Updated: Sep 27, 2021
A lot of families are limited with their time off of work for holidays. But, that doesn’t mean you can’t travel and explore the world in short spurts. We’ve got some great tips to help you make lasting memories in less time; we’ll help you transform 48 hours into a holiday haven.
Mini vacations are increasing in popularity as more and more small airports extend flight routes to other cities. It’s also no secret that people have shorter attention spans so they’re always looking for tips and tricks on how to maximize their weekends.
If you’re limited for time, but you want to get away with your family, here are some things to consider before booking the best vacation possible:
Consider destinations with direct flights that are under three hours. This keeps things relatively simple for travelers with young children (most kids aged five and under can easily manage three hours in the air) and reduces the actual time spent on route so you have more time at your destination.
Look into flights from smaller airports to reduce time spent in the actual airport. If you leave in between cities or on the outskirts of a major airport, try looking at more local airports in your area. Often times, you don’t have to arrive as far in advance of your departure time and you’ll spend less time traveling to and from the airport. You might even be surprised at the deals you can get, and other flight options times, when you look at different airports.
Road trip somewhere within a three-hour radius from your home. Similar to the tip about flight times, keep road trips short when you’re only traveling for 48-hours. You don’t want to spend too much time in the car when you’ve only got minimal time at your destination.
Choose destinations based on timely price cuts and deals that relate to your specific travel dates (you’d be surprised at some of the amazing deals you can get on hotel/flight/car rental for short stays in many top destinations. Hotels and cruise lines are often looking to sell off a certain number of rooms)
Plan out a schedule in advance of your trip to maximize the time spent in the new location. You won’t have a lot of time to explore, so pick your favorite must-do, must-eat type experiences and pencil them into a 48-hour schedule
Buy tickets to attractions in advance. If you know what you want to do on your vacation, why waste time in lines when you get there? Go online, buy your tickets (try to print them from home or have them emailed to you) and you’ll avoid those often lengthy ticket lines.
Consider the ‘Hop-on Hop-off’ Double Decker Tour as a way to get around the city. Some families think they’re a cheesy tourist attraction but they’re actually an economical way to see a new city in a efficient way. Sure, the price tag might be $25-$40 per person, but that covers transportation costs to all popular attractions over 48 hours. So you can visit the top sites, hop off the bus, explore the city/museum/restaurants/shopping and then hop back on and move on to the next place. In the end, it actually works out to being more economical than paying for taxi, parking, buses, subway etc to get around over an entire weekend.
Do research in advance to avoid guess-work along the way. We’re big proponents of looking into restaurants and attractions before you head out. I know a lot of people like to wing it, but when you’re dealing with young children, in short amounts of time, it’s ideal to create a mini itinerary.
Try to make a carry-on bag work for each family member. Depending on the age of your children, this might not be possible, but if it is, this will save a lot of time at the airports.
Book early check-in and late check-out in advance of your trip (call the hotel directly and you’ll likely have a better outcome). That way, you can maximize the actual days you spend away without having to worry about your bags etc.