An Ode to Quick Vacations

An Ode to Quick Vacations

An Ode to Quick Vacations

When Alex and I first started dating, he told me that he never liked short vacations. “A vacation is all about relaxing,” he would say. “I don’t want to fly somewhere only to turn right around. I’d rather take one long vacation.” But! Over the past eight years, I’ve taught him the genius that is the lightning-fast getaway…

An Ode to Quick Vacations

This past weekend, for his final birthday extravaganza, we took a weekend trip to Jamaica. We stayed in the beautiful Round Hill hotel, which I’d totally recommend. One great thing about a quick vacation is that you can splurge on a nicer hotel — since, obviously, it’s way cheaper to stay somewhere for two nights than seven. Plus, the rates are super reasonable this time of year, because it’s rainy season. Another great thing about the hotel is that it’s in Montego Bay, only 20 minutes from the airport (that’s key for such a short trip!).

An Ode to Quick Vacations

We flew out of New York very early in the morning (don’t be put off by the 6 a.m. flight, you can sleep on the plane!) and arrived at the hotel in time for lunch. So our first day felt like a full day — lunch, swimming, reading on the beach, snorkeling, drinks and dinner.

An Ode to Quick Vacations We were excited to get an upgrade — it was Alex’s birthday and it was low season — so we ended up with this awesome outdoor living room. Such a nice place to read and nap during the afternoon rains.

An Ode to Quick Vacations

An Ode to Quick Vacations We also had delicious breakfasts — salt fish, fried dumplings, ackee fruit…

An Ode to Quick Vacations

An Ode to Quick Vacations

Two other couples came down with us, which was really fun. One evening before dinner, we played poker using cards and chips that my friend says he’s had since high school. (What a great thing to pack!)

An Ode to Quick Vacations

Another way to make a short vacation feel long is to switch things up. On other, slightly longer trips, we’ve stayed in two different hotels in the same city; this weekend, we ate in different spots for every meal — including Lobster Trapp, an AMAZING teeny seafood shack right on the water. We had freshly caught shrimp and fish with grilled vegetables.

An Ode to Quick Vacations

The weekend was wonderful, and we felt really lucky. But one final bonus of a quick trip, for me at least, is that I don’t miss the boys too much! When we got back, we gave them each one million kisses, and they showed us their new scooter tricks. :)

Thoughts? Are you into quick getaways? Do you have any trips coming up? Thank you so much for reading!

P.S. Our first trip away from the baby, and a 19-hour vacation we took last summer.

  1. Patrick L. says...

    nice write up…i found your blog off of a google search…to see if anything was out there talking about this very topic.

    I am taking my wife to Jamaica for new year’s eve weekend, fri-mon, we both are very much looking forward to the new idea of a quick weekend fly away trip, as appose to a weeks long get away like we usually take. so i feel your enthusiasm, for sure.

  2. I totally agree with you on the quick weekend getaways! It can be disappointing not taking a long vacation in a place you love, but sometimes we all just need a quick break from life. It’s fun to book a hotel last minute and get work off for a few days to recharge our batteries. My best friend and I did that recently and we decided that we needed to do it more often. Plus, it’s much cheaper to getaway for a weekend instead of a whole week or two.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      how fun to take a trip with a friend! i would love to do that.

  3. I LOVE weekend trips! I’m still young (read – low salary and not many PTO), so weekend getaways are my jam. The key is totally getting an early flight in and a later flight out to maximize time.


  4. I wouldn’t go somewhere that far for only two nights … but I’d fly about an hour to a neighboring province or something like that.

  5. I have always taken small getaways and I am beginning to see that longer ones would actually help me relax, maybe I can try a bit of both next year :)


  6. anne edralin says...

    lovely place! wish i could just pack my bags and go with the hubby and kids! unfortunately, time and money will not allow it for some time. love ur blog, btw, im so glad i stumbled upon it! (thank u, cup of jo!)

