

Edit: I saw the movie and did not read the book, for clarification.

If you originally come from a small town and you lucky enough to have relatives still alive in your hometown then going back is also relaxing. Works for me. Reminds me that sometimes there just is no need to rush like we do in bigger cities.

And it makes sense. It's hard to relax when you are exhausted from traveling. The best you can do is exhaust yourself getting to/from your destination, then relax while you are there.

Any vacation with constant switching of locations is not about relaxing. It's about something else, and that might be what you want.

The counter example of this is that habits are hard to break when you stay in the same environment. If your habits are what prevent you from relaxing (dog forbid you work from home), then going somewhere else may be just what you need. A change of environment is just a way to escape yourself.

Industrial scale resorts do strike me as a bit bizarre, but they are an industry fed by marketing and advertising. As you say, there are also the "bucket list" things people would like to see/do that end up as vacations, because that's the only time you could do them.

These adventures may also help you relax when you return, because you have memories and stories to tell (or pictures to brag?)... because if you remember the perspective of your vacation, you may be able to relax a bit even when you're back working.

Yes the most relaxing vacations I take are when I get away from my house and local environment, but do virtually nothing at my vacation destination. By nothing I mean just live in the local environment. Don't try to see all the things, or make a lot of plans in advance.

Yep. My favorite vacations were just staying in a guest house in a residential neighborhood in Kyoto or an Airbnb above a bakery in Paris and not really doing much but living life.

> If your habits are what prevent you from relaxing (dog forbid you work from home)

Your typo made me smile as that situation could be just as effective at making it hard to work from home.

I would staycation a lot more but bringing up a number of children, who fortunately have daily lives that closely resemble the description of activities in the article, generally requires some adventure to relieve them from the mundaneness of hanging at home or around the hood.

Going somewhere serene and quiet, and staying put there is my first choice. But finding and getting to and from these places, especially during school holidays, takes some effort and planning. Last summer we drove for 8 hours to a camp spot (not unusual for families to do here in Australia).

Unless you want to get away from your regular routine, this is partially true. Have tried both. Though it need to be said, staycations are underrated, especially in destination states like California.

It’s relatively easy to split the difference in California as well. I live in L.A. and have done short weekend+ vacations to San Diego, Palm Springs and Malibu.

Book a hotel room, drive 60-90 minutes and you’re winding up, essentially, in fairly different worlds, with just as much or nearly as much to explore. It’s a great way to have the ‘destination’ component of a vacation without all the logistics and headaches involved in vacation travel.

There’s also Vegas nearby if you want a totally different scene. My wife and I would go to Vegas quite often before our child and had a wonderful time - almost rejuvenating to our relationship. Now that I think about it, feels odd to say you had a great time in Vegas with your wife haha.

This has been my approach as well. There's a lot of diverse stuff here. I recently spent a long weekend 7 miles away from my house, at the downtown Bonaventure hotel, just walking around DTLA and doing stuff I don't usually get to do. I left my car at home to be sure I wouldn't revert to my standard mode.

When my kid was younger, we used to take the train down to San Diego for a week, or spend the week at a beach hotel in Santa Monica.

That said, travel abroad and to the east coast is really an essential complement to those pleasures. It's good to keep perspective.

I live in San Diego and have a list of tourist places that I haven't been since my arrival in '79. I have friends who live in Manhattan who have their lists of places they haven't been that "all tourists" have been to. Some Manhattan friends and I did a vacation together in San Diego, and I even stayed in the hotel they stayed in. That knocked a few things off my list of tourist sites.

I’m envious. Out of all the places I’ve been, San Diego has always made it to the top of my list of places I want to live in.

I think the article makes it clear that the author does not like to travel too far from home. They don't like dealing with foreign languages nor foreign cultures. They want to be near friends and family (people they know). Beyond the apparent dislike for travel, the article reflects a view that vacationing in another country is an exercise in crossing items of a list or showing off on social media. That misses the mark by quite a bit.

The point of visiting a foreign place is not to escape your home and yourself, but to learn more about yourself, the world and your place in it. There are ways to decry escapism without suggesting people close themselves off to new places and new experiences.

I'm doing just this, this very week, a week during which by coincidence the European heatwave is peaking. I've lounged, read, strolled, and napped, and managed to get myself into a state of relaxation I haven't experienced in years...

I am working in the european tourism industry. I don't think I'll ever go on holidays again.

Right now they are all gung-ho on `experiences` (hello Airbnb influence) and `transformation` tourism spiced up with personal development lingo.

