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3-Day Weekend: Last Minute Travel Tips

3dayweekendThe Christmas holiday may feel long gone, but with the upcoming President’s Day and Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday, ’tis is the season for the 3-day weekend! 

If you’re tight on vacay-days, then a 3-day holiday weekend is the perfect solution for your restless and travel-deprived soul.

A 3-day weekend allows you to have a little adventure without having to take ANY time off work. If you’re late to begin planning and not sure where to start, here are a few tips to get you ready for a last minute trip this weekend.

1.) To get the most out of a short trip you need to… cut down the travel time. 

I know it’s tempting to go someplace faraway and exotic over a long weekend.  Trust me, I feel the urge, too. (ALL. THE. TIME.) But the reality is: When you’ve just got a few days, the last thing you should do is to spend your precious time in an airport. (Not to mention the possibility of delays, the lack of overhead baggage space and the stress that often comes with air travel.)

So, go ahead and skip the time-consuming flights and stick to the car. You’ll be glad you did.

Driving through West Virginia 2

Who doesn’t like a little road trip?

 

2.) You don’t have to travel far to have an adventure, so I always like to say: LOOK LOCAL.

It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of local travel. I first joined the “Travel Local” bandwagon a few years ago after realizing that my paid vacation time off wasn’t going as far as I needed it to. Like a bolt of lightning, it hit me that I should fill my weekends with lots of local travels in between my bigger trips. I looked local and haven’t turned back, building my weekends around the best and most unique destinations, places to stay, attractions and dining experiences in my nearby area.

I love the freedom it allows me to have a little getaway without having to plan far in advance, take a lot of time or spend a lot of money. As I’ve talked with others along the way, I’ve realized that it’s not just me. Everyone wants to find enriching travel experiences closer to home… but many just don’t know where to start.

3.) Pull out a map and find someplace that appeals to you within a 3 hour driving range, max.

Draw a radius that covers 3 hours driving distance from your home, and see what falls inside the circle. Pay special attention to the better-known places that are in your “local travel zone”… any that you’ve never been to before are the perfect place to start.

Chances are there’s an amazing trip option nearby… a lake, a festival, a national park, a beach, skiing, a city… whatever your interest may be.

Map-3 Hour Radius

My map: An approx. 3-hour radius from D.C. LOTS of places I have yet to explore.

 

4.) If you need a little extra inspiration, check out online tourism websites to find fun and lesser-known places or attractions that you haven’t visited before. Each state has a main tourism website, and often each county and major city will have their own micro-sites as well. To find them, just type in your state/ county/ city into Google, add “tourism” then hit “search.” And… voila! Lots of seasonal travel ideas instantly appear right at your fingertips. 

brochures

 

5.) If you’re in the mid-Atlantic, check out my Mid-Atlantic Travel Resource Guide for ideas, tips and inspiration for my favorite trips in the mid-Atlantic area.  (And keep checking back… I’ll be updating it frequently as I continue my exploration of the area.)

As for me, I’m heading less than an hour away and checking out the historic little town of Middleburg, Virginia, Virginia Wine Country and the Salamander Resort, one of my 10 Places to Visit in 2014.

So what are you waiting for? Go ahead and go somewhere local this 3-day weekend!

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