Sunny Days Ahead? Get Outside and Take One Vacation Day

With the first official day of Summer weeks away, it’s time to start planning your sunny day vacations. When sunny days are in the forecast, take one day of vacation to spend in and around your home town. Think of it like a work-life balance boost. Not every vacation needs to be a week in length or involve a flight as VacationCounts readers well know. Dip into your growing stockpile of unused vacation days and set a few aside for use on a predicted sunny day this season.

Take One Vacation Day When It's Sunny

Tips for One Sunny Day of Vacation

My advice is to mark your calendar with one vacation day in the coming weeks. Pick a period when you expect good weather and when you are likely to be able to break free from work. Monitor the weather situation and consider your current work load as the week approaches. The flexibility of your job situation makes all the difference as to whether you have to pick a day in advance and stick with it or wait until the last-minute for the perfect sunny day to arrive.

When the week of your expected vacation day off approaches, talk to your manager and let her or him know that you wish to take a single vacation day. Taking even just one day off (to go outside) is good for relaxation, rejuvenation, and when you come back to work your productivity and motivation will surely improve. Ask for as much flexibility as possible, but be happy with what you can get. One day away from the office or work site shouldn’t require the same advance notification and planning as an entire week. Hopefully that is true at your job as well.

Of course rain is always a risk factor and weather forecasts are far from accurate in many parts of the country, so you must work within certain bounds. If possible, wait until a Sunday night or Monday morning to check the forecast. When for example Wednesday is supposed to be a sunny and warm day, see if you can get approval for a day off with minimal notice. Whether you are allowed to take one day at a time without advance warning is entirely dependent on your job and employer, so stop to find out the time-off rules and possibilities first.

For many companies you have to schedule vacation weeks in advance. That is well outside the accurate weather prediction zone. Therefore take your best guess and go for it. There are plenty of indoor and rainy day activities that you can switch to if it ends up that you chose your sunny day vacation poorly. To monitor the local forecast I recommend the less commercial Wunderground.com (Weather Underground) website. Much of their real-time data is provided by weather stations run by regular people around the globe. Of course you can also type the word “Weather” into Google and get an instant upcoming week forecast, but what’s the fun in that? 😉

What To Do On A Sunny Vacation Day

While picking the perfect sunny and warm workday is your ultimate goal, don’t become too fixated on the weather as opposed to the potential of a day of freedom from work.  I prefer picking a day in the middle of the week, like on a Wednesday to break up the work week. The more important question is what to do on your full day off with an almost guaranteed sunny forecast. The obvious choice is an outdoor activity.

Vacation Day Photo - Park

Vacation Day Photo - City Walk

Vacation Day Photo - Farmers Market

Vacation Day Photo - Beach

One Day Vacation Inspiration Photos by Sidewalk Safari

Here is a list of popular categories of things to do outside to get you thinking:

  • Hit a hiking or biking trail at a nearby local or state park
  • Play a full round of golf, tennis, or your favorite sport at your leisure
  • Head to the beach, river, or lake with a good book and the sounds of the water
  • Travel by public transit to the nearest big city and spend the day as a tourist
  • Seek areas with flowers and wildlife such as a botanical garden or nature reserve
  • Get out on the water to sail, fish, or just breath in the fresh air
  • Map out a looped driving route that takes in open spaces and scenic places
  • Book a table at an outdoor dining area to enjoy lunch with the sun on your face

For those who have a spouse or partner who works, do they have the same possibility of taking a single vacation day as you? If the answer is yes or if they don’t work, time the date to include them along on your one day trip. A similar approach applies when you have children. You can take a vacation day during the summer break from school and invite the kids along. Even with only one day to plan, the possibilities for a memorable full day of a couple’s or family vacation together are endless.

Use this opportunity to keep a running list of sunny vacation days ideas for inspiration and to get you excited about your one-day trips. Open up Google Docs right now or Evernote or the notepad application on your smart phone to jot down your own bucket list of one-day vacation activities.

Plan Ahead (but not too far ahead) for a Summer Vacation Day Off

My purpose in writing this post is to encourage everyone to try this technique to improve their work-life balance. We all need a reminder to take our vacation days and the approach of summer is just that. Taking one day at a time is just another fulfilling way to make sure that you succeed.

Bonus Tip: Do you have a friend at work who is in serious need of a vacation day who you can invite along?  It may seem like a bigger deal than asking a co-worker to lunch, but nurturing friendships at work is a way to integrate your work and life in a positive way.  There is no harm in asking, especially when your casual suggestion enables your colleague to also appreciate the need to take their vacation days. You’ll both return to work the next day less stressed and better able to take on your work assignments with renewed energy. Don’t you agree?

Remember that sunny days are on the horizon so now is the time to put these vacation day plans into motion. Do it for yourself, your family, and your employer since taking vacation days has proven benefits for all three. You may become addicted to taking a day off here and there, even when it is not sunny. My only hope is that in your line of work, your company and your boss allow you to take full advantage of this one-day vacation taking approach.

  • John James Joseph says:

    I really enjoy this site. I found it a couple of years back when I was seeking reasons for living happy. I used to change jobs and rarely used vacation time, which I realize now was a real waste of my precious time for nourishing my relationships and finding “me.” I realize that life is not all about work, and seek free time to enjoy my wife and our time together.

    • Thanks so much John for the kind words and sharing your own experience. We need more people to wake up from this all-too-common work-work pattern to treasure and use free time wisely for ourselves, for our families, and for enjoyment. Well said!

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