Thank you to Enterprise for sponsoring this post.
Beating the Sunday Scaries
At the end of 2018 Enterprise commissioned a study on Sunday depression (aka the Sunday Scaries or Sunday Blues), and the results are eye-opening. Essentially, even though the work week is Monday through Friday, and people only have two days for the weekend, they spend part of that weekend thinking about work. Specific findings:
- More than two in three surveyed (69%) said they start thinking about the return to work on Monday at some point during the day on Sunday. 22% said they start on Sunday morning.
- Of those who think about work on the weekends, 81% wish they were better at not thinking about work during the weekend.
- 29% said they feel anxiety on Sundays about returning to work and it impacts the people around them.
When people were asked asked how they could avoid Sunday anxiety, 68% said that getting out of town for the weekend works best. That was by far the top response, well ahead of hanging out with friends and family (39%) and binge-watching tv shows (34%).
So what are you waiting for? Take a weekend road trip! We love road trips, and use them frequently to eliminate anxiety on Sundays. You’re probably thinking: I’m a travel writer and work from home, so where’s the anxiety? Fair enough. Except that for 18 years I was in healthcare, with a standard work week, so weekends were important. And because our kids are in a normal school, weekends still are important.
Luckily California has a LOT to offer. And it’s all drivable in a weekend. If possible we leave on a Friday afternoon after school gets out, and then aim to get back Sunday night.
In the spirt of inspiring weekend travel, here are five ideas for full-weekend California road trips – all doable from anywhere in the state, or neighboring states for that matter! And think about renting a car from Enterprise for your road trip. Get something fun, or something you’ve been thinking about buying, or something that lets your kids sit farther apart than normal! No need to put a lot of miles on your own car. And Enterprise has neighborhood-based rental locations everywhere.
California Road Trip Ideas
San Diego is perfect for families. From LEGOLAND California and the San Diego Zoo to Belmont Park (a seaside amusement park) to a lot of great museums and beaches, we can easily max out two full days in San Diego and save a lot for our next weekend adventure. We typically base at Hotel del Coronado on Coronado Island. I’m a sucker for iconic, historic hotels anyway, and we enjoy leaving the car at the hotel and walking to the nearby shops and restaurants.
If you want to get outdoors, Mammoth is perfect – especially in summer when you can take advantage of the hiking, lakes and extra daylight. Or drive up in the fall for the changing leaves. A lot of people stay in town, but we like being up the hill near Twin Lakes and exploring from there. And it’s only a short drive to town for meals, and parking is easy.
For small town California, nothing beats Ojai – located just 20 minutes from Ventura and 45 from Santa Barbara. We hike. We mountain bike. We ride horses, and take advantage of the perfect downtown and excellent central playground. And for adults there are a number of spas and wineries around town. And don’t miss the Sunday Farmer’s Market. A note: book your hotel early! There are only a few places to stay in town and they’re typically full every weekend. Our favorites are Caravan Outpost and the Ojai Valley Inn and Spa.
Monterey is such a great destination to aim for, with its waterfront and the Monterey Bay Aquarium, but getting there is half the fun. Especially if you’re driving up from Southern California, take the coast. Take a break and walk around in Pismo Beach or Cambria. Check out the elephant seals and Hearst Castle near San Simeon. Drive Highway 1 through Big Sur, and stop in Carmel for a meal (or the candy store – my kids highly recommend the candy store). There’s so much between Santa Barbara and Monterey, so go check it out! And think about getting a convertible from Enterprise for the weekend. Pacific Coast Highway goes really well with convertibles!
I’m listing Napa last since it isn’t quite on the same level of kid-friendliness as everywhere else, given the emphasis on wine. But it’s a perfect road trip. So leave the kids with their grandparents, rent a fun, smaller car, and head to Napa for a weekend of wine-tasting, hiking, shopping, great food and romance! Just remember that wine and driving don’t mix, so leave the car at your hotel.
I simply chose five easy road trip destinations, but California is an incredible state! Go camping at Anza Borrego. Head to Yosemite, Sequoia or Joshua Tree National Parks, or drive to Oxnard and take a boat to Channel Islands National Park. Drive to Malibu and Santa Monica. Or travel to a town that’s typically a day trip destination, like Solvang, and stay overnight to get a better feel for it.
So what are you waiting for? How are you going to maximize this upcoming weekend? If you need more ideas, check out Pursuits with Enterprise. So many places to go to avoid the Sunday Scaries!