"Is it worth it to travel over the weekend and come back to work/school/other commitments? Don't you get tired?"
It's no secret that I will do whatever it takes to travel - within reason - and even though I work full time during the week, I get strategic with my weekends and vacation time.
That's why when people ask me questions like the ones above, I respond: YES, it's worth it! And yeah, sometimes I get tired. But that depends on the trip. ;)
Weekend trips are great for a number of reasons:
- If you only have weekends off, why not use them to go someplace new?
- Nearby cities are easy to get to, yet often remain unexplored as we can "just do it another time." (It took me over a year and a half of living in Arizona to get to the Grand Canyon...) GO THIS WEEKEND!
- You get a little taste of a city, so you can decide if you'd like to return and spend more time or if your few days there were enough
- If you're staying with a friend - which I almost always do - a few days isn't asking too much
- Flights (jetsetting) will get you somewhere faster than taking overland transportation. However, don't discount road tripping when you plan weekend trips!
A Close Call...
When I was new to my job, I took a long weekend in Denver to visit some friends. My flight from Denver was cancelled the night before a huge meeting at 8:00 am the next day, and fear of not making it back that night had me afraid I'd cost myself the job.
Luckily I got the last seat on the only flight home that night from Denver to Phoenix...I got home hours later than I planned but still made it to work at 7:55. (Looking back I'm sure my work would have understood!)
A few months later we had a three day weekend. I went to work until 5 pm on a Friday, took a red eye to New York, and flew home Monday evening. I wasn't that tired, and but made it there bright and early at 8:00 am the next day with my iced coffee in hand.
Our bodies, especially when we're younger, can handle stress and exhaustion a little better. By no means am I saying you should throw yourself into the deep end and pull all-nighters and not take care of yourself to travel, but if you want to travel now, take advantage of your health while you can.
Not every weekend trip tires you out. I just tend to be a little more "ambitious" when it comes to some of my weekend trips ;)
When you're planning your trips, consider what you have going on when you get back home.
- Do you need to get home the afternoon before instead of late at night, or even a full day?
- Or would you be okay with spending a whole day at the destination and getting home late at night?
"Why don't you take a longer trip? It's not worth it"
That's another question I get asked when I take weekend trips. Ummm...me, along with most millennials in the United States get just TEN DAYS of vacation per year, if even.
Yeah...I'm saving those vacation days for international trips since they require more time traveling to/from the destinations.
When I can hop on a quick flight to Denver or Los Angeles and barely spend time traveling I'm not using precious vacation time unless I have a good reason to go on a longer trip.
Better yet, a quick road trip to a nearby city tends to be less expensive (gas money versus flying).
Also, if you're flying somewhere close and the flight is short but including transportation to/from airports is the same as driving, then driving could be a better option.
Speaking of, that's what I did last weekend - a quick trip to the Grand Canyon with my friend Jenn! I made a short video, which you can watch below. It only took about 2.5 hours to get to Flagstaff, where she lives, and then an hour and a half to the Grand Canyon.
When you make travel a priority - even if for a weekend - you'd be surprised how much time you have to travel.
Even last weekend when I was going to the Grand Canyon, I was thinking about how tired I was from work that week and how much sleeping in, relaxing, and watching Netflix would help recharge me...but then I went on my trip anyways, had a GREAT time seeing my friend and exploring new places, and didn't regret it for a second!
Traveling for a few days now is better than not traveling at all
I know there are quite a few of you who read this blog that want to travel indefinitely now. I get it! (I mean, that's a goal for me too...!)
Sometimes the larger goal - perhaps traveling indefinitely, becoming a digital nomad, or landing a big work + travel opportunity - are a little farther away than we'd like.
Don't wait to do the things that make you happy. If traveling makes you happy, short bursts over the weekend are better than none!