The school year is right around the corner. Know what that means? Travel planning time! Pull out those calendars, circle those long weekends and pull out a map. Where are you headed this year?
The luxury afforded to teachers is repeated breaks throughout the year to prep, collaborate and…. take a few days off. You’ve earned it! Where should you go on your days off? That all depends on which holiday and how much time is available to you. Here is my guide to how to spend each holiday break during the teaching year.
Starting small, even if its not a holiday weekend, there are tons of things you can do locally or within 2-3 hours of you! Start with your hometown. What festivals, local theater shows or markets are happening? Are there any community events you can get involved in or art gallery openings? Start small and really get connected with your community. My hometown does a local market every Saturday from Memorial Day to Labor Day and I love it!
Then, start looking at the towns and cities around you. You can even place your finger on the map and spontaneously drive to that new city for a day trip. You may discover a new brunch spot or favorite book store. There are tons of hidden gems in small-town America!-
Anything within a three hour drive is totally do-able for a normal weekend. Just book that B&B and pack up the car Thursday night. You can take off after work on Friday and return Sunday evening feeling refreshed and ready to go without the wear of long-distance traveling. I don’t know about you, but I’d much rather grade papers while sipping coffee on a front porch over-looking a lake than in my little apartment.
Road Trip Time! I don’t know about you, but I LOVE a good road trip, and 3-day weekends are the best excuse to hop in the car and go explore a neighboring state. The school calendars are packed with 3-day weekends, including Labor Day, Veteran’s Day, MLK Day and Memorial Day weekend.
Anywhere under within 4-7 hours will be a great destination for a long weekend. Go check out a national park, nearby city or unique attraction you’ve always wanted to see. If you’re a night person, take off after work. If you’re a morning person, leave early the next day. Then you’ll basically have two full days away, and can take it easy driving home the third day.
Book those plane tickets people, it’s a 4-day weekend! These are perfect for domestic trips where you won’t have much of a time change and you’ll have plenty of time for airport transfers. You can get off to great places like New Orleans, Denver, Seattle, etc. Anywhere you want to go within a few hours on a plane will be totally doable.
You can also go on longer road trips if that’s your style. Whatever you can accomplish in a day is what you should plan so you still have two full days for exploring and relaxing.
This is a great opportunity to look for cheap flight deals with Google Explore Flights or Skyscanner Explore Flights options. You might book tickets to places you hadn’t previously considered. It’s also a great amount of time for a camping trip or exploring State and National Parks.
An entire week to go and explore? There are so many possibilities! From the US you can take plenty of domestic trips. Huge road trips, great flights to any destination in the US, including Hawaii or Alaska. I like to take this opportunity to go somewhere international!
For one week there are a few options. You can go south to the Caribbean or Central America. These are great options because the weather is super nice this time of year, and you don’t face much jet lag! The flights are pretty short and that means you’ll get lots of time to lay on the beach, snorkel through the reefs or zip line through Costa Rica.
You can also head across the Atlantic to Europe or Northern Africa. With roughly 5-8 hours time difference you should be able to recover in 2-3 days so most of your trip is very enjoyable. I love Europe in the spring time. While you may have to pack an umbrella, you’ll beat a lot of the crowds.
I mean, who wouldn’t want to jet off to Paris for the weekend?
In my opinion, the best way to get rid of the winter blues is by jetting off somewhere warm. I love floating in the water with a drink in my hand! Jet off to the Caribbean or Central America. Try a destination you hadn’t previously considered, and you may find better rates than the typical destinations that will be over crowded with tourists.
Are you a snow bunny? If you love the cold weather, there are tons of options for a winter wonderland destination over winter break as well. Colorado, Utah, Montana, etc. have incredible options for winter sports, as does the Northeast like Vermont. Did you know you can go snowmobiling through Yellowstone National Park? It’s on my bucket list!
One place you definitely don’t want to miss if you love the snow is the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. They have incredible snowmobiling tracks across the entire peninsula and the Great Lakes. That’s where you should go if you’re looking for solitude and to curl up with a good book by the fireplace.
Nothing applies better to this situation than the phrase: “the world is your oyster.” You now have all summer to jet off across the globe, anywhere you want to go! Ever thought about hiking the Great Wall of China? Now’s your chance. Want to scuba dive in the Great Barrier Reef? The flight to Australia to totally doable when you have weeks free to recover from the jet lag. You could even have a European summer and spend the entire break hopping on and off trains across the continent.
This is your time to truly explore internationally and see how amazing this planet is. I’ve already started to prepare my travel plans for next summer and I am very excited about it! I think teachers should take advantage of the time off they have and use it to explore the world. That’s what I’m going to do!
Comment below where you’d like to travel in the summer, and what you’ve done this summer!