After a month full of fluctuating weather, long dark days, and seemingly never-ending nights spent critiquing Olympic athletes from your couch, you probably were more than ready to welcome March with open arms. A season for sunlight and spontaneity, the dawn of spring might inspire you to fill up backpack or a carry-on and head off of on your mini-adventure. But between busy work weeks and summer prep, your schedule might only allow for a quick weekend trip that can be simply planned in a day — maybe even the day before.
Last-minute travel isn't as challenging as it used to be: Thanks to apps like GTFO and Hotel Tonight, affordable flights and luxury hotels are available with the flick of your fingertip. So the question now posed is no longer if you can get away, but where?
"Sometimes you just need to get away," Bonnie Klein and Liora Yalof, travel experts and co-founders of Daytripper365, tell Bustle. "And the allure of a last-minute trip; an escape from your daily routine and grind is just the ticket."
Whether you've been cooped up in the cold for too long and are craving some vitamin D, or if you thrive chilling and want to take advantage of your last stretch of winter, there's a weekend getaway for you to plan today, and take ASAP.
1. Go Hiking At A Nearby Campsite
Are you a nature lover who loves exploring new terrain? Then grab a backpack and research the nearest campground near you. Spend your Saturday on a hike, and pitch a picnic at the peak. Spend the night in a tent, staring up at the stars and telling campfire stories. Drive back on Sunday, and take a pitstop a nearby town for lunch and a little tourist shopping.
One of my favorite weekend trips I've ever taken was to a tiny town called Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, which boasts hiking, antiquing, and epic ghost tours.
2. Take A Chalet-Chic Ski Trip
You don't need to empty your wallet at Aspen or Vail to go on an epic ski holiday. Try road tripping to Stowe, Vermont, or trekking up to the Catskills. And if you're a West Coaster, you don't have to look far for weekend on the slopes: Breckenridge, a small ski town driving distance from the Denver airport, features the same snow quality as it's pricier counterparts, but with more affordable accommodations and lift tickets. Spend the first day skiing or snowboarding, and the evening après at a lodge drinking spiked cider and listening to live music.
Pro-tip: Check out bed and breakfasts instead of a hotel. They usually offer a complimentary breakfast for early risers. Make the most of the last days of winter.
3. Prove That Life's A Beach
There's nothing better than dreaming about running away to a sunny place on a particularly dreary winter day — oh wait, there is: Actually doing it! Check out the app Hopper for cheap round-trip tickets to Miami, Florida. Spend your Saturday soaking up the sun, your night taking in the infamous nightlife, and your Sunday in their design district, expanding both your mind and your taste buds. Miami is a wonderful mixture of leisure and lifestyle, but can get a bit pricey. Check out Airbnb for more affordable options that will lead the beach right to your doorstep.
Alternatively, consider the quaint Cape Cod. "Your trip starts as soon as you board the ferry heading to Nantucket," Klein and Yalof tell Bustle. "You can have access to miles of beautiful beaches that are easy to bike to, a killer happy hour at a local brewery and restaurants that would stand up against big city hot spots."
4. Host Your Own Cultural Renaissance
As someone who gets stressed out by the concept of purely "relaxing," I need activity in order to feel productive and motivated. That's why I'm so lucky to live in New York City, where I am constantly pushing my cultural boundaries. Consider traveling here, and spending your Saturday getting accidentally-on-purpose lost in one of our many museums, your Saturday night at a Broadway show (they give away cheap seat tickets daily!), or scouting fresh talent at the Comedy Cellar. Spend your Sunday strolling in Central Park or exploring the Meatpacking District from the High line.
Check Hotel Tonight for last-minute discounted rooms at luxury hotels starting at $120. You can even travel outside the city, for art upstate just a train ride away. "Try an Art filled weekend in the country visiting Storm King and Dia Beacon," Yalof and Klein say.
5. Become A Political Party Animal
During a time period when our socio-political infrastructure is so fragile, perhaps you'd prefer to use your time off from work to raise your voice and practice your right to protest. Take to Washington, D.C. and use your Saturday to march on the Mall. The March for Our Lives, being led by student shooting survivors, is being held Saturday, March 24 and will surely be a historical and inspiring event. Stand tall for your beliefs, while simultaneously taking in views of the beautiful Cherry Blossoms around the Tidal Basin.
And did I mention that D.C. is the brunch capital of America? Pro-tip: If hotels are expensive and Airbnbs are booked, try staying in Arlington, Virginia; it's right across the bridge and accessible via metro.
6. Ride The Amp Waves And Take A Musical Journey
If you're someone who goes wherever the music takes you, check Music Festival Wizard to find out where your nearest March Festival will be held. Alternatively, try organizing a weekend trip that is solely grounded in a musical pedagogy: Nashville is the home of country music and folk legends, while New Orleans has been credited as the birth place of Jazz. Both are simultaneously known for their vivacious nightlife scenes and beautiful historic buildings.
"There is no better city for a music weekend in the U.S. than New Orleans," say Klein and Yalof. "Eat, drink and soak up the music in one of the most intoxicating cities in the world — a mix of Creole, French, and Caribbean influences."
7. Take A Page From Of Your History Books
For history buffs, consider packing up your car and taking a tour through time and space. "A historic road trip can begin in our Nation’s Capital where you can travel back 400 years in time at the powerful National Museum of African American History and Culture," Klein and Yalof tell Bustle. "After visiting the monuments and memorials, hop in your car and head to Charlottesville where a visit to Monticello, Thomas Jefferson’s home is a must before indulging in some wine tasting at Dave Mathews nearby Blenheim Vineyards. End your trip in historic Richmond where history and a dynamic food scene mingle side by side in this up and coming southern city."
Not only is the trip cost-effective, but you'll only have to split the money for gas with your friends. Plus, you have the added bonus of boasting some killer fun facts the next time you hit trivia night.
8. Rent A Car And Hit the Open Road
On the same vein, sometimes there is absolutely nothing better than your classic road trip, Thelma and Louise style. Crank up a killer curated playlist, and explore an area of America that you've always been curious about.
"Road trip from Portland to the Oregon Coast. After hitting the food trucks in Portland, getting lost in Powell Books and eating ice cream at Salt and Straw, head out of town to Cannon Beach," Klein and Yalof say. "Walk or bike on the beach past Oregon’s famous Haystack Rock, hike Ecola State Park and learn some cooking techniques while enjoying dinner at EVOO." Top off the experience with staying at famous motels featured in your favorite movies!
9. Take A Trip Down Memory Lane
Revisit a place from your past that holds a significant place in your heart and your past. Is there someplace your parents used to take you when you're younger? Did you move homes as a child and haven't returned back since? Is there even a neighborhood in the community where you live that you used to spend a lot of time in, but no longer frequently visit? Reconnect with your roots and find peace in nostalgia.
There's a little town in Connecticut where my family gathered right after my sister was born. It's a train ride away, and I love revisiting it even for a day, because I'm instantly flooded with wonderful memories from my youth. Sometimes, returning to some place that you love can be just as gratifying as having a new experience.
I'm someone who loves organizing trips — I flourish when it comes to making itineraries, booking the best reservations on Open Table, and finding affordable accommodations. But last weekend, I took a somewhat spontaneous trip to visit my sister after finding an incredibly discounted plane ticket. With no set schedule and very little money in my wallet, and I had a realization: Sometimes the greatest memories are made on a whim, with someone you love by your side.