If you are reading this, then you probably already know what a mancation is and probably you have participated in at least one. Simply put, a Mancation is any excuse to get away from the real world, hang out with other men who enjoy the same things you do and have fun - without having to worry about your wife, girlfriends, or other female companions. It may involve drinking lots of cheap beer, expensive whisky, or sampling fine wines - or it can be dry. For the purposes of this site, we focus on a more mature interpretation of a mancation and only cover those aspects of being a man that would be safe to share with your wife - or your sons!
What Is A Mancation?
Simply put, a mancation is a getaway with a group of guys where you are off on an adventure. This can be a guys weekend getaway, a bachelor party, or simply a guys night out. However, a true mancation is an adventure with time to grow, learn, share, and ultimately create an experience that will last in your memory and stories to be told for years to come.
How you chose to enjoy your time is totally up to you and doesn't have to fit into any specific genre, but here are some common types of mancations or guys weekends that we cover on this website.
Like I mentioned above, pretty much any opportunity to spend time with the guys and away from the women counts as a mancation. However, many mancations tend to fall into the following categories:
Extreme Sports Mancations:
Extreme Sports Mancations focus on doing extreme things, such as sky diving, whitewater rafting, bungie jumping, heli-skiing in the Rockies, and other activities designed to generate the maximum adrenaline rush.
While extreme sports are certainly an adventure, Adventure Mancations are once-in-a-lifetime trips such as running with the bulls or attending the La Tomatina Festival, in Spain, rafting down the Amazon River, or participating in an archaeology dig in Mexico.
Men don't have to be cavemen and adrenaline addicts, metrosexuals are another audience that the travel industry is generating packages for. Metrosexual Mancations usually involve fantastic spa treatments, fittings for a custom suite, and staying at a luxury hotel with room service.
Outdoorsman and Leisure Mancations:
Hunting, fishing, golf, hiking - all activities that combine a love of outdoors with a scaleable amount of leisure and luxury. For instance, your hiking excursion could be roughing it on the Appalachian Trail, or exploring glaciers in the morning, then returning to a fantastic lodge like the Chateau Lake Louise for high tea in the afternoon. Outdoorsy mancations are perhaps the most popular type of men's travel - but most guys probably don't even consider it a mancation. It is just having a blast with buddies from college, guys from work, or just spending some quality time as father and son.
This is absolutely an under-rated and under-promoted aspect of men's travel but as a card-carrying geek I think it is important to include things like going to E3 to hang out and "research" the latest and greatest new video games, to Gen Con for 24-hour marathons of Dungeons and Dragons and other RPGs, Comic-Con to see the latest and greatest new graphic novels, or Burning Man for, well ... everything else.
Tour Mancations are another very popular type of mancation. These typically take place over a number of years, or even just a few days. Examples of this could be a tour of all the Big 10 Football Stadiums or attending an away game each year for your favorite sports team. Other examples include Brewery Tours, Wine Tours, or traveling the Bourbon Trail in Kentucky. Often, the tour is just an excuse to go somewhere and the journey is as important as the destination.
Cruising is one of the most popular forms of travel and it is also one of the most affordable. Not surprisingly it can also make a great mancation. If you think that cruises are just for families, the newly married, and the nearly dead then you need to take a second look. Today's ships have TONS of awesome things for guys - including cigar bars, driving ranges, climbing walls and of course shore excursions and opportunities to explore nature
Mancations can be educational too! This is a great opportunity to travel to Italy for a week of cooking classes, visit museums, or perhaps go to the Travel Channel Academy's Film School. After all, learning can be fun and it is a great excuse to go somewhere new!
Giving Back Mancation:
Typically mancations and guys weekends are selfish and oriented around "me time" or at least "us time", but being a man also means taking care of those less fortunate than yourself. Giving Back Mancations could involve traveling to New Orleans to help re-build houses for Habitat for Humanity, or maybe going to Africa to share your medical skills. Everyone has something they can do and this is a great opportunity to be a man, and doing good while traveling with the guys.
Staycation Mancation - Explore your Own Back Yard!
Finally, what if you can't afford to go to some exotic location or only have a few days and don't want to waste half of it traveling? A Staycation Mancation might be exactly what you need. This doesn't mean you have to stay in your home, it just means exploring your own back yard. Take your son downtown and treat him to something special that you remember from your childhood, or maybe rent a hotel room in the city and turn off the cell phones, stay up all night watching sports and drinking beer and enjoy not being nagged by the wife.
Like everything in life, it is important to be creative. These ten types of mancations certainly aren't the only ones, so I look forward to your feedback and getting to know you better through sharing your mancation photos and stories in our community!