Ten days gives us plenty of time to soak up this view.

If a week is good, ten days are even better!

Ten days:  Just a little longer

  • Pros: The luxurious feel of extra days longer than a week, almost as restful as two weeks but much less expensive, ability to add a second destination, at least one day of travel not on a weekend–less crowded
  • Cons: More expensive, can be hard to find a place that doesn’t rent by the week

Once we started taking nine or ten day vacations, we haven’t looked back. My slightly work-obsessed husband believes in this so strongly that it is his number one vacation tip!

Bill found that it took no more effort to take off the Thursday/Friday before a week away than just taking the week itself. I typically do laundry anyway on vacation, so that didn’t make a difference, either. And the sheer indulgence of “sneaking away” early? I can’t even tell you how thrilled we were the first time we tried it.

Those extra days can also offer time to deal with the unexpected. We’ve started leaving on Thursdays to go skiing, and we return two Sundays later. Two years ago, we got to the airport to find our perfectly-scheduled non-stop flight cancelled. We were put on a flight with one stop which left six hours later. (There went my grocery shopping time.) We arrived in Salt Lake City to find that our one-hour connection was delayed by another three hours.

We had planned to land in Bozeman around noon, eat lunch at a favorite restaurant, and then get to our house and set up to hit the slopes on Friday morning.

Instead, we got to our house after 2 in the morning (Montana time, 4 a.m. at home!). We could barely get moving the next day and still had to get the kids’ gear. In spite of the delays we still managed to get a full week of skiing in. Had we only spent a week, at least 20% of our ski time would have been gone. There is no amount of airport Uno that can make up for missing the slopes!

I’ll give some other examples of the benefits of an extra couple of days in some future posts, but since we started taking a longer vacation (I think we started back in 2008?), we have only taken one one-week vacation.

We’ve found that the best way to plan trips is to mix it up a little. We love a couple of long weekends during the year, and I try to plan for times when we might be a little tapped out and need a change of scenery. If I pick a time that is too busy, we’ll either have to cancel or we’ll spend the whole weekend exhausted.

And then, because Bill has four weeks of vacation a year, we’ll plan a trip at winter break and another in the summer. One thing that’s been surprising is how hard scheduling the summer trip has become! Sports and camp have come to dominate summer so that I have to be intentional about clawing back some family time. We may even have to go back to “just” a week, as the kids show no signs of giving up football, running, or horses for a season.

What is your favorite length vacation? Have you gotten to take TWO weeks? I think Bill will have to be retired before we try that!