Living on a homestead is quite a bit different from living in the city. People who live an urban/suburban lifestyle operate under entirely different conditions than those found on a homestead. City folks usually have a daily routine that goes something like this; alarm goes off, they get up, eat breakfast, drink coffee, conduct personal hygiene, get dressed, go to work, come home, make dinner, relax the rest of the evening in front of favorite tech device. Homesteaders get up with the sun, drink coffee, have breakfast and get started around the homestead taking care of chores. They normally work from dawn to dusk, breaking for lunch and dinner, but very little else. Rather than relaxing after dinner in front of the boob-tube, they tinker with other chores that don’t require daylight to achieve, then they go to bed. Running a homestead is not unlike owning and operating a business that is open 7 days a week, 16-18 hours a day. So, how do homesteaders ever schedule taking time off for a vacation?
If you live on a homestead, and have the desire to take a vacation, then there are certain times of the year that you should focus on when scheduling a vacation. Spring, summer, and fall represent the three busiest seasons on a homestead. Late fall, after the harvest, winter, and early spring, before the last frost, are all times of the year to consider scheduling a vacation from the homestead.
If you are living on a homestead, then there’s a good chance you’ve made a handful of homesteading friends. Prior to scheduling the vacation, get in touch with these people and ask them if they are available to keep an eye on the homestead while you are away. If you heeded the advice regarding travel times, then their homestead should be less active, just like yours, which means they might have free time to stop by every day to feed and water livestock and check on anything of utmost importance.
If you’re married, then you might also consider embarking on vacations separately. Homesteading couples spend quite a bit more time together on a daily basis than do married couples who live and work in the city, so they may view a vacation as a way to take some time for themselves. My grandparents did this when they were alive and running the homestead. Every winter my grandfather would take two weeks off and go hunting and fishing with his buddies up in Canada, and every spring my grandmother would take off with her sisters to go vacation somewhere together without the men.
If you know ahead of time that you are taking a vacation from the homestead, then you can arrange to complete as many chores as possible prior to leaving. This will also make it more appealing for the caretaker you ask to watch over the property while you are gone. Your neighbors will be more likely to help if they know their involvement will be kept to a minimum. You have to remember that these folks also have a homestead to tend to, so the less time they spend at your place, the better, at least from their point of view. If you have livestock, then consider employing long term feeders and watering devices; options you can load and leave for 5-7 days while you are away. This serves as extra security; you might have a caretaker, but you have no way of knowing if they show up every day to tend to the homestead.