We tend to think of adventure travel in boom-or-bust terms: we’re either out there taking a game drive across the Ngorongoro Crater, or we’re doing nothing at all.
But wanderlust is something that can come in smaller servings, too. It doesn’t have to be a major spectacular, planned years in advance.
In fact, if you’re devoted enough to the concept, you can make every other weekend an adventure.
How? Step forward the micro-escape.
What is a micro-escape?
More than half of over 20,000 travellers surveyed worldwide want to take more weekend trips in 2019, according to data from booking.com.
A micro-escape is a way of doing exactly that.
It’s a bite-sized, curated getaway that trades maximum experience on minimum time.
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You may only have two days in Iceland or Hong Kong, but you can make the most of every last minute by packing it to the brim with standout experiences.
That way, you save on your annual leave while making the most of your precious time off. In other words, no more slobbing around on the sofa over Netflix marathons…
Why do I need a micro-escape?
With 60% of Brits struggling with the stress of task overload at work, you won’t always have the luxury for long holidays. Taking time out might even seem more trouble than it’s worth.
Yet, at the same time, the toll that stress is taking on your emotional health means you may well *need* a break.
A micro-escape is a good compromise: it gives you all the thrill of exploring somewhere new, for a fraction of the time-away cost.
You get to hit the re-set button and come back refreshed and renewed, but without the legwork that goes into taking a chunk of time off.
Think of it as a refreshing slug of juice now and again, during a never-ending triathlon.
Also consider this: it’s really hard to remember a weekend when you’ve done nothing at all.
Diving into your duvet with a bag of Doritos for the duration may seem like a good idea at the time, but you won’t feel particularly good for it. You’ll emerge foggy-headed, almost in a hangover state, from your 48 hours lounging around doing zilch.
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Plot your weekend so that it overflows with the new and the unknown, however, and it’s a whole different picture.
Not only do you max out on the time you have to travel (so often curtailed), it’ll also shake you up and give you the kind of pep you need to tackle the week ahead.
How can I make the most of my micro-escape?
Well, since you ask – let us be your guide.
Flash Pack has a series of micro-escapes that are specifically designed to blitz you out of your comfort zone in just three or four days.
These won’t always fall on weekends, but they WILL whittle down the time you need off, and pack that time back-to-back with incredible events.
Here are just a few to tickle your fancy, in Europe and also further afield (in case you’re based in the States, Asia or beyond).
Grab a pair of sweet retro wheels to cruise between medieval towns in the remote countryside of Spain. This is an escape of sweeping valley views, new skills and some seriously delicious local cuisine.
Bathe in the iconic Blue Lagoon, marvel at erupting geysers and zoom across the glistening white horizon on a fleet of snowmobiles. Have your crampons ready for a hike on Sólheimajökull glacier, and keep watch for the Northern Lights.
Kayak your way to a hearty pub dinner in this lovely weekend sojourn, and knock back golden whisky in Scotland’s highest distillery. Then there’s mountain hiking, canyoning and clay pigeon shooting going down, too.
Rope up to explore the largest glacier in mainland Europe, with ice caves and an al fresco picnic. Also featured on this whirlwind break: a hike to a goat’s cheese farm, sea kayaking and zipping across mirror-still fjords via private RIB boat.
Slovenia’s Lake Bled is your jaw-dropping location for the weekend, complete with cosy wooden cabins and hot tubs. Kayak across the lake to an ancient island, canyon through the nearby Bohinj Valley and join a beer crawl in the lively capital.
Rustle up a giant appetite for a jaunt around the hidden foodie hot spots of Hong Kong, from neighbourhood markets to dai pai dongs. Then, tackle a glorious urban trek with views of the South China Sea, and sail across the harbour at sunset. This will suit you if you’re on a stopover in the region or live nearby (e.g. as a digital nomad in Chiang Rai).
Make the picturesque Laurentian Mountains your playground for the weekend, with zip-lining, hiking and a serene day of canoeing in Mont-Tremblant National Park. Wrap things up with a foodie foray through downtown Montreal. The perfect getaway for New Yorkers and other East Coast dwellers.
And the resolution bit comes in how?
Let’s face it, if you sit around simply pledging to travel more and supersize your weekends, you’ll never do it.
Instead, get a few micro-escapes in the diary now for 2019, to introduce a veneer of adventure to the year ahead.
That way, no matter how demanding work gets, you’ll always have a get-out card lingering on the horizon (and you’ll get leave booked nice and early, so no-one can argue with it).
Plus, making this a resolution will work well to the snowball effect of micro-escapes.
The more you push yourself into the unknown, the more skills you’ll learn and the more people you’ll meet.
Your world will literally become bigger, as you take small steps towards greater risks, and welcome adventure into your life.
The desire to explore and shake up your everyday will become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Let the escapades commence… !
Images: Flash Pack and Shutterstock