Reservations for One (Or Maybe Two)

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Does anyone really go on vacation by themselves? When it is only one or two of us do we really need to vacation by ourselves?  Or, as with most people, should our time off only be dedicated to “visits” with family (parents, kids, grandkids)? Isn’t a vacation something you do in a minivan with kids fighting over what video to watch (and complaining about how much time it is taking to arrive)?

In order, the answers to the questions are: yes, yes, no, no and no.  We most certainly need time off, regardless of our household size, and it is paramount that we look for opportunities to relax our minds and souls and above all get out of our routine.   

Living solo or in pairs can make certain things problematic.  Not because they are actually a problem but because of the mind set that we have adopted around certain activities.  One of the most prominent examples, especially this time of year, is the “vacation.” Our vision of the vacation has always been family trips, big events (cruises, tours, amusement parks, camping, resorts, etc).  To plan a few getaways by ourselves seems silly.  After all, when we are not responsible for kids and their schedules we can “get away” any time we like.

The problem is we don’t.  And that is a mistake.  We get ourselves locked into what it means to “go on vacation”.  Even the phrase implies going somewhere, which isn’t necessarily our best option.  It is true that, when we have kids, we often capitalize on their time off

Photo courtesy of morgue
Photo courtesy of morgue

of school and in between sports and summer camps.  However, when we are not actively raising children we can be more flexible, taking smaller but more numerous weekends and partial weeks.  With the exception of destinations with heavy travel requirements (the aforementioned cruises, tours, and resorts) our flexibility is not only an advantage but also takes away from some of the restlessness that comes from too much time away from home.  

Here are just a few of the ideas for vacationing solo or in pairs:

Staycation:  There are two aspects to a Staycation.  The first is booking time to get done that which we have been “putting off”. Ask anyone who has moved in the last two or three years and it is a good bet there is a box or two they “haven’t gotten to yet.”  And it is a good bet that for anyone who hasn’t moved there is an area of the house (closet, basement, or garage) that could use a ruthless cleaning.  Regardless, this can be a time to tear into those projects.  And don’t think that that because it involves a useful activity it isn’t “rest” but constitutes “work”.  Getting something done which has been bugging us or doing a permanent enhancement to our living condition is a great way to spend time “off.”  

Daytripping:  We are blessed in this area with an amazing array of things writhing a 45 mile radius.  It is a demonstrative fact that most of us do not take advantage of our amazing opportunities for vacation right here at home.  One of the most common statements is, “I haven’t been since Mom {Dad, sister, brother, cousin, friend, etc} was in town}. We begin with the ever present metroparks, any one of which would make a perfectly relaxing day of wandering around and having a picnic.  There is no need to travel 1000 miles to enjoy a great site, a good read, and some good food made by any one of several dozen excellent local delis.  Then there is the Toledo Museum of Art.  Or the Toledo Botanical Gardens.  Or The Henry Ford in Detroit.  The Hayes Presidential Center at Spiegel Grove. Or Detroit Institute of Art. Or Maumee Bay State Park.  Or…..

Overnights:  Chicago, Detroit, Ann Arbor, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Columbus, Port Clinton, Put in Bay.  Even though Chicago is a bit of a stretch this are just a few of the place within a day’s drive of our home, all with their own charm.  You need neither a big plan, a lot of time,  nor a travel agent to visit Chicago’s Field Museum, Columbus’ Short North, Cincinnati’s Jungle Jim’s Market, or spend the day on the resort island of Put in Bay.  tafinew3

Event or Destination Focus:  Festivals, music jams, county and state fairs, Rib and BBQ competitions, community celebrations,art shows.  In our area check T.A.F.I..  For further afield check local or state tourism agencies.  The point is, don’t limit yourself to squeezing these wonderful events in and around doing your laundry.  Make a day trip of them.

Using Resources

Most of these trips are fairly inexpensive and many of the venues are free (The Toledo Museum of Art is a prime example).  Plus an overnight trip, even with a hotel stay, can be pretty inexpensive, especially if you shop the hotel through several discount sites.  Add to that a nice meal and a visit to someplace that get you out of your routine and 48 hours can feel like a cruise with the right attitude.

Besides the usual apps to find discounts on hotels, restaurants, and attractions, don’t discount public styles of transportation.  The Mega Bus, for instance, can get you to Chicago (in about 7 hours) or NYC (in about 13 hours) fairly comfortably at a shockingly low cost with just a bit of pre planning.  Allegiant Air flies to several points in Florida and Myrtle Beach SC for low rates AND departs from Toledo Express.  In other words, although not strictly “day tripping” it is another resource to get away.

So pack an overnight bag.  Commit to a couple of days of personal recovery time.  Take a “mental health” long weekend.  Go do something you have had on a secret bucket list.  But go and do.  Vacations when we live solo or in pairs are important.  When making our time off right sized, it can be memorable, restful, and above all, enjoyable.


  1. Nice article, Kadee and u do just what you propose frequently. We like the B&Bs in conjunction with visiting vineyards and winery locations and nearby restaurants. It’s amazing how a two to three day getaway renews us as we get away from home, work and the daily tasks! Keep up the interesting articles! Mike

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