A few times a year I find myself with an unexpected gift of 3 or
four days, in the form of a long weekend, dropped into my lap. I don’t
know about you, but in the past I’ve seemed to end up wasting that precious time
because I’m totally unprepared for it and can’t seem to put my planning hat on.
In the end, I wind up staying at home. When Monday rolls around, I could kick
myself because I know I could’ve done something really unique with those days.

If that’s ever happened to you, my suggestion is to be prepared… in advance, so
this situation won’t happen to you. Follow these great tips and avoid being left at home when
the next quick trip opportunity graces you.

1. Brainstorm in advance. Talk with your husband/wife, girlfriends, kids, and friends.
Prepare a trip budget and choose 3-4 destinations where you might want to go.
Do some research and establish a trip “vault.” A trip vault is more or less a file
or folder containing your trip ideas with your relevant research. Google local maps
for each destination, find out everything you can about your next quick getaway.
Pre-trip planning is essential. Prepare for all situations, including different
seasons. You’ll be better off, if you spend a few minutes and develop a packing list.

2. Will you fly or drive? Wherever you live, there’s always some great destinations
within and hour or two drive. Search the Internet for close-by destinations. I’ll
bet that you just drive by some of your State’s local attractions because you just
get used to seeing them, and like a chameleon, these great attractions just blend in to the
surroundings and you don’t even notice them. For out of state trips, depending on
where you live of course, it might make more sense to fly.

3. What about travel rewards, travel personal hunters insurance or trip medical insurance? Have you checked into the advantages and disadvantage of these policies. Take an hour or so and get to know how these policies work and how they might be beneficial to you. Check you credit card rewards. It’s possible that you have some unknown benefits in the form of travel miles, hotel discounts or car rental coupons.

4. More popular these days are girlfriend getaways, mancations, and momcations. Speak with
your spouse and determine in advance how you might spend a long weekend. With some advanced
planning everyone in your family could enjoy some private time. The kids could visit a
favorite uncle or aunt, Dad could go golfing, hunting or fishing, and Mom could maybe find a great
all inclusive spa package to New York or an all girls fling to Las Vegas. Go back to step
one and prepare in advance and you’ll be able to pull any one or two of the smart vacation
options from your “trip vault.”

5. Budget, budget, budget. There’s nothing like having a potential short vacation come your
way and have to worry about finances. It’s very frustrating to waffle back and forth beating
yourself up about whether you go or nor go. It’s too easy to put this on your credit card and
then later, worry about how you’re going to pay for this. Put a little money away each month
and when the time comes for an unexpected quick trip, you’ll feel great when you have the cash
already saved to go.


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