  7. I live for short, spontaneous vacations!

  8. Reena says...

    I don’t have any upcoming trips but I love short vacations! We live on the West Coast and we have traveled to San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle and Portland just for 2-3 days. Sometimes that is enough to recharge!

  9. Megan says...

    Love Jamaica! My last stay was for 5 nights. Two days at Jakes, Treasure Beach, and three at the Rock House, Negril. A lovely trip, yet Jakes was an absolute favorite…chill, with a hippie vibe. Irie mon.

  10. Sometimes a long vacation is great, but sometimes a quick getaway is even better because it can break up the monotony of everyday life. It also helps by everything not being planned out, therefore making it spontaneous, which may just be what the Dr. Ordered! You get mad reviews on blog sites, and we are just starting out, please come by and check us out and give an honest opinion @ Thanks!

  11. Becky says...

    What kind of scooter is Anton riding? He looks like a pro! Funny (re:sad) that this is my question about a vacation post…. ;)

  12. Mish says...

    You’ve convinced me. And my marriage thanks you.

  13. what a cool idea! i may have to consider it!

  14. My husband and I used to live in NYC and that’s been our “weekend getaway” of choice since becoming parents 3 years ago. My parents come to our house and stay with the girls for 2 or 3 days, and we just enjoy ourselves in a city we already know and love! But we were just saying that this winter we’d love to go somewhere warm for 3-ish nights. Anything more than that, and I start to get restless on a vacation anyway! This was very inspiring and I’m going to send him this to read ;) thanks!

  15. I’m a weekender. I love weekend getaways! I try to organize a couple of days away at least once every two months. That gives me something to look forward to that makes every month special. Of course I love long vacations, but I prefer having different small holidays during the year that just one long trip.
    Besides, for a control freak like me, it keeps my anxiety levels low(because I don’t leave my home, my job and my things for a long time) but also is the perfect break from my routine.
    Here’s to weekend getaways!

  16. marylou says...

    I love micro-vacations. I just went to a dude ranch in AZ for two days. Beautiful! Then zipped back to the reality of life.

  17. Totally non-vacay related: How much do you love the scooters for the kids, living in the city? We’re DYING of moving 20 miles north into D.C. proper, but we have young kids who are used to a yard and a quiet-ish street on which they can ride their little bikes basically whenever they want. When strolling through the city last weekend (when the kids were with their dad), my girlfriend and I saw a couple local families with young kids on scooters and I thought how genius it was, and what a great compromise.

  18. i love quick holidays! I actually prefer them to long breaks I think. These photos are just beautiful and Jamaica has always been on my wish list!

    Lucy x- Yellowicing

  19. Absolutely love short getaways…. secret to our sanity!!!

  20. shopgirl says...

    Ooooh, if Jamaica would be a short trip for me !! Thus, it is a journey halfway across the world ……

  21. Ashley says...

    You should consider Bermuda for your next quick getaway! Less than 2hr flight from NYC and you will feel a world away!

  22. Sounds like such a lovely get-away. Great pictures :-)

  23. Sarah H says...

    I’ve always had the same mindset as Alex but I think you have convinced me to be brave and try a quick getaway. We have the same aged boys as you guys and I think it’s time we left him for a (quick) getaway. Also, looooove Jamaica! We got married there 7 years ago next month!

