Headed Out? Six Tips to Plan an Extended Vacation
Produced by Family Features
for The Post
If you’re planning to leave western Montgomery County within coming months, and put the pandemic behind you with a longer-than-usual vacation, you’re not alone. Due in part to extra vacation days that accumulated during COVID-19 restrictions, as well as a pent-up desire for a change of scenery, some travelers are looking ahead to extended get-aways.
Vacationers this season are 34 percent more likely to book a stay of at least seven nights, and 31 percent less likely to book a three-nighter, according to statistics from Vrbo, an online vacation rental market owned by Expedia Group.
“After a year of storing away vacation days, this summer is quickly shaping up to be the season of PTO (paid time off) for many employees,” said Melanie Fish, a Vrbo travel expert.
Those considering an expanded stay elsewhere may benefit from tips to help ensure your vacation meets expectations:
- Adjust your budget to accommodate the needs of a longer trip. It obviously means more days of lodging and more meals away from home, but don’t forget to account for other costs. They include more days of parking at the airport (if you fly), more tanks of fuel (if you don’t), and more entertainment expenses to fill your days with added fun.
- Choose a destination where you’ll find plenty to explore and enjoy over an extended period. Popular options this season include those relatively close: “down the shore” in New Jersey, for many in southeastern Pennsylvania, or at Rehoboth Beach (below) and Fenwick Island in Delaware. Want farther out? Vrbo claims popular destinations are the Outer Banks, Oak Island and Southport, all in North Carolina; and Cape Cod in Massachusetts.
- Create an itinerary, even if it’s loosely outlined. It can help you make best use of vacation days. Keep an eye on the weather as you plan which days to spend on the beach or at the pool, and when it might be better to see sights indoors. Build in activities that appeal to each member of your travel party; aim for a balance between adventure and relaxation.
- Look for amenities that offer convenience, pleasure and comfort … like kitchens where you can prepare some of your own meals less expensively, and indulge your culinary creativity. Shop around, too, for discounts on both lodging and vacation supplies to make a longer stay more affordable.
- Avoid overpacking. You may be tempted to pack extra clothes and other belongings (at left), but that can weigh you down. The alternative: choose outfits you can mix and match, and look for accommodations with laundry facilities so you can wash and re-wear clothing.
- Make arrangements to ensure your home life is in order. Being away for an extended period may mean a little extra work to maintain things back home. You may need to have someone water your plants, take care of your pets, and receive deliveries. Contact the U.S. Postal Service online, here, to stop your mail when you leave and restart it when you return.