In a world of power naps, power lunches and power bars, we’ve learned to compress the amount of time needed to complete a task into a fraction of what it would normally take. Two of the biggest reasons people don’t travel are time and money, but a two-day power trip solves that. It can get you out of a dull routine and help you maintain a traveling lifestyle without costing a fortune.
Spirit Airlines, Jet Blue and Virgin all offer specials at various times with ridiculously priced travel deals that may require a bit of flexibility on your part. These budget airlines offer a no-frills approach to travel while still getting you from one place to another. These deeply discounted flights might depart at late times and may not include any baggage but a personal item. But of course, if you’re just traveling for two days, a small bag should hold everything you need.
So where do you go? Have you ever been to Niagara Falls? Have you seen the giant sequoias in California? Maybe you’ve always wanted to have fresh lobster in Maine. At first, it might seem a bit ridiculous to fly somewhere to have lobster, but you can also visit nearby Boston, go to Cape Cod and visit Plymouth Rock. Niagara Falls is easily one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the world and is near Buffalo. If you love Buffalo wings, you could even have lunch at the place they were invented, The Anchor Bar in Buffalo. Once you’ve finished staring at the falls, you can easily drive to Toronto and spend an afternoon in Canada. There’s a very interesting wine route in the area that specializes in ice wines. No matter the destination you choose, there are multiple things to do that can easily keep you entertained.
I just found a ticket from Houston to Baltimore for less than $100 round trip. Besides offering arguably the best crab cakes in the world, Maryland is less than two hours drive from Philadelphia and Hershey, Pennsylvania. Both seem like interesting places, but is two days enough? Detractors of the two-day power trip say “nay,” but a short stay is really not that different from a port of call on a cruise ship. I’ve seen entire island countries in a day. Why not see Philadelphia in a day? I'm going to go for it. Not only will I have longer than I would with a cruise ship, I can spend the night there too. I’ve never seen the Liberty Bell. I’ve often wondered if a Philadelphia cheesesteak tastes the same in the place where it was invented. I’m going to find out.
The highlight of my mini-trip will be Hershey. This is the place where America’s most famous brand of chocolate was invented, and I’m going to have an entire day devoted to it: hot chocolate in the morning, a chocolate massage (yes, there is such a thing), a visit to Hershey Park and probably a stay at the Hotel Hershey, or some other cool place on Chocolate Avenue. I’ll get up early and drive to Hershey from Philly and be there when the park opens—after I have my hot chocolate, of course. Who doesn’t want to immerse themselves in a chocolate day? My entire trip will be less than $300.
There's lots of opportunities for heavily discounted airfare if you know where to look. I’ve done lots of cheap flights to Central American destinations, California, Chicago, and Las Vegas for a fraction of the normal prices. Check out my article about how I did a two-day power trip to Vegas from Houston including one night’s hotel, shows and airfare for $250. The best way to get these deals is to sign up for them to be delivered to your email. Most package trips are based on travel for at least five days so signing up directly with discount airlines might be your best option.
So, once you’re there, then what do you do? I usually recommend renting a car so that you can get around to all the places that you want to see. Many cities have travel articles written about free things to do there. TripAdvisor is a great resource to decide what you want to see. The attractions are rated by real people who’ve been there and can help you discover places you may have never thought of. Groupon is a great resource as well. You can often book popular attractions at big discounts by searching your destination city. Once you’ve determined what you’d like to see, you can plug in all the places in Google Maps and get driving directions and a very accurate estimate of how long it will take to get to the places on your list. Try doing a Google Image search of your destination. You might see pictures of places and things that are nearby that you never knew existed. Roadside America has a list of the nation’s quirkiest attractions. While traveling through a very boring stretch of Nebraska, I discovered Carhenge, a reinvention of Stonehenge completely built with old wrecked cars. There’s not a lot to do in that state. Carhenge made Nebraska much more exciting.
Two days zip by when you’re working and living your ordinary life.When you’re traveling, two days can seem like a week if you fill your days with adventures, fun restaurants and quirky attractions—and you travel quickly. Put your vacation on fast-forward and see everything that you can squeeze into a day. Make a list of places that you’ve always wanted to see and start looking for deals. I guarantee you’ll find them.