What is your vacation worth to you? Would you take a job with no vacation for higher pay? Or sacrifice pay for unlimited vacation time? We explore vacation time and ways to use long weekends to your advantage. Check out our list of ideas to help you plan long weekend getaways year round.
Vacation time isn’t what it used to be is it? Did you know that half of Americans would give up their vacations for an increase in salary? Allianz released their 11th Annual Vacation Confidence Index and found that different generations had very distinctive views on what they would do. “Millennials (63 percent, compared to 47 percent of Gen X’ers and 32 percent of Baby Boomers) and men (57 percent, versus 41 percent of women) are the most likely to sacrifice paid time off for higher salaries. ”
We’re glad to see that women are valuing time off for vacations, be it solo travel, girlfriend getaways or family trips. One easy way to squeeze travel into even the busiest schedules is to take short vacations and take advantage of upcoming long weekends that are already work holidays.
New Year’s Day
New Year’s Day can turn into a long weekend depending on when it falls. For some, New Year’s Day will be dedicated to recovery from New Year’s Eve. For others, it’s the first day to start the New Year off right. If possible, New Year’s Day is a great time for self reflection. Check into a nearby hotel and concentrate on what you want to accomplish for the year. Go away to a local spa with a girlfriend and start the new year off with some self care.
Martin Luther King Jr. Day
Normally resulting in a three day weekend and school holiday, Martin Luther King Jr. Day is a great day to dedicate to celebrating history and the work towards equality in America. We’ve written about numerous sites related to the Civil Rights movement. If you live near Selma, Alabama or Montgomery, Alabama, there are numerous places to visit. Atlanta also has a fantastic historical site dedicated to Dr. King.
If you’re looking for great reading materials for kids of all ages about Civil Rights and social justice check out this site.
It’s February and it’s prime winter sports time. A long weekend of skiing, tubing or playing in the snow is just what the doctor ordered to fight winter blues. We’ve got some suggestions on where to ski free with kids, the best ski resorts for families, and the ultimate packing list for ski trips.
In the South? Don’t worry! You can still find snow. We tell you where to head.
Good Friday and Easter
If you have religious obligations, this weekend may be filled with family time and church events. Looking to add some awe to your Easter? There are some amazing sunrise Easter services in the United States that you can plan holiday travel around.
If you’re free, this long weekend can be a great time to journey to a resort a few hours away to explore. You may have to look up restaurant closures in your area and account for pricey Easter meals (if you choose to dine out), but crowds at most attractions that are open will be low.
Memorial Day Long Weekend
May can be a busy month. College graduations, the school year is wrapping up and people are starting to think about summer plans. Make your Memorial Day long weekend a piece of cake by planning a staycation. Staycation means different things to different folks. Some people will head to a nearby hotel to check out of their daily life for a bit. If that isn’t in the budget, make a list of nearby towns you’d like to check out each day and sleep in your own bed. Even heading to a Memorial Day parade in a different town can shake things up.
There are many ways to celebrate Independence Day in the United States. For the historical side of things a trip to Washington DC can’t be beat. Bonus: with so many free family-friendly things to do it won’t break the bank. We love these tips for how to plan educational travel in a way that’s not overwhelming.
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It’s cookout territory here. Head to the lake or beach. Grill. Swim and take in those last vestiges of summer. Another great to do? Amusement parks and water parks are a fun and thrilling “summer is ending” activity.
Need some grilling tips? The Traveling Dads have you covered with instructions and a step by step video.
It’s fall y’all! October vacations are one of our favorites. Why? Well, crowds tend to be low, the weather is pretty comfortable in most states and it’s in between seasons so prices are lower. For October our top picks are fall foliage destinations to see the leaves, off-season beach visits and Walt Disney World or Disneyland. If you live close enough to Disney, crowds are typically good in October. Bonus: You can hit Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party at Walt Disney World or the NEW Oogie Boogie Bash at Disneyland. There are usually ticket specials for multi-day purchases too!
Looking for fall colors in Virginia and the Mid-Atlantic? Read More.
Here’s where to find the best fall colors in the Northeast.
It’s creeping up on the holiday season by the time Veterans Day rolls around. Honor your favorite veterans’ service by thanking them! National Park Admission is free on Veterans Day so get back to nature and reflect on the dedication of our military families.
If you are military or a veteran be sure to check out these special military theme park discounts to help you build a budget-friendly long weekend.
Thanksgiving always falls on the fourth Thursday of November. This is advantageous because many non-retail businesses will also close on Black Friday, giving you an automatic four day weekend. This year buck tradition and give yourself a break. We’ve rounded up the best resorts for families to spend Thanksgiving at. Imagine relaxing and truly giving thanks for your time off!
Looking for a little more action on your vacay? Head to New York City and take in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade! We’ve got insider tips on how to see it best.
Whether you celebrate or not, Christmas and the year end holiday time can be a great time to travel. Many folks may even have more than a four day weekend here. A new trend is businesses closing for the week between Christmas and New Years. If you have an extended time off, think international. A walkable city center in another country can give your family the gift of time together this holiday season. Forgoing gifts and substituting travel is becoming more and more mainstream and we love it! Just don’t forget to check your passport and renew it if necessary. Otherwise you’ll be in an expedited passport frenzy closer to your trip.
A cruise will also give you the luxury of travel as a gift without the work of planning a trip. Book, don’t cook and have all your stops and accommodations taken care of.
TravelingMom Tip: If you aren’t rushing to a holiday celebration, airline tickets tend to be cheapest on Christmas Day.
What are your favorite long weekend trips? Is there a destination that you think is perfect for three or four day getaways? Share with us!