My colleagues label me the oddball when I tell them I'd rather spend my free time around my house and interacting with the community I live in rather than spend money on some trips and hotel rooms across Europe.

I've seen these experience things pushed hard by airbnb (in Europe) lately and I don't know what to think of them. Perhaps you could shed some light, being in the industry?

Cynical part of me says that most would be empty tourist trap type things. The concept of paying for a completely set up, planned, 'experience' seems to sort of cancel out what an experience is and what is special and enjoyable about it.

On the other hand, tours have existed forever, unique place-specific activities have existed forever, and I enjoy those when I do them. These things might be no different except done by 'regular people' instead of companies, and maybe a bit more diverse and creative, which in a way might actually really be more genuine and enjoyable.

I think “experiences” are basically tours repackaged for a generation that has become used to extremely high levels of production value in all the forms of entertainment which they consume.

This is true if:

1. Your normal style of travel is to see and do everything, and not stay in one place longer than a few days, versus parking yourself at a beach/campsite/resort/etc and reading books for week.

2. You live somewhere relaxing, not a big noisy bustling city (or perhaps if you are particularly mindful). Even then, sometimes it's nice to get away from your usual scenery.

When you've got 2 weeks of vacation a year it's easy to feel obligated to see all the things. If you have the opportunity to do some long term traveling I highly recommend it. It's a very different experience to absorb culture by osmosis vs force-feeding it to yourself.

In the UK the idea of a paid holiday is a new idea, up until 1938 working men had no entitlement to such a thing. The trade unions were responsible for getting the change although initially the entitlement was for just one week of paid holiday. Eventually two weeks became the norm and then the E.U. laws harmonised the rules to whatever we have today.

There was a need then for taking people's money off them to take them somewhere for this mandatory holiday fun. This provided quite a bonus to the railways and associated industries. Seaside towns in the UK are still littered with the leftover hotels and amusements that got borne into being before the airplane came along. Planes took the holidaymakers away to cheaper parts of the world where the strong pound meant that Spanish and Greek folk could wait on average Brits, accepting wages that nobody would work for in the UK. A lot of such tourism was living for cheap and having other people do the chores for you, not exactly the pinnacle of adventure.

So ingrained is the notion of holiday that it really is mandatory. To stay at home and enjoy the home you have been working fifty weeks of the year to secure is anathema, total crazy talk that would mark you out as eccentric. Just because some trade union people fought for the right for paid holidays in eighty years ago is forgotten and not known by the working man, yet just because of this legislation the act of going on holiday is deemed mandatory. It is a win for capitalism and it means nobody is truly getting off the hamster wheel and enjoying the art of doing nothing. Even in this article - albeit American - there is still a lot of emphasis on doing inane stuff, loitering around local shops, putting effort into doing holiday things but in your back yard. We still seem afraid of an open ended commitment to unstructured self development, taking time out to do nothing. Times of nothingness are great for original thinking, creativity and learning, maybe some people just can't do it.

Pedantic point, but the unpaid holiday was around a lot longer in the UK. The mill towns all celebrated "wakes weeks", holiday periods ostensibly linked to religion but also undoubtedly a chance for mill owners to implement the sort of changes which could only be implemented when the machines weren't running. The seaside resorts (particularly the less upmarket and more northern ones) grew up in the nineteenth century to cater for that, particularly since different towns took their holidays in different weeks between June and September. Not least because the people that scrimped and saved to be able to afford rail fares, amusements and sticks of rock didn't have a great deal to enjoy back at home

> Times of nothingness are great for original thinking, creativity and learning, maybe some people just can't do it.

Nothing is scarier than some time alone with your thoughts. You may even feel something...

Staycations (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Staycation) are quite common now as the weak pound made traveling abroad too expensive for many people.

That's a very interesting point of view!

Correction: The most relaxing vacation you can take is telling everyone you're heading to Mexico and then going nowhere.

I quit my job, sold all my shit and thru hiked El Camino de Santiago 5 years ago. After about a week I had no idea what day of the week I was on. It was a glorious and totally boundary-breaking experience. I have never been so at peace with myself. And I've never looked at life the same way. My vacations have largely consisted of getting lost in the wilderness (I live in Colorado) or another country/culture ever since. It's like a detox for my mind. I don't think I could ever enjoy a staycation.

Jobs that afford expendable income to be able to travel are rarely physically exhausting. Most vacations are mental "breaks" from work.

We don't need to be still to relax. Just like exercising the right amount can actually boost your energy, simulating your brain in the right amount can help provide a break from your work.

For most people, exiting a new place on a leisurely schedule can be just the right amount of simulation to feel relaxing.

