Last time, I talked about my solo vacation that I started calling my “Space and Grace” trip. I’ve had a lot of friends ask me how I did this and I wanted to share my process with you all in case you wanted to plan one of your own.
First off, I HIGHLY recommend doing this. Even if it’s just once. To give yourself the gift of time (the ONE resource we have that is nonrenewable) is one of the greatest things you can do for yourself. It doesn’t need to be splashy or fancy and it certainly doesn’t need to break the bank.
Secondly, this is obviously not an exact science. I just wanted to document what I did and how I approached this trip for myself. So, let’s start with the basics.
Determine your budget. Figure out how much you can spend and go back from there. If you’re able to swing a hotel and a plane ticket, awesome. But it’s definitely not required. Once you know your budget, you can start looking at your options.
Ask yourself: What do I want to feel while on this trip? This is important. For me, I wanted to go somewhere that took my breath away. I wanted to feel inspired by my surroundings and environment. I wanted to go somewhere that made me shake my head and take a deep breath (with a big smile on my face) when I looked around. Do you want to feel relaxed? Do you want to feel excited? Do you want to feel stimulated or chill? Do you want to feel comfortable or like an explorer?
Put your intentions out there. I posted on my personal Facebook page asking for destination suggestions. I gave some general guidelines (won’t break the bank, reasonable travel time, beautiful and relaxing) and let my friends inspire me. It was there that I got the idea to look into Sedona, AZ and it turns out that it fit the bill pretty well (even though it was NOT by water, the amazing mountains more than made up for that).
4. Take the next step. So often, we have these great ideas but we convince ourselves that we’re crazy, selfish or that everything will fall apart if we take off for a few days. Trust me, none of that is true. The first thing I did was talk to my husband. I proposed a budget and a timeline and we talked about why I wanted to do this. He fully supported me and soon I was booking my flight and AirBnB.
5. It takes a village when I go out of town. I have pretty active kids with busy social lives and extracurricular activities. I had to get my husband on board, my parents and friends involved to make sure that everything was covered. I am fortunate to have people in my life that are willing and able to help me out even from a distance, and I realize not everyone has that kind of support system. You might need to get creative. Is there someone you can trade childcare with? A time of year to travel that isn’t heavy on the scheduling? Think outside the box if you need to.
6. Plan as much (or as little) as you want to. My life is full of obligations, as you can imagine. Our calendar in our kitchen is always full. I like a busy life. And I try to schedule in down days too because I know how I get. So for this trip, I really wanted to feel into what I truly WANTED to do IN THE MOMENT and go from there. So I looked up stuff to do and made a list of things that sounded like fun. And then I just went. I didn’t have a daily agenda, I didn’t call ahead for reservations on anything… I didn’t need to on this trip since so much of it was outdoors and reservations weren’t needed anyway. And once I got there, I just checked in with myself. What do I feel like doing today? One day was full of hiking and sightseeing, the next day had me in early for the night taking a bubble bath with some sparkling grape juice and binge watching Netflix. It was bliss.
7. Enjoy yourself. I checked in at home frequently because I wanted to, not because I felt like I had to. This was important to me. I FaceTimed with them to show them where I was and to see how beautiful it was. I texted them when I was thinking about them or had something to share. But other than that, I trusted the people I left behind to do what they said they would do (and they did) and just enjoyed myself. I didn’t let myself get into the “This is so selfish, you should be at home tucking in your kids,” too often. Of course it happened but I didn’t linger there. I just brought my attention back to the moment and soaked in the enjoyment.
And that’s how I planned my very first solo vacation. It will not be the last, I can promise you that. I love traveling with my husband and we already have a couple of trips that we’re planning, but there is something about being by myself, doing what I want that just resonated with my soul. It was incredible.
Have you ever done a solo vacation? Where did you go? What was it like?