(BPT) - When was the last time you took a vacation? Does it feel like it's been forever? Since most of us can’t manage to take more than one extended vacation a year, it's often a long time between episodes of much-needed R&R. What’s the solution to vacation deprivation? The latest travel trend is “microbreaks” — short getaways to recharge and refresh between longer vacations. A recent survey by Expedia.com found that short trips are fast becoming the most popular type of vacation.
Almost half of those surveyed said that they took quick trips to spend a little time with friends or family (47%). Tied for second place (at 19% each) were trips planned around a special event like a wedding or reunion, or just to get a much-needed break from work. Surprisingly, over 90% of Americans have been on a short trip (lasting no more than four days) in the past year, revealing how popular the microbreak has become. Even after just a short trip, travelers reported feeling rested and recharged, having a better attitude, and feeling reconnected with their partner or family.
Sound appealing? Even a weekend away can make you feel like you’ve had a great vacation, if you plan it right. Here are a few tips to make your microbreak the best mini-vacation you’ve ever had.
1. Reduce travel time. Don’t spend half your microbreak just getting there. Choose a location within four hours of your home. If you’re really pressed for time, select a luxurious, centrally located hotel in your own (or neighboring) city to play “tourist” for a day or two. And no sneaking home to do laundry!
2. Be flexible. Take advantage of deals when they open up. Think about what you want to do during your microbreak: Relax on a beach or in a spa? Shopping and casinos? Art and culture? Restaurants and music? If you’re open to different locations offering what you’re looking for, check out specials each Monday on Expedia.com for a minimum discount of 20 percent off hotels in popular destinations.
3. Time your bookings. According to Expedia’s 2019 Travel Pricing Outlook, when you book your travel actually makes a big difference in terms of the cost. Booking flights on a weekend and starting your journey on a Thursday or Friday snags you the best prices. Booking hotels on Fridays also gets you the best deals.
4. Keep costs down. Since you’re saving for a longer vacation later, don’t blow too much money on one weekend. Travelers can save hundreds of dollars by bundling a flight with hotel, or their rental car with hotel. If you don’t want to buy a package right away and need time to find the perfect hotel, get the flight or rental car first and add on a hotel any time before the trip for up to 43% savings.
5. Check for deals and freebies. For a microbreak, waiting until the last minute to book a hotel can result in a lower cost, as some hoteliers look to fill as many rooms as possible. Expedia.com offers tons of last-minute deals on flights, hotels, cruises and packages to help you save on travel. Keep your eyes peeled for bonus free extras. Perks like free breakfast, spa treatment or other activities help keep your overall costs down.
6. Use an app. Expedia’s mobile app has a whole section dedicated to last-minute flight and hotel deals curated for you based on your interests and your home airport. Plus, travelers get 2x the rewards points on every booking. The app is available to download for free on iOS in the App Store and on Android devices through Google Play.
7. Pick a great destination. Choose a location that offers plenty of options for rest and play, and that is frequently featured in travel deals. The most popular destinations for U.S. travelers looking for a microbreak are: San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Las Vegas, Atlanta, Orlando, San Diego, San Antonio, Houston and Austin.
Need more inspiration for your next micro-break? Check out the Expedia Viewfinder blog for ideas of great travel destinations.