Flat Creek Inn

Author: flatcreekindev

5 Tips For Maximizing Vacation Time

Here at Flat Creek Inn, we’re all about slowing down, taking the scenic routes, and enjoying the mountain air. But slowing down can be difficult when you want to pack in an entire bucket list’s worth of sights into those last few vacation days. Here are five tips for maximizing your travel time in 2024.maximizing vacation time

Travel around weekends or holidays

There’s been a lot of buzz (mostly negative) around this year’s travel “hack,” scheduling your PTO around paid holidays. While this specific tip won’t work for everyone, planning trips around holidays can get some extra mileage out of limited vacation time. Taking an additional two days off around a three-day weekend turns into almost a week, plenty of time to visit your closest national park or do a deep dive into some US city you’ve always wanted to visit.

Speaking of weekends, planning weekend getaways requires little to no vacation time but provides a whole host of health benefits. From stress reduction, better sleep, increased creativity, and strengthened relationships, a quick getaway can be the ticket to a happier you.

Travel during the shoulder season

As mentioned in a previous post, the shoulder season is our managing owner Korinne’s favorite time to visit Jackson. The shoulder season, generally defined as March through April and September through October, is the period between peak seasons when prices are cheaper and crowds can be lighter. The weather is generally decent enough and the cost savings can be put towards your next trip!

Be flexible!

When planning a vacation, people generally pick a location and dates and then start looking for flights. But, hear me out—what if you didn’t? What if you let ticket prices determine your next vacation? When planning a trip to France for some relatives, we were able to find significantly cheaper flights by keeping dates and exact destinations flexible. Instead of flying directly into France, we found flights into Italy and they got to enjoy a stunning drive along the Mediterranean. While it can be a little scary to give up vacation control to the whims of flight prices, even keeping your dates flexible by a day or two can get you a much cheaper flight and maximize your vacation time and budget.

Plan a staycation

While you won’t see the Eiffel Tower, Big Ben, or the Burj Khalifa (or maybe you will, depending on where you live), exploring your own city or state can be just as exciting and fulfilling and can be done in a shorter time frame. Staying home? Explore local or quirky museums, go to a concert, hit the trails on a hike or bike, see a movie, take a cooking class, visit a spa, spend a night in a hotel downtown, or any of these ideas. Most importantly, relax and recharge without wandering far from home. 

Stay healthy

While many companies have separate vacation and sick days, staying healthy can help you save your vacation days for actual vacations. Eat well, get enough sleep, and don’t push yourself so hard that you run yourself into the ground in your rush to see and do more. 

What tips do you have for maximizing travel time? Tell us in the comments! Happy travels!

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Breanne Kunz was raised in the Pacific Northwest but grew up spending summers in Idaho and frequently visiting Jackson Hole, Grand Teton National Park, and Yellowstone National Park. She is a wife and mom who likes to write and travel and wants to travel more.

Snowshoeing Jackson Lake

 

This is me snowshoeing Jackson Lake.Most corners of the world have been explored by now, but you don’t have to be the first person to plant your flag in some remote region to be an explorer. Take Jackson Hole, for instance. Anyone with a pair of snowshoes, some beef jerky, and a little tolerance for cold can embark like the polar explorers of old into the great wide wilderness. Like I did last week when my brothers, my dad, and I went ice fishing on Jackson Lake.

After stopping at Flat Creek for final supplies (this isn’t just self-promotion; our location really does make Flat Creek an ideal base camp for anything in the direction of Grand Teton National Park), we drove to the Signal Mountain Lodge. We, however, weren’t destined for any cozy beds. Most of our gear was strapped to our backs to be carried toward our destination. In good spirits, we left our car and set out onto the frozen Jackson Lake. 

The first mile or so was somewhat slushier than we might have hoped, and it’s a bit unsettling feeling to be striding across solid snow, knowing there’s a million gallons of freezing water beneath you, and then suddenly sink six inches into Jackson Lake with a disconcerting slurp. (To say nothing of the slush that gets in your boots.) Still, we maintained our good spirits as we made our way three miles to Marie Island. Or rather, just off the coast of Marie Island, because you can’t ice fish on an island.

