• Posted on June 17, 2016 in Travel

    Story by Shofur

    5 Last-Minute Trips That You Can Plan For A Long Weekend

    You probably have a little FOMO since you didn’t plan anything for the start of summer. You aren’t really keen on last minute getaways, especially road trips because you hate traffic. So what is a wanderluster to do? Take a last minute holiday road trip. While that seems counterintuitive, hear me out. Traveling by car or booking a bus trip is the most affordable way to travel an upcoming holiday weekend. You can avoid hours of sitting in traffic, exhausted, and burning under the sun. Due to typical traffic patterns and just habit, most people get on the road on Friday afternoon and return on Monday afternoon. This results in miles of traffics, more opportunities for accidents and just an unpleasant welcome home. You arrive drained, exhausted and cranky because a trip that should have been three hours was five.

    In order to avoid traffic, we recommend leaving on Saturday and returning on Tuesday before work. Hear me out. You may be thinking, “If I leave on Saturday, I will miss a whole day.” Now this isn’t entirely accurate. You will spend most of Friday driving to your destination and now get much done after you arrive, perhaps dinner. If you leave early Saturday morning, you will arrive quicker and more refreshed, ready to take on the day. When you head back on Tuesday morning, you shouldn’t run into too much MDW traffic, just the locals commuting to work. But no worries, these destinations that we have outlined from major U.S. cities are under 4 hours, so you can get up bright and early and be at your desk fresh from the beach.

    Drive from New York to Philadelphia

    One of the most underrated and overlooked cities in the Northeast is Philadelphia, the city of brotherly love. Aside from the Eagles and tons of historical points of interest like the Liberty Bell, there are a lot of activities to take advantage of just two hours outside of New York City. The Blue Cross RiverRink Summerfest will be opening for the summer 2016 season on May 27th with an outdoor roller rink, a nine-hole mini-golf course, and urban beach lounge. Have you heard of an urban beach? Philly has one of the best ones in America: Spruce Street Harbor Park. You don’t have to drive too far for some hammocks and a cool breeze.

    Drive from Los Angeles to Tijuana

    An international trip that doesn’t require a plane ticket? Hard to come by in the United States. California and Texas residents have the luxury of being driving distance from Mexico. In just two and a half hours, you can arrive in Tijuana from Los Angeles. A quick painless road trip and a new stamp on your passport can help you celebrate Memorial Day the right way. You will be welcomed by the Arco Reloj Monumental, the entryway to the city. You don’t have to go too far to enjoy the city’s cuisine, art and traditions. Just turn the corner onto Avenida Revolucion (Revolution Avenue) and the city’s culture will surprise you. If you want to celebrate Memorial Day with a few drinks, visit the Cerveceria Tijuana to learn the step by step process of making of making Tijuana beer and the difference between commercial and craft beers. For more information on what to do in Tijuna on Memorial Day, take a look at VisitMexico.com

    Drive from Houston to Galveston

    You don’t need to leave the state for a change of scenery in Texas. The Lone Star State is so large, that there are plenty of activities and attractions just a few hours away. If you are looking to get out of Houston (and away from the newly installed selfie statute in Sugar Land) for the weekend, head an hour south to Galveston, an island city best known for Moody Gardens, the state park, Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier, and beaches. Moody Gardens is an educational destination and tourist attraction promoting wildlife conservation, while kayak, fishing and trails await at the Galveston Island State Park. If you want a leave the lessons for school and aren’t feeling too adventurous, amusement rides and restaurants can be found along the pier and Stewart Beach and East Beach are on the island’s eastern end. You can enjoy some excitement at Schlitterbahn Water Park, take in some historic sites or relax at the beach.

    Drive from Atlanta to Savannah

    Atlanta has traffic that rivals Los Angeles and Washington, DC. Bumper to bumper parking lots are an accurate way to describe the major highways, I-75 and I-85, that run through the city. If you aren’t interested in the chaos that could be Hartsfield-Jackson airport, take a drive down I-75 south to Savannah, Georgia, known for its boardwalk, open container privileges,  and having one of the closest beaches to Atlanta. Being surrounded by water makes Savannah’s Tybee Island is  a huge draw to residents who live in the southeast. It has opportunities for fishing, watersports and dolphin tours. It’s the perfect destination for family vacations with all the things available to do.  From historical sites to museums to majestic architecture, there is no shortage of things to keep parents and the kids occuppied. Check out this full list of activities in Savannah.

    Drive from DC to  Ocean City

    The Washington, DC area has Virginia Beach just a few hours south. To make the most of your beach time however, consider a closer body of water like Ocean City, Maryland or National Harbor. Ocean City is about 3.5 hours north of DC and has a variety of attractions for young people looking to party or families interested in a fun time together. This resort town is known for its beach, boardwalk, and theme park attractions. One of the most popular establishments is Seacrets, a Caribbean-themed resort and music venue with waterfront dining and a beachside bar. If the party scene isn’t for you, National Harbor  is less than an hour south of Washington, DC and offers the feeling of a beach town with some more upscale entertainment activities like Cirque de Solei, the Children’s Museum and the famous Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center.

    Summer Road-Trip Alternative: Staycation

    Another way to avoid hours in traffic and any last-minute hassles is to enjoy activities in your city. Traffic could decrease in your area as locals travel to nearby destinations. There are many options for you to enjoy a long weekend at home from theme park visits to a spa weekend.

    Amusement Parks

    Theme parks like Six Flags, Busch Gardens or Hersheypark are a big undertaking in one day. Don’t rush through trying to enjoy all the rides and attractions. Stay in a hotel nearby and make a weekend out of it. Imagine how exhausted you will be driving to the amusement park, being in the hot sun all day on lines and on rides, to then drive back home? Take in all the sights at your own pace.  Enjoy the park during the day and surrounding areas at nightfall. You can enjoy different cuisines, nightlife and entertainment in a city outside of your own. Even going 30 minutes outside of your area will provide some new sites to see and enjoy.

    Hotel Stay

    Being home may not feel like that much of a vacation during a holiday weekend. Sleeping in the same bed you always do isn’t that exciting now is it? If you are opting to stay in your city, consider a hotel stay. It doesn’t need to be expensive, but something that provides the convenience of location and peace of mind. Ditch your car and enjoy the city like a tourist. Stay downtown and enjoy the sites within walking distance. You will  be surprised at how different it is to experience the city through a new lense.

    Spa Weekend

    Rest and relaxation are just what a long weekend calls for. Enjoy a day at the spa or a Korean bathhouse, which is bound to be an experience in itself. From the overnight experience, to the customs, you will feel immediately rejuvenated in the different saunas, the baths of varying temperatures,  and the additional services like body scrubs and hip baths. The weekend will fly by after you spend an entire day in these urban oases.

    If you aren’t thrilled with the idea of driving, all of these cities have stops on Amtrak and plenty of inter-city transportation options. You don’t have to concern yourself with fighting traffic, being tired, or having to worry about directions. Just sit back and enjoy the scenery.  Many young adults consider bus travel, which is the most affordable and flexible option. With buses leaving around the clock, visitors can leave and  arrive day or night to their destination of choice from any surrounding area. There is no need to travel to a major airport, worry about getting an oil change or any other preparations. Just book your bus ticket on your phone, pack your bags and go.

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