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Five Tips for Weekend Trips

Weekends were made for getaways.

Traditional tour groups have long attracted customers with long trips to faraway places. And though there are wonderful destinations that require a lot of travel time to reach, the modern American lifestyle affords few people the opportunity to depart on a 10- or 14-day tour. Many affinity travel club members are still working and are unlikely to want to be away from the office that long. The perfect solution for reaching these people may be the long-weekend trip.

Three days and two nights is the perfect length of time for exploring some of the most distinctive destinations around the country. It allows younger travelers to join an outing without having to take excessive time off from work. It’s a perfect opportunity for new travelers to test the waters of group travel without committing to a longer journey. And these short trips emphasize fun.

Whether you travel over a weekend or take a three-day midweek outing, here are five ideas for creative weekend getaways, as well as five practical tips for making them work for your group.

Trip Idea: Visit a Resort

From seaside escapes to mountain retreats, dude ranches, golf destinations and more, there are great resort properties in every region of the United States. A group can easily experience the food, spa, natural attractions and other amenities at a resort in a long weekend. Turn travelers loose to explore on their own throughout the day, then come together for a memorable meal each evening. Work with the resort before your visit to reserve some spa appointments or tee times for your group.

Trip Idea: Explore Urban Locations

A long weekend can be ideal for a focused visit to a single city. Longer tours often involve moving around a region from one destination to the next, but shorter excursions like this allow more time to enjoy places like New York, San Francisco, Atlanta, Chicago and Las Vegas, as well as other popular spots. Three days is long enough for planned visits to highlight attractions, and travelers will still have time to shop, explore or dine on their own. Staying in a centrally located hotel will help you make the most of these great cities.

Trip Idea: Visit National Parks

Many conventional tours are built around visits to spectacular national parks, but because of the tour routing, travelers may only get to spend a day or less in the park itself. A three-day trip that focuses exclusively on the national or state park of your choosing will give travelers time to enjoy the natural beauty, the history and other elements of the destination at a more relaxed pace. It will also allow groups to experience some of the interesting hotels and lodges within those parks.

Trip Idea: Try Theme Weekends

Instead of trying to package a trip that offers something for everyone, standard practice on many full-length tours, why not plan a short, focused trip around a specific area of interest? Plan girlfriend getaways that are all about shopping; theater and music trips to popular entertainment destinations; or culinary trips to one of the country’s most delicious destinations. Three days is time enough to savor a single style of travel without tiring of it.

Trip Idea: Plan a Sports Weekend

Nothing brings strangers together faster than team spirit. If your organization’s membership includes a fair number of sports fans, why not plan a trip around a specific sporting event they would enjoy? It could be a trip to a major event, such as the Masters or the Kentucky Derby, or even a trip to follow your community’s favorite college or professional team to an away game. Take some time to visit area attractions before heading to the arena or stadium for the main event.