Writing on Vacation

I am sitting in a busy ski lodge on Attitash Mountain in New Hampshire. The White Mountains are a beautiful place to visit for February break. Being a teacher does have its perks. No, I don’t ski. While my friends ride the lifts to the top of a snowy mountain and careen down the snow and ice in 17 degree weather (which feels like 1 degree with the wind), I am warm and comfortable with my computer at a cafeteria table.

This is not an uncommon scene.

Over ten years ago, I tried snowboarding. My friends were adamant that the best way to learn was to ride the lift to the top of the mountain and fall all the way down until I got the hang of it. Somehow this “trial by fire” method was the way they had learned, and it would be best for me, too. Needless to say, I fell – hard – walked the rest of the way down the mountain, and never put a snowboard on again. My one foray with skis several years later didn’t go much better.

Thus began my adventures in writing on a winter vacation. I should note that I am the only one in the lodge with a computer. Perhaps there is a short story brewing…

The sounds of a ski lodge:

ski lodge

  • The hustle and bustle of families getting into and out of ski gear.
  • The click clacking of ski boots being adjusted to feet.
  • The familiar rip of Velcro.
  • Zippers.
  • Pounding on the floor while skiers walk in their heavy snow boots.
  • Friendly chatter.
  • And the light tap of the keys of my laptop.

Five fabulous reasons to write on vacation.

  1. No stress. Writing on vacation is different than writing at home. It can be leisurely. It can be interrupted, and in my case, it can be noisy. But I’m on vacation, so none of those things matter so much.
  2. Different locales stimulate the imagination. I keep story ideas in my phone, waiting for a rainy day. But on vacation, the best ideas come from your immediate surroundings; the sights, the sounds, the people. Think about it, in your daily life, your locales probably include home, work, and the grocery store.
  3. Have a quiet moment to yourself. In a ski lodge, on the beach, or from a picnic table by the lake, taking time to write can afford you a quiet moment in a beautiful place.
  4. Make a new friend. I have sat at many a ski lodge table and been asked, “What are you writing?” Since the best way to sell a book is one at a time, writing on vacation could be the perfect opportunity to spread the word about your book…
  5. Writing is fun. Yes! I said it. I enjoy writing. Writing on vacation can be a good reminder of why you started writing in the first place.
View from the top of the mountain
View of Mount Washington atop Attitash Mountain

I think it’s time for a cup of hot chocolate! Happy writing, and feel free to share your experiences writing on vacation.

Check out Alison’s chapter book series The Smith Family Secret Book 1 and Book 2 on Amazon.com.


  1. Reason #6 for bringing a computer along and setting aside time to write: The minute I tell myself I “can’t” or “shouldn’t” write – is precisely when I get the BEST ideas! Thanks for sharing the joys of writing in the ski lodge. 🙂


  2. Like Carol, I’ve written on a plane and my new Surface will make that even easier. Two summers ago a friend and I stayed for a week at Fowler, one of the rustic dune shacks on the Cape Cod National Seashore. No distractions but natural beauty. Every day I would do edits on one of my novels until lunch while my friend went off exploring with her watercolor supplies. After lunch I’d work some more. Later, went walking until after sunset. There was a sandbar with 650 gray seals basking and whales off in the distance. After dinner was for reading by solar powered lanterns. No electricity, running water, or cellphones. It was terrific.


  3. Interesting concept… I’ve tried doing this at Comic Con while waiting in line…. For hours and hours. I usually wind up talking and not getting much done. Maybe I’m doing it wrong. I’m definitely going to keep this advice on my mind this upcoming vacation. Maybe I can get something done. Thanks for the advice.


  4. Writing on vacation is great! We went so far as to call a family vacation a writers’ retreat, one summer (middle and high school age kids). We all agreed to spend a certain number of hours per day writing, and the rest of the time doing fun stuff. It was fairly productive, except for my husband who unfortunately got hit with writers’ block at the start of the week.


  5. I can’t say I’ve every written while on vacation, Alison, but I can completely identify with your snowboard “lesson.” I got the same lesson the first time my husband (boyfriend at the time) strapped a pair of skis on my feet. Yes, I said strapped on. That’s how long ago it was when he volunteered to teach me how to fall. As you know, falling is easy. It’s the skiing where he could have really helped me out! But I married him anyway. Now, all these years later, I suppose he’ll have to put up with me while I try to write on vacation. It’s a great idea!


    1. I just wrote a story on the plane on my way to San Diego last week! I’m flying home tomorrow and hope to get some revising or writing done 🙂 Although I just spent the week relaxing on a boat and at the beach, I spent y time reading, not writing…perhaps next time…


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