When you’re short on vacation time, but the travel itch won’t stop tormenting you, look into a weekend getaway.
When choosing a destination for a weekend getaway, choose somewhere that’s only a few hours away by plane or car. You don’t want to spend your precious time on transport. If you’re really short on time, choosing a nearby destination that requires a decent road trip is often the less risky route, as a plane can be delayed for many hours.
Another mode of transportation that doesn’t come to mind for most people is to travel by train. If you’re by an Amtrak stop, you can often leave your car there for free or for a nominal fee over the weekend and take the train to your final destination. On the way home, there’s also the bonus of more legroom compared to a plane and no arguing over who has to drive.
Take Advantage of Holidays
If there’s a Monday holiday that you get off from work, such as Memorial Day or Labor Day (or if you’re one of the lucky ones that get President’s Day or Martin Luther King, Jr. Day off), use that to your advantage by taking some extra travel time for a weekend getaway.
Here’s the catch, though: everyone else is thinking about those extra hours too, and popular weekend destinations fill up fast. Hotels and airlines also might jack up their prices. Therefore, look for deals – and look early. Book before the masses to avoid being disappointed when all your preferred hotels or flights are sold out.
Using Vacation Days to Extend Your Weekend – Is It Worth It?
If you only have a couple weeks of vacation per year and you have big travel aspirations, try not to use them for weekend getaways. It’s tempting to use just one day to make your weekend escape from real life longer, but that could impact your ability to take a longer trip somewhere farther away. Keep accruing those vacation days and instead ask your boss if you can come in early and leave early to get a jump start on your getaway or if you can work ten hour days Monday through Thursday the week before your weekend getaway so you can take that Friday off. Just make sure you clear it with your boss beforehand.
Once You’re There
A weekend getaway isn’t the time to fly by the seat of your pants. Do some research beforehand about your destination so you know what you want to do and see once you arrive. Is there a restaurant you must eat at? Make a reservation. Is there an attraction you’re dying to see? Buy tickets online beforehand to avoid waiting in ticket lines. A little spontaneity is always fun while traveling, but having an outline of what you can’t miss will ensure you don’t get disappointed by running out of time to see or do it.
Weekend Getaway Staples
So what makes for a memorable getaway when you’re short on time?
Plenty of lively activities to keep you occupied are great ways to make a trip memorable and fun. Taking a ski or snowboarding weekend will fill your days with gorgeous mountain views and thrilling runs down crisp powder, with late afternoons spent enjoying a drink in cozy chalets and crisp nights exploring the ski town or curling up in front of a fireplace. A golf weekend or biking weekend is also a great option for an active getaway.
Looking for a relaxing retreat? You’re in luck. It’s not that hard to find a beach or spa nearby. Hop on a plane and head south for some beach weather in the winter months – just make sure to do your research beforehand. Sunny areas that might instantly pop into your mind, like the coasts of Texas and Southern California, might not be quite as warm as you had in mind. But if you’re yearning for a relaxing time in the warm sun, head to the desert land of Palm Springs or Las Vegas, and lie out by the pool all day with a fruity drink in your hand. Spas are also great for quickly rejuvenating yourself. When short on time, pick a resort or hotel that has an on-site spa to make it easy to get to your treatments.
Wherever you decide to go for your weekend getaway, just keep in mind that you’re short on time, so make the most of every minute. What’s just as important is to go with the flow. If your flight is delayed or your hotel isn’t quite up to par with the online pictures, just try to make the most out of it. You’re still somewhere new, and the world – or terminal – is just waiting to be explored.Google+