  24. Quick is the way to go! My mom has worked for an airline for the past 20 years and I did the past two summers, and holy cow does it give you some incredible opportunities. A one-day trip hopping over to another province isn’t even a second thought some days. It really made us make the most of her (or my) flight benefits! Very cool that you two did the same. :)


  25. Agreed, I live for a short vacation!

    Of course it’s nice to get away from life for an extended time sometimes, but at least for me, I find that after 5 or 6 days max of vacationing in a new place I’m exhausted of living life ‘up in the air’ with no set schedule or objective… I start to miss my own bed and my own schedule and the little things that make my life “my life.”

    so I either enjoy shorter vacations that get me back to my routine before I reach burnout, or reallly long vacations of 3+ weeks. At least with those you tend to set a *new* schedule for the place you’re at, and usually have more of a goal in mind on how you’ll fill your extended time there (though who has 3+ weeks to vacation ;)

  26. Kathy F. says...

    Our family (of four) flew from NY to Savannah for a one night stay 2 weekends ago for a family wedding. An extra night would have been perfect but surprisingly it was still awesome. As my kids get older, we can no longer take them out of school to travel so long weekends during the school year will be the new thing. Kind of reminds me of when I studied abroad in London. We would travel to a new city every weekend. If anyone’s planning to visit Savannah, check out the Westin. Beautiful place to relax for a long (or short) weekend.

  27. Susan says...

    Gorgeous pictures, thanks for sharing! .

  28. Hey Joanna,

    Sooo happy to hear you enjoyed your trip to my homeland.? Round Hill is indeed an amazing place to stay.

    Thanks for sharing

  29. AAAGHHH you stayed at Round Hill! I love that place. We went for a close friend’s wedding and had a wonderful time celebrating and reuniting with old friends in such a gorgeous place. My husband and I would love to go back.

  30. Love this. Hopefully, one day I can do the same with my husband! A quick getaway sounds perfect about now.

  31. Fun idea, and much more doable as a spontaneous thing!

  32. Long live the short vacation! They’re so much easier to handle with a busy work schedule. I actually took a weekend trip to New York earlier this month (from L.A.) and everyone commented on how quick my visit was… as if that were a bad thing. I enjoyed the best of everything home has to offer in three days.

  33. we have never had a break together as a couple as unfortunately there is nobody willing nearby look after our 2 boys, but as the boys have grown older (they are teens now) weekend breaks together just the 4 of us have become an amazing family experience – we are all just back from 2 nights in Copenhagen – it was amazing! I keep reminding myself to enjoy having this time with my boys as much as possible as in a few years they probably won’t want to come along with their old Mum and Dad!!

    • june2 says...

      Gosh, when I was a kid of 5 or so, I remember my parents dropping me and my 3 year old sister off at the farm of willing friends in Vermont before they headed off to Hawaii for their first vacation together. (We lived in Binghamton – upstate NY). I didn’t miss them at all – I still have fond golden colored memories of feeding the horse apples from the tree growing in it’s field. FIND A WAY! haha…!

  34. “What’d you do this weekend?” “Oh, just a little trip to Jamaica.” Haha, that’s so awesome. How lucky are you?! You make it happen, though. I’m usually not one for short vacays, but yours always look like fun. :)

  35. Mary Jenkins says...

    Yes! Short vacations are thrilling. I almost like them better than long vacations which in a funny way can make me feel a bit restless.

  36. Round hill is my favorite! Going in rainy season is so romantic. The rain never lasts too long and it’s so amazing to get caught running along the beach in a downpour!

  37. Talia says...

    I will take any vacation be it long or short! Lovely photos!

  38. Ashley says...

    My husband and I travel as often as possible (amen for grandparents!), but living in Oklahoma we can’t fly direct anywhere. Having to make a connection really limits the weekend getaway options. :(

  39. I love quick trips and find them kind of necessary living in NYC. We just went to Montreal–only an hour’s flight from NY! Puerto Rico is another quickie favorite. Might have to try Jamaica next!

  40. KK says...

    We were in Round Hill the week before you guys! And, yes, totally dreamy and relaxing.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      no way! what a small world. it’s such a magical place.

