Get away for a few days! Have a fun vacation weekend, take a flight somewhere, take a road trip or explore the town you live in! Whatever you choose, here are some tips and tricks to having a fun long weekend!
Buying Airline Tickets
- The best time to buy tickets is on Tuesday afternoons (after 3pm Eastern). This is when the airlines lower their prices from the weekend, and match each other's sale prices. When you search for a departure date, you will find that the cheapest day to fly is Wednesday (this is because most people do not prefer to travel in the middle of the week). The second two cheapest days are Tuesday and Saturday. The most expensive days to travel are Friday and Sunday. (For more detailed information on how airlines price their flights, go here) If it is a Holiday weekend, try to buy at least six week in advance.
- If you have flexible travel dates and timing options, I like to use kayak.com, which lets you add 1-3 days on arrival and departure dates to find the best price, and hipmunk.com, which allows you to see all departing dates and times in a select time range in one screen with prices and "pain" of flight. (high pain = 8 hour travel day with 3 connections)
- If you have a set destination in mind (I put my hometown in these searches) sign up for price reduction notifications, so you can buy a ticket when they are cheap! Airfarewatchdog.com
- If you can be spontaneous and plan a last minute trip, or are just looking for a travel deal with no specific destination in mind, it is advantageous to follow your airline of choice on Twitter, or "Like" them on Facebook. Many will announce deals and short sales, and you can be the first to know!
Road Trip with Kids
- Instead of buying movies to watch along the way, check your local library for movies and audio books! Or rent from a Redbox and return anyway along the way! Also Books on tape are a great and educational way to pass by the time!
- Have a physical activity planned for each rest stop to get the kids moving, and hopefully tired out! For example, pack a jump rope or a stop watch to time short races, this will burn off some of their extra energy.
- A large collection of educational printouts can be found here.
- Road trip bingo here.
- Fun printables for finding license plates from different states and identifying construction equipment here.
- Printable activity booklet here.
- Military Avenue's Pinterest board for road trips has an abundance of fabulous and creative road trip ideas.
Visit your city's official website or the city's chamber of commerce website. These sites are great resources for finding local (often free) events. Also, take advantage of websites like Living Social and Groupon to search in your area for discounted activities and use Yelp and Urban Spoon to read reviews and restaurant recommendations.
- Reserve America is a great site to find good places in your area to camp.
- Active.com to find local outdoor events like biking, running and trails etc.
- Blue Star Museums all of which offer free admission to military families.
Finally, check out your installation's MWR (Morale Welfare and Recreation) department. They will have some great information on local activities and events and often organize excursions to museums and attractions that you can join in for discounted prices.
How do you make the most of your three days weekends? Please share your feedback below.