According to a recent data study by American Express Travel, domestic excursions are on the rise. Of the 54 percent of Americans who are planning to travel in 2012, more than eight in ten of them plan to dish out more dollars on travel this year than they previously spent in 2011. And more than a third of those are selecting North America as their preferred travel playground. Here’s how to make the most of your time and budget while planning your next on-continent getaway.
Daytrips: For those with tight schedules and limited funds, scheduling daytrips to nearby venues will likely provide the best deal possible for your travel dollars. Residents of southwestern Maine for example, can easily squeeze in a day excursion to Conway, in New Hampshire’s Mount Washington Valley. The destination offers outlet shopping, fun dining options and year-round mountain access for skiing, hiking, scenic drives and even mountain biking. Similarly, those making their home in San Francisco, California are a mere 30 miles south of Sonoma County, where they can experience world-class wine tasting opportunities and free vineyard tours through the Sonoma Vineyard Adventures program.
Weekends: End-of-the-week getaways can take you out of the city for a fraction of the cost of a longer vacation. Providence, Rhode Island is a mere hop, skip and a jump for Boston natives looking for a more relaxed atmosphere. The destination has an artsy vibe and a great food scene, making it a great couples’ destination. For New Yorkers, New Haven, Connecticut is a mere 90-minute drive away. Offering everything from vegan cafes to sustainable sushi, this New England town makes food part of the vacation fun. Year-round concerts and cultural adventures also play a strong part in the New Haven travel experience.
Direct: The ability to fly direct can drastically reduce ticket costs, leaving more money available to enjoy additional attractions, or perhaps splurge on an evening of fine dining. One North American destination with a number of direct-access flights is Montreal. The city has a fair amount of international style, and is well known for its food, festivals and other forms of fun. Urban centers aren’t necessarily the only options for direct flights, however. Bangor, Maine residents looking for a bit of sun and sand can hop direct flights to Clearwater, Florida, where they can enjoy world-class beaches, a bit of theater and visit with Winter, the world-famous dolphin.
Photo Credit: Pictures of Travel Places