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Five Tips for Weekend Trips

Practical Tip: Check Occupancy Patterns

You could save substantial money on your three-day trip by checking with the destination’s convention and visitors bureau to learn about area hotel occupancy patterns. In some places that have high weeknight business-travel occupancy, groups can get good deals booking unused hotel rooms for Friday, Saturday or Sunday nights. The opposite is true in highly trafficked tourist destinations, where hotel rates are lower midweek and then spike on the weekend.

Practical Tip: Keep Travel Time Under Four Hours

Time is at a premium on long-weekend trips, and your travelers will be disappointed if too much of their trip time is taken up in transit. To keep travel time to a minimum, select destinations that are within a four-hour motorcoach ride of your community. That will allow you to leave first thing Friday morning, arrive by lunchtime and then spend two whole days exploring or relaxing before departing after lunch on Sunday to return home at a decent hour.

Practical Tip: Consider Alternate Transportation

For most clubs, traveling by bus is the most cost-efficient and time-effective way to reach a weekend getaway destination. But if your organization is based near a city that has exceptional air or rail service, there’s a case to be made for flying or taking the train. If you can get a nonstop route from your home airport or train station to the place you’re visiting, you can cut your travel time and enjoy more time seeing the sites.

Practical Tip: Aim Young

One of the primary goals of shorter trips is to woo younger travelers to your organization. So when you plan weekend getaways, eschew senior-citizen traditions and plan excursions that younger people will enjoy. This means including abundant free time and more physical activity, as well as emphasizing higher-end dining and lodging experiences. Plan to stay out later at night and not start quite so early the next morning.

Practical Tip: Work With Receptive Operators

If you’re traveling to a big city on a short time frame, you’ll want some local experts to help you make the most of the destination. This is where receptive tour operators come in. These companies specialize in packaging tours that highlight the best of their local areas. Receptive operators often have access to coveted theater tickets, restaurant reservations and other perks that groups usually can’t get on their own, and they know how to arrange one-of-a-kind experiences that aren’t available to the public.