  41. Short holidays are perfect UNLESS you get unlucky and have a long delay. That can really eat into a short trip.

  42. Meredith says...

    I can see the benefits of both kinds. Long vacations are for unplugging and relaxing. We go away for two weeks every year to the North Carolina coast. Same weeks, same house, just the husband and me and the dogs and revel in doing…..nothing. Going to the beach and reading are my only goals. And cooking lots of seafood. That trip isn’t about trying new things or seeing new places, its simply about shutting off my brain (and anxiety) for two glorious weeks. Short weekend trips to NYC or the mountains of VA (or wherever) are for new experiences, which I enjoy but don’t find relaxing. I”m often left feeling overwhelmed Monday morning at being so far behind in getting everything done because of the lost weekend.

  43. I will take any vacation I can get. Looks lovely!

  44. Beth says...

    Hi Jo, If you don’t mind me asking- do you all have one of your folks come watch the boys? We have a 21 month old and I’d love to do something like this just myself and husband!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      good question! my mom sometimes watches the boys, which is amazing, but this time she wasn’t free, so our nanny stayed with them over the weekend. they know her so well and were very comfortable having her there. she slept in our bed, and even had a friend over at night (she’s 27 and lives in brooklyn, too). we also set up a couple playdates so she could have some time off and take a break! hope this helps. i’m not sure who we would have left them with if we didn’t already have full-time childcare, it’s tricky, i know!

  45. Elisa says...

    My husband and I love quick getaways. On the West Coast this often includes Palm Springs, Vancouver BC, or the Bay Area. I feel like the brevity of the trip forces us to be more intentional with our time and soak up every minute.

  46. colleen says...

    It will be a long time until we can afford a vacation, but I enjoy seeing yours! Even date night is expensive until the kids can watch themselves?

    • MissEm says...

      Yeah, for us too. It sounds like an unattainable dream right now to even go out to a restaurant more than a couple times a year! Someday!

  47. I on the side of long vacations, but plugging in a short vacation is so great for sanity. i agree with you – you can totally splurge on a nicer hotel that way! such a sweet gift! seems like loads of fun!

  48. Don’t mind a quick getaway if its not too far away. It really depends on the distance you have to travel to get there. I think it’s totally refreshing and worth it. The pics looks fabulous. Sounds like you guys had a perfect weekend!

  49. Jeanette says...

    Short trips are the power nap vacation. I often feel more recharged after 3-days than I do a week! Jamaica looks dreamy.

  50. Kerry says...

    We mainly do short getaways, too. Three days, three different awesome hotels, find all the breweries we can, read our books, eat cheese and bread, sleep in. DONE.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      love that you switch up the hotels! also “eat cheese and bread” = love :)

  51. Lindsay says...

    Yes! We’re taking a quick 4 day 3 night trip to Florida in a couple weeks and I can’t wait! Super affordable and the perfect amount of time for some fun and warm weather before the craziness of the holiday’s begins.

  52. Erin says...

    I love quick getaways for the same reasons you listed. I miss my little boy and get kind of anxious if I’m leaving him for more than a few days. I’ve never done a quick tropical getaway though…for us it’s always been bigger cities that we explore for a weekend. Living in MN means flights to most tropical places are longer, but I’d love to give it a try sometime!

  53. I always prefer a longer vacation, but I will take what I can get! Between work and kids, there’s rarely time for anything longer than a 3-day weekend, and (like you) we have learned to make the most of those trips. Finding time to reconnect and enjoy your spouse’s solo company is key!

  54. No matter what a vacation is a vacation! I think your short vacations are brilliant. We rarely have a sitter and the idea of a short vacation seems totally doable! As soon as I saw your IG pics I showed them to my husband in hopes of swaying him. Next time we are in So Cal with my parents, I plan to be on a plane to paradise! Haha!

    xo Lendy

  55. Pamela says...

    Looks like such a beautiful vacation! And the picture of the boys scooting at the end is precious.

  56. Dee says...

    Great idea! We did a quick weekend trip to Cleveland for a wedding and were able to fit a lot in in one weekend. We are having our first baby in February and it’s much more doable to do a quick trip with your husband and leave you baby with a family member so I definitely will consider more of these next year.