How to Gain Vacation Time During the Dark Winter Days

With the change of the clocks that comes with the end to Daylight Saving Time (DST), most of you are noticing how early it gets dark outside. Falling back gains you one hour of sleep, but you lose that crucial early evening daylight. Depending on where you live, the sun may start setting as early as 4:30pm or perhaps earlier! That means by the time you leave work at a typical hour, it is dark and a bit depressing during the commute home.

So how can you overcome the winter season blues by gaining an hour of vacation time? Easy! Use the sunrise to your advantage! Since it will start becoming bright outside quite early, set your alarm clock to meet the day at its very beginning. Consult the weather report first and pick a forecast sunny day during the working week.

Here are the sunrise times for several large cities in the U.S. and Canada.

Sunrise and Sunset Times for Various Cities

Well what can you do at 6:30 or 7 o’clock in the morning that is vacation like? You may not feel like going out in the dark and often cold evening after work. Instead try for an hour or two of sunrise enjoyment before work.

Here are our top ideas on how to make the most of the dark winter work days by getting out at sunrise.

  • Head to work early and simply sit in your car or a bench near the office reading the newspaper or a good book.
  • Find a coffee shop or cafĂ© that opens early or 24/7 and grab a seat by the window for a morning snack.
  • Explore your city by taking a neighborhood stroll past interesting buildings and historic sites while you have the place to yourself.
  • Get some exercise by taking a walk or jog along a country path or in a nearby park.
  • Grab your camera (bring a snack too) and take photos of the sunrise in a picturesque spot to share online.
  • Organize a meet up with a few friends at any of the above places to share the sunrise with good conversation.
  • Get up early and plan a trip online (be inspired by travel bloggers) with the sunshine on your mind.
  • Just go outside and breathe in the sunshine and start your day off in a relaxed and energized place.

See I bet you didn’t realize there were so many ways to enjoy a sunny hour of vacation time even in the winter months? Don’t forget that starting with the winter solstice on December 21st, the days will once again start getting longer. Enjoy the winter daylight when you can with the knowledge that springtime is on its way (eventually).

For some interesting statistics, view this list of daylight saving time around the world to find out which countries participate.

* Sunrise and set times for cities in the United States and Canada provided by