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.
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!
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.
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!
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.