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Expanding Your Options for Weekend Travel

oregoncoastBootsnAll has long been known as the place to go if you’re interested in RTW travel and long-term trips in general, and several of my colleagues have round-the-world trips under their belts. But that doesn’t mean long trips are the only ones we like to take. In fact, most of the travel we do is, I imagine, pretty similar to the travel most people do – we get away for short trips whenever we can.

Those of us in the Portland area are lucky to have several great weekend getaway destinations within an easy drive, making it relatively easy to head to the coast, the mountains, the desert, or even a rainforest for a couple of days to escape from the daily routine. Of course, Portlanders aren’t the only lucky ones – most people have a few nice weekend travel destinations close enough to where they live to take advantage of a spur-of-the-moment getaway when needed. Still, sometimes you want more than the same old slate of choices, even if it’s just for a short trip. And with a few big three-day holiday weekends coming up this summer, now’s the time to find cheap tickets and plan an adventure on a slightly grander scale.

Whether or not you already had plans to travel on Memorial Day, it’s one of three long weekends this summer – the other two being over July 4th and Labor Day – that will be popular times to get out of the house and away from home for a few days. Even people who don’t have loads of vacation time saved up can think about adding one extra day to that three-day weekend – and having four days to play with changes the landscape of potential vacation destinations completely. You may not want to go somewhere that’s a 6-hour flight away if you only have 2-3 days to enjoy it once you get there, but add in a whole extra day (and pair that with taking a red-eye flight the night of your last day at work) and that’s suddenly much more reasonable.

But traveling over a three-day weekend when everyone else is on vacation, too, might not be your cup of tea. You might prefer to wait until the weekend after the big holiday – or, better yet, to travel midweek – so you can avoid the crowds of other vacationers. In some cases, you’ll be better off shopping for cheap midweek airfare, as it can be easier to find than cheap weekend airfare.

The bottom line is that even if your travel dreaming usually consists of more long-term goals and longer trips, that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a quick weekend getaway now and then along the way. Taking advantage of destinations that are within a day’s drive is an excellent way to do that, but those don’t have to be your only choices for a short trip.

Oregon coast photo by jeffk