As the temperatures rise across the country and the summer weather sets in, many people are daydreaming about a vacation. If you don’t yet have anything planned for the 4th of July weekend, here are the top Independence day travel hacks which may help you plan a successful impromptu holiday weekend.
1. Surf for last minute travel deals
Many resources are available to help make an impulse getaway a reality. Surfing sites like Travelocity, HotelTonight, and The Flight Deal can help land a great last minute vacation at a fantastic price. For a low-hassle, all-in-one experience, Travelocity allows you to book air, hotels, and rental cars in the same transaction. If you’re looking for something more spontaneous (but also at a great price), HotelTonight allows you to book an amazing last-minute hotel room at cut-rate prices. The Flight Deal is perfect if you are looking to fly to your next destination, as it features truly remarkable flight bargains—often to international destinations—with clear instructions on how to get them.
2. Take a day off before or after your holiday to maximize your vacation
Jenna and Micah of Wander The Map offer several tips for maximizing your vacation with the limited amount of vacation days that American workers are notorious for having. July 4th falls on a Monday this year, which means it’s possible to take a short three day trip using up no vacation time, or an entire nine day vacation using only four vacation days. Using the federal holiday allows you to get the extra time that you want away from your day-to-day life and extends the duration of your extra-special trip.
3. While on vacation, use your autoresponder to disconnect.
While you’re on vacation, be on vacation. Instead of worrying about the office, your clients, or your workload, focus on spending quality time with the friends and family you’re traveling with; if you’re traveling alone, focus on what sights to see or where to eat. Embrace your e-mail provider’s autoresponder with an out of office message, indicating when you’ll be back and able to reply to business matters.
If you have tasks that must be done in your absence, hiring a digital assistant through a site such as Taskrabbit can get the job done for you while you’re away enjoying your time off.
Taskrabbit’s platform allows users to connect with others willing to perform the chores or errands that you cannot or do not want to perform. Their interface is easy to use and remarkably intuitive at matching the requester with the “taskrabbit” who completes the duty.
4. Missed that connection and worried about your bag? No worries, it’s already there. Send your stuff ahead.
Missing your connection or flight hurts in the short-term, but the thought of losing your bag with the airline either can be the biggest gut-punch of all. Fortunately, there are many ways around the problem of having your bag stranded in the airport; you just have to plan a bit in advance. Luggage Free and Send My Bag are two godsend services that allow you to pack your bags and ship them to your final destination before you even take your Wingz ride to the airport.
5. Get ahead of the crowds by checking into your hotel in advance online.
Many hotel chains such as Hyatt, Hilton, and Disney now allow you to check in online prior to your arrival to cut down on time spent in lines. Hilton’s online check-in system allows you to select your exact room with the hotel’s floor plan. And since checking into your Disney hotel is a unique experience in and of itself, the happiest place on earth gives you the ability to use their dedicated guest services lines to ensure you still get to interact with the sights and sounds of each place you stay.
There are ample opportunities available this week for the last-minute traveler, and if you’re willing to dedicate a few minutes of planning, you and your loved ones are destined for a great holiday.
Do you have any travel hacks for last-minute travel? If so, please share!