I quit my job knowing a better one was coming down the pipe soon. Had 10 weeks off. I did nothing except sleep, read, exercise. It was glorious

I can travel in my mind by reading and meditating.

Actual traveling is mostly just an excuse to distract oneself from exploring one's own inner unknown territory.

I never gained anything by visiting a new place b/c at the end of the day everything is pretty much the same. Of course it is exciting and I also totally enjoy it - but real growth is not dependent on that at all.

My best vacations have been planned in only the loosest sense, ie. choose a hotel or BnB, book the flight, maybe rent a car at the airport if necessary, done. Then explore whatever feels interesting, eat good food, soak up the experience.

I've done the Scottish Highlands, Malaga and southern Germany (3 times) like this, and it's been amazing every time.

My wife and I take at least one staycation a year just for a change of scenery. We will take an Uber to another part of our metro area, stay at a hotel for two or three days and we won't do anything spectacular. Go out to eat and drink, maybe go to a show or just do nothing.

We don't have a bucket list, no pressure to "do" anything, etc.

I never understood the concept of staying in a hotel in the same town. I travel a lot on business and to me, Hotels are not relaxing as much as my own house.

Relaxing vacation for me is to go to a remote place away from your own town, get a cabin and totally unwind. I never understood staycations especially hotel-staycations.

It depends on your idea of "your town". My family lives, works, and plays in the 'burbs. We never have any reason to go in town. Staying in town is a change of scenery. We don't have to drive (take Uber) and we don't have to go through the expense and hassle of an airport.

It seems like hotels are work for you. Likewise, I don't expect a forest ranger would relax in a cabin.

The point of hotel or airbnb is same town is to have staycation but avoid seeing the stuff that requires chores in your home environment.

Whether this is true depends entirely on where you live and what your living circumstances are.

The most relaxing vacation I have ever been on is a cruise. At least the days when we were not in port. When you are at sea and literally cannot go anywhere because you are on a boat there was no expectation or feeling of needing to be "doing something". You could just wander around, take a nap, stare out at the water, eat, read a book, play a game, etc. So incredibly relaxing. I'd love to go on a cruise that just went from point A to point B without going into port anywhere until it was time to exit the boat. That would be incredibly relaxing I imagine.

I did staycations for 10 years and now I am doing 10 years of going as far as I can; I vastly prefer the latter. At home we inevitably end up doing things that do not, for my definition anyway, belong in a vacation. And the stress thing of vacation goes away if you just do not plan anything upfront besides getting the tickets. We sometimes end up just walking through nature or city instead visiting 100 places hurriedly with some guide. And that is fine; for me vacation means that I do what I like; I do not need to see anything for that sometimes.

I don't know... I traveled around the world for >1.5 year, staying at one country/city for a ~month, and it was the most relaxing time of my life. And I worked full-time, happily remotely, on stuff that was bleeding edge with proper deliveries. It's amazing to work hard on something, then walk out to a completely different culture and plug in part of the brain that is not used at work. That also led to many unexpected creative collaborations as well as starting a company with a person I met at the opposite end of the world.

I agree with the premise(vacation is stressful and expensive), but staying at home doesn't provide the sense of isolation/independence from outside world that tourists seek. There are ways to do this at home though. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isolation_tank Vacations just replace stress X with stress Y.

I agree, best holidays is a bunch of days at home without doing anything related to work. If you want to push this further you can order food every dinner. But really, nothing restores me more than 3 days home with my wife playing a bunch of videogames/boardgames and going out for dinner

Also it reduces your carbon footprint. Our ancestors didn't need to go on vacation on the other side of the globe. It should stay à luxury.

There were many famous explorers and worldly leaders/intellectuals throughout history.

As others have said, if you want to relax, it makes sense to start close to home. If you want to scratch that ancestral itch to explore then go travel.

If you take a statistical approach to describing phenomena, then the parent’s point stands, despite the outliers you mention.

That's a hell of a way to say it wasn't as common back then.


I think distinguishing between statistical and absolute statements is important. It’s common for people to point to exceptions or outliers as a demonstration that a given statement is false, when the statement in question is statistical in nature, rather than an absolute.

It often leads to misrepresentation and people talking past each other. For instance, it plays a pretty strong role in ongoing disagreements about gender roles, gender identity, etc.

Hah. So many arguments or debates have broken down to nonsense because of the pedantic tendency to call out someone’s statement that obviously wasn’t meant as an absolute but didn’t specifically say statistically likely or unlikely.

I mean that you should say things more simply in less words. I don't mean to be rude, just an honest critique, but you give the impression of trying too hard.


But the most interesting one is not.

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