By the time we reached the island, night had fallen, which lent an almost mystical quality to our journey. The world was totally silent but for the crunching of our snowshoes and the occasional howl of distant wolves. There we met our dad and a brother recovering from a hamstring injury, who had taken a snowmobile from Colter Bay rather than trek across the ice on foot. While our dad busied himself with drilling holes in the ice and waiting for fish to wander past, the rest of us gathered around a small gas heater to boil water for freeze-dried meals.

We turned in for the night, burrowing down beneath every layer we had brought with us, dreading the inevitable moment when nature would call in the middle of the night, summoning us from the relative warmth of our sleeping bags into the frigid cold. At one point, I did get up after several attempts to ignore the growing pressure in my bladder, cursing the Powerades I’d consumed the previous evening, and staggered out into the night. The wolves were louder than earlier, prompting me to conclude my business as fast as possible. 

In the morning, the fishing wasn’t great, which wasn’t a huge disappointment because (nobody tell my dad), none of us were really there for the fishing. For the brothers, it was enough to get together, enjoy each other’s company, and take cool pictures. We gathered under the canopy to play a card game with the heater on and then packed up again, leaving nothing but our tracks and a lot of trampled snow behind us. 

What adventures are you going on this winter? Tell us in the comments.

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Ryan Kunz is a copywriter and freelance writer who writes on a variety of topics, including media, the outdoors, and whatever else strikes his fancy. He enjoyed sleeping his nice, warm bed the night after he got back. 

Tips From a Local: Korinne Bagley Nelson’s Jackson Hole

 

Here at Flat Creek Inn, we consider ourselves locals. After all, we’ve been here for decades in one form or another. And while some employees come and go, many of us have deep roots here in Jackson Hole. Take Korinne, for example, our managing owner. She graduated a few classes after Davey Jackson himself! (Just kidding, Korinne!) We asked her for her insider tips on getting the most from your trip to Jackson Hole this year. 

Tell us about growing up in Jackson Hole. What was it like in those long-ago days?

My memory of growing up in Jackson in the 60s and 70s is that it started snowing in October and the snow didn’t melt until May. Learning to ski was part of the school curriculum, there was one stoplight in town, and only about 3,000 people claimed Jackson as their home.

What are some of your most prominent or amusing memories here?

My family would get together once a week and go do something crazy fun. One of our favorite memories was playing in the mud along the Snake River. We chopped our own firewood and finding a Christmas tree every year was an annual tradition. Visiting String Lake has been a family favorite summertime spot.

And one more tasty memory was “The Barrel.” It was on the Flat Creek Inn property before Flat Creek Inn was born. The Barrel sold hamburgers and the best tall strawberry shakes you’ve ever had. There was a one-room apartment at the top for the employees.jackson hole

How has the place changed since you grew up here?

It seems like when I was growing up there were many families who were descendants of early original homesteaders in the valley. Now there are adventure enthusiasts from all over who live here. What is the same is that the livelihood of most of the people who live here is connected to the tourist industry.

What is the #1 thing you recommend for visitors to do here in Jackson Hole?

Come during the shoulder seasons (spring and fall) and walk around the square and soak in the atmosphere. In the summer there is the shootout every night on the northeast corner of the square, and a farmer’s market around the square on Saturday mornings. In the winter there is skating on the square. It’s our town hub.

Where are some of your favorite places to eat here in town?

Today I had pizza with elk sausage from Yeah Buddy Pizza which was pretty tasty. Another fun pizza place is Hand Fired Pizza located in the historic Teton Theater where I used to go see movies growing up. A good sandwich shop is the Creekside Market.

What’s one thing in town you wish got more attention? 

There are so many fun activities at Snow King but at the base of Snow King is a mountain cemetery, Aspen Hill Cemetery. It’s mostly overgrown but relaxing and peaceful to walk through.

Do you have any “local secrets” you’re willing to impart?

If you are planning a trip to Jackson, one activity that your family will never forget is going on a sleigh ride through the elk reserve during the winter.

