Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Travel Tip Tuesdays: Making the Most of a Short Trip

How do you make the most of short trips? A lot of my friends say they only have a few vacation days a year.

I’ll be honest. This blog ventures into territory that I’m not entirely familiar with: planning a short trip. Most of my trips through the years have been eight or nine days minimum, but that’s the perk of having an online job. Lately, however, with Zach working a full-time job with no consistent days off, I’m learning the importance of short trips. They are brief, but they can be just as meaningful as a longer journey.

After giving it some serious thought and drawing from my limited experience, here is my best tip for short trips: prioritize. Most of what I have to say boils down to that simple word.

My three-day trip along the Katy trail
 in summer of 2011 was a lot of fun.
Prioritize your ideas. Everyone has a dream destination or idea of what to do, so focus on whittling them down to something manageable for the occasion. If you only have a couple days off, I’d highly suggest finding a destination close to home. For instance, Zach has a rare two consecutive days off next week, so we’re planning a mini-backpacking trip along the Katy Trail, which runs right by our house. 

Prioritize your activities. Some people want to spend their two days in Orlando by attending all four Disney World parks. This is a very bad idea. Not only will you not be able to appreciate the whirlwind, but you’ll burn out and probably have a miserable time.  In a short trip, pick one (maybe two) things that you really want to do, and focus on that.

Prioritize your money. I’m sure I’m not the only one who travels on a budget. Spend your money on what matters to you. That might mean staying in a cheap motel so you can afford the white-water rafting trip, foregoing the expensive tourist attractions so you can stay in a resort, or simply eating peanut butter sandwiches twice a day so you can enjoy the expensive local cuisine. If it doesn’t matter that much to you, don’t spend money on it.

Prioritize your time. Much of what I said in my previous blogs about time-saving and trip-planning apply to this.

Buford Mountain was a nice overnight trip.
Finally, in order for a short vacation to work, it’s important that you understand your goal for the trip, and whether or not you’ll actually enjoy it. If you need some down time and you relax best by kicking back on a beach, don’t plan a three-day adventure safari. If you’re ready to fill your day with activities and go on a bunch of adventures, that’s great, but don’t try to force yourself to do that.

Although short trips always leave you wanting more, they are still a great way to refresh yourself and experience new things. Remember to be wise about your resources, know your priorities, and savor every moment!


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