Traveler's Test

12 midweek mini trip ideas for when you can’t take a day off

12 midweek mini trip ideas for when you can’t take a day off

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The challenge: Do something cool and adventurous this Tuesday (no day off from work required)!

Big adventures are inspiring and they are great for impressing strangers in bars, but they happen quite rarely and the gap between them can make your life feel empty and uneventful. Plus, sometimes you just can’t take a day off from work even when you’re itching to get out and do something fun.

But all hope is not lost! There are several options that you’ve probably failed to notice in your despair.

After all, on a normal working day you’re free:

  • in the morning;
  • during your lunch break;
  • after work (including the evening).

Here are 12 ideas for mini trips and adventures that you can squeeze into these breaks. They’re exciting, Instagram-worthy (because we all crave that killer shot that gets 100+ likes) and will help your free spirit survive until the weekend comes.

#1 Organize a sunrise picnic

A sunrise picnic by the lake | © Maria Angelova/

A picnic can be so much more than eating an alfresco meal on a blanket. Simply changing the time of your picnic can completely change the experience. Leave home an hour or so before sunrise, take a flask of coffee and breakfast in a basket, then drive somewhere beautiful to greet the new day.

>>> Try more creative picnic ideas.

#2 Head outside for your morning workout

Outdoor yoga routine | © Maria Angelova/

Yoga, tai chi or downhill biking – whatever your sporting passion is, try it somewhere new and exciting. Why practice your morning meditation in your living room when you can do it in a forest or a quiet park?

#3 Go ‘forest bathing’ like the Japanese

Go forest bathing | © Maria Angelova/

The Japanese call it shinrin-yoku (forest bathing) – the practice of walking in the forest to improve your health. The Swedes have a somewhat similar tradition called gökotta, which involves heading to a forest before sunrise to listen to the first birdsong of the morning. It’s much more exciting to tell your colleagues you practiced shinrin-yoku or gökotta instead of simply saying “I went to the park this morning.”

#4 Walk to work

Swap your daily commute for a walk to combine a healthy lifestyle, physical activity and a peaceful rebellion against big city’s pollution. It’s no coincidence that there’s a Walk to Work Day – use it as inspiration!

#5 Do something unusual in your lunch break

If you stop thinking of your lunch break as just a meal time, you’ll be able to come up with tons of amazing activities that you can squeeze into your day. If you’re struggling for inspiration, read this list of unusual lunch break ideas.

#6 Hop on your bike and ride to the nearest peak

Cycle for the sunset | © Maria Angelova/

All the sweat and pain of climbing a hill on two wheels is worth it when there’s a jaw-dropping view at the top. Take a bottle of wine and share it with your fellow mini-adventurers on a summer’s day; you can enjoy the sunlight long after work is over.

Psst. We’ve compiled a cycling playlist here.

#7 Dine on a lake shore

Dine on a lake shore | © Maria Angelova/

Instead of having dinner at home or at a restaurant, grab your favorite takeaway and head to the nearest lake. Reservoirs, river banks, city ponds and fountains will also suffice if your neighborhood is lacking in lakes. Of course, lakeside meals are often interrupted by lakeside birds, so keep some crumbs at hand for your feathered friends.

#8 Book a table at a restaurant in another city

Indulging in a scrumptious meal is always a special event, no matter whether you’re abroad or at home. To make this weekday night even more special, research a good restaurant in a neighboring city and head there. Don’t forget to try the dessert of the day!

#9 Go stargazing

A blanket, a friend and a half-hour drive out of the city are the only three ingredients you need for a memorable night under the stars. If it’s August and you live in the Northern Hemisphere, you can plan to see the Perseids meteor shower.

#10 Sleep in a hotel in your own city

Choose a cozy boutique hotel in your own city and treat yourself to a midweek vacation. Take advantage of all the services: the spa center, the gourmet restaurant, the rooftop bar…

#11 Go midweek camping somewhere close to your city

Go midweek camping | © Maria Angelova/

Midweek camping is so unexpectedly refreshing that once you’ve tried it, you may wonder why you’ve wasted all those years sleeping under a ceiling. It’s much easier than it sounds; you don’t need a day off and you don’t need to drive for miles. Simply read our guide: How to organize a midweek nature escape in 10 easy steps.

#12 Go on a night hike

Provided you have an acceptable mountain/hill close to where you live and there’s a trail you know like the back of your hand, you have no excuse not to put your headlamp on and head on a refreshing hike under the moonlight. Choose a night with a full moon for an extra special experience.

Featured image: © Maria Angelova/

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