Do you have any questions for a longtime local? Let us know in the comments.

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Ryan Kunz is a copywriter and freelance writer who writes on a variety of topics, including media, the outdoors, and whatever else strikes his fancy. he did not grow up in Jackson, but his parents grew up on both sides of the Tetons, which in a way makes him more than local. Don’t overthink it. 

Out with 2023, In with 2024: Happy New Year from Flat Creek Inn

It’s that time of year again—fresh starts, new vibes, and a chance to tell everyone on social media which things you’re totally going to be focusing on this year. Except we actually are going to be focusing on a few areas of improvement, right? Here are 5 areas we can focus on together this new year.

A beautiful sunset.
The sun has set in 2023. How will you make your 2024 a bit brighter?

Out with Waste, In with Sustainability

Let’s dial it up on the eco-friendly scale. We’re aiming for less waste and more love for Mother Earth. Whether it’s recycling, cutting back on energy use, or finding new ways to be kinder to the environment, let’s do this together. Check out this blog post we wrote last year on what we’re doing and this one on what you can do

Out with Insularity, In with Diversity

We all like to stick with the people we know, but now’s the time to experience a new perspective. Jackson is a melting pot, and there’s no better time to soak it all in. Say hi to someone you’d normally pass by. Get to know a new culture. Ask that one uncle why he voted the way he did. You know the one

Out with Old, In with New

Don’t just get to know new people—try new experiences, too. Try a cuisine you would have dismissed last year. Read a book that wouldn’t have been on your list before. Maybe even finally find out what the heck an “Earth medicine sound bath” is and what it can do for you.

Out with Corporate, In with Local

In this age of worldwide tech conglomerates slowly advancing into every facet of modern life, remembering to shop down the street has never been more important. That doesn’t mean you have to ditch Prime—just consider buying that book at a place where you can get more recommendations from a person, not an algorithm. 

Out with Screens, in With Unplugging

We realize the irony of asking you to unplug when you’re reading this on a screen, but we all need a breather from time to time. Jackson is known for its natural beauty, not the quality of its cell phones, so let’s kick back, chat face-to-face, and soak in the beauty around us without the constant buzz of technology.

What goals do you have this new year? Let us know in the comments. 

This blog is brought to you by Flat Creek Inn.

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Ryan Kunz is a copywriter and freelance writer who writes on a variety of topics, including media, the outdoors, and whatever else strikes his fancy. He still uses the term “New Year’s resolutions,” despite hearing that the kids don’t say that anymore. 

 

Merry Christmas from Flat Creek Inn!

Jackson Hole embodies the spirit of Christmas like few places that don’t have “North” or “Pole” in their names. It’s a place where people from all over the globe come together, where celebrations take place amid snow and ice, and where that cozy, Hallmark Channel charm lives all year long. Plus, the elk are sort of like reindeer. 

With that festive holiday spirit in the air, we at Flat Creek Inn want to extend our warmest wishes to you and your loved ones. Here amidst the serene beauty of the Tetons, we want to express our deepest gratitude for being a part of our extended family. Your laughter, stories, and shared moments have filled our motel with joy and warmth throughout the year. 

May your hearts be filled with love, peace, and goodwill. May the beauty of the Tetons inspire moments of reflection and tranquility as you celebrate this special time with loved ones. May you watch dozens of schmaltzy Christmas movies with the same plot and the same six actors. And may your table overflow, to paraphrase a beloved Dr. Seuss poem, with the most delightful assortment of delicious rubbish imaginable. 

As we gather around hearths and share in the joy of the holidays, we hope you cherish the simple pleasures: the snowflakes dancing in the wind, the twinkling lights adorning our town, and the sweet sound of beloved Christmas music. (But never “Christmas Shoes.” That one should be banned.) But seriously—here at Flat Creek Inn, we stand committed to making your stay exceptional, and we’re grateful for the opportunity to be a part of your holiday memories.

From our family to yours, we wish you a Merry Christmas filled with love, laughter, and light.

Warmest regards,

The staff at Flat Creek Inn

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