Just 3 weeks of vacation. That’s it. That’s all we get, plus a few meager holidays. Compared to the Europeans with their two months of vacation, plus another three weeks of holidays, we get so little time off of work. Yet, our coworkers are always astounded by the amount of travel we can squeeze into those three short weeks.
Here’s how we did it in 2013:
In February, we took a single day of vacation and had a long three-day weekend in Atlanta. We took in the sites of downtown Atlanta such as Georgia Aquarium, the World of Coca-Cola and the Centennial Olympic Park. We crossed an item off out bucket list: a concert at the famed Eddie’s Attic. We explored the culinary scene in Decatur and we also explored Atlanta’s rich Civil Rights History. All for just one day of vacation.
One of our main strategies for maximizing our vacation time is to extend business trips into vacations. In early March, a business trip took me to Vienna, Austria, for a five day meeting. To that, we added on six days of vacation to explore Eastern Europe. In Vienna, we visited The Hofburg Palace, The Schonbrunn Palace, had lunch at the Naschmarkt, and ate at a classic heuriger wine restaurant. In Prague, we visited the world’s largest castle, checked out the architecture, went to a concert, and the Jewish Quarter. From Prague, we made a day-trip to Kutna Hora. Finally, we made a day-trip to Bratislava from Vienna.
In May, I had a business trip to Tucson, Arizona and went a day early on the weekend to do some hiking and geocaching. We also took a long weekend and went to Toronto, Canada. We also discovered we love street art. That was one day of vacation.
Later in June, I had another business trip to Germany. I extended my time for a weekend and one day of vacation to visit Liechtenstein, make a pilgrimage to the Andechs Monastery, and explored the company-town of Erlangen, Germany. While I was in Liechtenstein, Laura took a trip to Orlando.
August took me to Colorado to visit my family for three days. But, I was able to sneak in a trip to Steamboat Springs – Ski Town USA.
Throughout the fall, we took some weekend getaways – all without taking any vacation time. We visited Philadelphia’s unique museums, Centralia, PA and the Yuengling Brewery, The Azilum where French nobility where going to escape the Revolution back home, and a lovely weekend exploring the Hershey-Harrisburg region.
In October, we revisited Ireland. We fell in love with Ireland in 2008 and we were thrilled to come back. We explored Ireland’s Celtic ruins, we slept in Castles, visited breweries and distilleries, took in some dinner shows in Dublin, enjoyed some of the walking tours, and took some amazing photos of the Emerald Isle. In Northern Ireland, we visited the Troubles Murals in Derry.
Finally, we ended 2013 on a Christmas cruise.
And that is how we maximized our vacation time in 2013! Even without months of vacation time, it is possible to travel extensively and see the world! Stay tuned for many more exciting adventures in 2014.
Lance Longwell is a travel writer and photographer who has published Travel Addicts since 2008, making it one of the oldest travel blogs. He is a life-long traveler, having visited all 50 of the United States by the time he graduated high school. Lance has continued his adventures by visiting 70 countries on 5 continents – all in search of the world’s perfect sausage. He’s a passionate foodie and enjoys hot springs and cultural oddities. When he’s not traveling (or writing about travel), you’ll find him photographing his hometown of Philadelphia.