Weekend Travel: plus one day
How often do you take a long weekend for work or play? Do you usually come home as soon as possible? We do not. We try to always (unless school/work obligations preclude it) add at least one day onto any trip we take. I’m calling this our “plus one day” mentality.
Adding an extra day gives us the gift of exploring new places, checking out more restaurants, and catching up with friends who may live in the area.
This weekend, we had a wedding for a friend in a city we had never been to. We caught up with our friends group for dinner and then a small get together after flying in, and had lunch with everyone again before the wedding the next day. On Sunday, instead of flying out to go home first thing in the morning, we slept in, enjoyed brunch at a restaurant we wanted to try, and then took a drive around the area before visiting another friend at his home.
One more bonus this weekend? Adding in a quick college visit for the teenager. We didn’t plan it, but she loved the area and one of our friends offered to show her around the campus.
[As an aside, I can’t possibly have a 17-year-old who is looking at college already.]
Whenever we travel, especially for a work trip over a weekend, we usually add an extra day. This “plus one day” has given us extra family time at the beach, date night dinners in cities we love, and so much more!
Whether you have weekend (or weekday) travel for work or fun, I highly recommend adding an extra day to any trip!
Early in my career, I had a great opportunity to work in Europe for a few months, and I always took the weekends for exploring around the area. When our oldest was little, we would also take weekends to go to various festivals around the region, and find new things (or revisit our favorite places) to get out and see.
As our family has grown – and we have more daily/weekly activities at home – we don’t always take weekends to get out and see new things (although I have some great staycation tips for anyone looking for things to do in Colorado!), but we do try to show our kids the fun in life, and get them out and about to explore when we are traveling. Thus, the plus one day concept.
Jaime’s top 10 staycation/vacation ideas in Colorado [HINT: you can take a plus one day at home too]:
- Visit Great Sand Dunes National Park during the Medano Creek runoff (late May/early June)
- Dinosaur National Monument on the Colorado/Utah border – make sure you go to the Visitor’s Center and check out the bone wall!
- Drive through Garden of the Gods and get the obligatory picture of holding up giant rocks
- Go to Cave of the Winds afterwards (warning to anyone who is claustrophobic – you won’t like it)
- Feed the giraffes at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo
- Check out the new Olympic Museum in Colorado Springs – so many cool things there!
- Drive around eastern Colorado into western Kansas and Nebraska, and find cool things like the Arickaree Breaks and the BLM/USGS marker where the states’ Three Corners touch.
- Four Corners and Mesa Verde. Always awesome, although the cliff dwellings are not always open, so check before you go.
- Tour any gold or silver mine in the mountains. I love seeing how things used to be done and how technology has changed over the years. Also teaching my kids about mining and history.
- Go to Leadville, visit the National Mining Museum there. Again, a great way to tie in our Colorado history, plus big rocks.
One time while I was driving across our great state on the way to an event that I was helping run, my daughter (age 4 or 5 at the time) was in awe of the mountains, and she kept saying “big rocks!” over and over again. Our kids find the wonder in things we may see as ordinary. Take on their perspective when you can and enjoy the little and big and amazing things around you.
Taking that “plus one day” when you are traveling helps everyone have that one extra day to absorb a place and relax. To find the fun, and just enjoy the world around us.
In case you missed it, check out Jaime’s post from earlier this year, Take a Vacation!
Over the last 15 years in our crazy lives, I have always been a stickler about spending Sundays together, wherever we are. This idea of the plus one day came from that – if we have to travel for a weekend, we spend Sunday together somewhere other than home, and we fly back on Monday. Always. Work and school can always wait a day. Taking one day to focus on family time may seem like a little thing, but it adds up to a lot after years of doing it!
I mentioned that we visited friends this weekend when we were traveling. And our friends told a story about a time in their lives when they felt like they needed to get away and truly re-focus on their family. They literally moved to Australia for 6 months…and both of them said it was the best thing they ever did.
Not all of us can get away and move somewhere else for that long, but adding an extra day to any trip when you can do it is another way to take a little bit of time together and make it a habit. Those “plus one day” trips add up, and now that our oldest is 17 and contemplating college, I hope she takes that philosophy on with her when she goes out into the world on her own. Enjoying life, exploring the world, and checking out the possibilities in new places.
Life is meant to be lived, and there is so much out there to explore and learn about. So many new places to go and new things to do. So, take a “plus one day” on your next trip. Make it a habit. Find the fun.
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