We have spent the last few weeks talking about vacations and travel. 

There is one area that we have not discussed. 

That is what I call no-travel travel.

There is no law that requires a person to spend his or her vacation traveling. 

I would like to suggest that, in fact, not buying an airline ticket, or a cruise ticket, or a bus ticket can be an exhilarating experience. 

It can also be a much cheaper experience.

And, while there may be some truth in that, it is also true that all of us need some time away from our “daily grind” so that we can re-energize ourselves. 

Relaxation — thinking about everything but our work and problems — has an important role in our maintaining our mental health. 

We deserve it.

On the other hand, staying in our usual environment is not necessarily the most conducive way to reset our minds and bodies. 

We will often just “waste” our time with home chores and just replace our usual problems with a different set of issues.

So, is there an alternative? 

There sure is. It is what I call “no-travel travel.”

Here is what you have to do. 

Plan a vacation as you would any other. 

Decide where you want to go and develop a plan of what you want to do.

In this case, however, you don’t leave town. Your vacation will be in your hometown.

You really do need to “travel” at least mentally and end up in a different environment. 

Make a reservation at a local hotel, motel or bread and breakfast.

Check in, and do some of the things that have always been immediately available to you but that you have never done.

It is amazing to me that thousands and thousands of New Yorkers have never visited the top of the Empire State Building or the Statue of Liberty. 

How many of you, for example, have ever visited the Galveston Railroad Museum, or the Elissa, Oil Rig, Moody Mansion or the Bishop’s Palace?

How many of you have taken the Galveston Tour Train, the Duck Ride or some of the many other attractions available? Have you seen all the tree carvings left over from Hurricane Ike? Are you getting the idea?

And we haven’t mentioned Galveston food establishments. Sure you probably do frequent some, but I will bet that there are many you have never tried or even know exists. 

And you can all do this, without ever going over the Causeway. It’s amazing.

On the other hand, if you are the kind of person that really has to get out of town to relax, at least consider one of our many mainland cities to visit. The activities are there for you in abundance.

Finally, I would like to mention one other thing. 

If you really want to get away from it all, try leaving your kids and all your electronic devices at home — including your telephone, iPad, laptop computer and, if you are really agreeing to “take the plunge,” your wristwatch. 

I feel so strongly about this that I may try it myself, some day.

Bon voyage. 

Dr. Michael M. Warren is Ashbel Smith professor of surgery at University of Texas Medical Branch Division of Urology. Write him at michael.warren@galvnews.com.

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