We’ve never had the flexibility from my husband’s job to take a truly extended vacation. It was my dream to take a year off and travel the world with the kids, but now that high school graduations are on the horizon that is a dream that goes back on the shelf.

You know what? That’s okay. We continue to have deeply satisfying vacations without leaving for a year, or even a month. It’s absolutely possible to have great trips even over long weekends.

So how do we choose a vacation length?

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Imagine our little gold family in this sea of orange!

A long weekend

  • Pros: Super-easy to schedule, less expensive, ideal for exploring just one or two attractions
  • Cons: Destinations are more restricted because of limited transit time, harder to make a mental break in a short time

I’ve found that the best long weekends are centered around an event, like a football game or wedding. The event give you some structure and a dedicated time to do something together, away from technology.

One of our long weekends that comes to mind is a trip we took to Greenville, South Carolina, a couple of years ago. I hadn’t been to Greenville in twenty years, since my grandparents had left for a North Carolina retirement.  Was I in for a surprise!

We had picked Greenville as our landing spot for the Georgia Tech-Clemson football game. We left Atlanta early Friday afternoon, enjoyed a great barbecue dinner and then wandered the very cute, revitalized downtown and park. What a gorgeous spot!

The next morning we discovered a huge street market, crowded with football fans and lots of other families out for a lovely morning. We almost never get out on a Saturday morning as a family, so it was a treat to hang out together and talk to farmers and artists in their booths. And then it was time to head to Death Valley.

Let me just tell you if you’ve never been to see a Clemson football game, you absolutely must go. We had so much fun, and the fans were amazing even though we were dressed in gold and white! It was just a fun day.

We even drove home that evening after the game. That was it, one night, two days, and we still talk about how much fun it was. We ate and laughed our way to Greenville in the car, had some good family time, and then watched Georgia Tech lose in Death Valley. It’s totally do-able!

Of course, you might want to consider more than just a long weekend every once in a while. We’ll talk about longer vacations tomorrow.