As the winter months begin to thaw, the travel season will be upon us. Post 50s may find themselves pulled in multiple travel directions with reunions, college graduations, weddings and other obligation trips filling up their travel calendars and invading their savings.
Forty-one percent of U.S. travelers spend the majority of their vacation budgets on obligation trips, according to survey data recently released by Hotwire.com. As travelers jet around for other people's milestones, many are wishing for a getaway of their own. Hotwire's survey found that 89 percent of adults want to take more leisure trips but don't have the time or money for these vacations.
What's a busy, budget-conscious traveler to do?
“It’s no surprise that obligation trips monopolize travel budgets and time, but with a little flexibility and creativity you can use these must-go trips to your advantage,” Clem Bason, president of the Hotwire Group, said in a statement. “There’s no better way to keep in budget than by making the most of the travel investment that you’ve already made. By adding extra days at the end of must-go trips, travelers can create more leisure time for themselves, which can be used to explore a new side of the city they are already in or venture to a nearby destination.”
Add some leisure to your next obligation trip with one of these vacation-worthy side trips based on five of Hotwire's most-booked destinations:
Destination: Chicago Plan a getaway to: Lake Geneva, Wisconsin Distance: One hour, 45 minutes Choose from a variety of boat tours for a scenic history lesson behind the estates and mansions lining Geneva Lake, or indulge your inner adventurer by taking a zipline tour for breathtaking views and some fun!
Destination: Washington, DC Plan a getaway to: Annapolis, Maryland Distance: 50 minutes Tour the U.S. Naval Academy and catch the midshipmen in noon formation for inspiration. Then get out on the water in America's Sailing Capital. Prone to seasickness? Marvel at the abundance of 18th century brick buildings and tour the Hammond-Harwood House, which boasts the Most Beautiful Doorway in America.
Destination: Toronto Plan a getaway to: Niagra Falls, New York Distance: One hour, 45 minutes Along with taking the famous Maid of the Mist tour, you can visit Niagara Falls State Park, 400 acres of natural beauty. Enjoy the outdoors with a hike, or take the Niagara Scenic Trolley ride.
Destination: Los Angeles Plan a getaway to: Palm Springs, California Distance: Two hours Dust off your clubs, and make your tee time at Tahquitz Creek Golf Resort, which offers two championship courses. Then experience The Living Desert, a wildlife and botanical park.
Destination: New York City Plan a getaway to: Hudson River Valley, New York Distance: 45 minutes Hike the famous Appalachian Trail, visit the Shawangunk Wine Trail in the oldest wine producing region in America or tour Lyndhurst, an 1838 Gothic Revival mansion that offers stunning gardens and views of the river.