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Do you love to travel but have limited time for trips? Do you want to travel during the holidays, but feel guilty about not spending time with your extended family? I completely understand. I feel this way all the time! Keep reading to discover five smart tips for traveling more during the holidays.
I have very little vacation time from my job, so I have to take full advantage of holiday closings. And my husband is a teacher, so we can only travel during school breaks. So, we try to take a vacation during holiday breaks whenever possible. But this means we have to skip celebrating holidays with extended family who live far away from us.
I’m always torn between traveling or going to see family during holidays, especially Thanksgiving. So, anytime I can do both is a win. Here are some of my favorite ways to do just that.
#1: Get creative.
The best tip for traveling more during the holidays is to get creative with your plans. It is almost always possible to take a trip and see family during the holidays if you think outside the box when planning your time off during the holidays.
This may include shifting when you do your family celebrations. For instance, in order for us to take a trip this past Thanksgiving, we needed to have Thanksgiving dinner the night before instead of on Thanksgiving Day. Luckily, my mom was willing to move dinner for us.
Another creative way to celebrate the holidays and travel is to leave earlier or later than you would like for your trip. You may also need to redefine what your holiday celebration or your vacation looks like.
If you really want to do both, be flexible and think of all the possible options to make it happen.
#2: Add one or more day trips to your time with family.
If you want to travel during your holiday celebrations, but you are not sure where you want to go, look for some day trips near where you will be celebrating with family. This is one of the easiest ways to celebrate the holidays and travel too.
Look for places within a couple hours drive. Is there somewhere that you haven’t explored before? Is there an attraction that you’ve always known about but never taken time to visit? Are there fun things to do close to your family’s home?
If you can find some fun things to do or places to visit that are close to where you will celebrate the holidays, then add it to your plans.
#3: Split your time.
The next tip for doing it all during your limited time off is to split your time. Instead of spending your entire holiday with family, cut that time in half. Spend the other half of your time traveling.
So, if you have four days off for Thanksgiving, spend two days with family and then dedicate the other two days to your trip.
Of course, you don’t have to split your time exactly in half. If you want to spend three days with family and one on a day trip, then go for it. This past Thanksgiving, we spend a day and a half with family and then took a three day trip to the Midwest.
#4: Take a short but focused trip.
The downside to traveling more during the holidays while also spending time with family is that you don’t have a lot of time for either. So, to make it work, you need to make your trip short but focused. This isn’t the time to try and do everything in a city. Instead, pick one or two things to do and center your trip around them.
Go into the trip knowing that you will only be experiencing a limited number of attractions.
Many times, we take short trips during Thanksgiving to see college football games. We go into these trips knowing that we won’t have time to do much, if any, sightseeing.
Some other ideas on short but focused trips include going to New York to see a Broadway show. Or flying to a favorite city to eat at a beloved restaurant and doing some Christmas shopping.
#5: Make it a destination holiday.
The last tip for traveling more during the holidays is to combine your vacation with spending time with family by making it a destination holiday.
There is no law that says that you must spend the holidays at mom’s house. To make your trip last longer, take your extended family with you and celebrate on the go.
For a destination holiday, find a location that everyone can agree on. Then look for either a house to rent so everyone can stay together or a hotel or resort that everyone will enjoy while also having their own private rooms.
While it takes some extra effort, it is possible to maximize your limited vacation time by traveling more during the holidays. You don’t have to spend your entire holiday break with family. These ideas will help you find a way to use your time off during the holidays to see your family and take that trip you’ve been dreaming about! You really can do it all, even without a ton of time off!
For more tips on traveling during the holidays, see how to fly with Christmas gifts, stress free travel with your spouse, tips for holiday travel with kids, and why you should skip the holidays and travel instead. Also, see how to have an epic family vacation and my guide to travel with kids.
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