Holiday (noun): exemption of requirement

Whether its over the river and through the woods, or to the international terminal, many of us will be traveling for the holiday. Celebrating the nation’s independence with some independence from real life?

I live eight hours from my hometown, where most of my family including my parents live. For the last 20 years, I’ve only gone home for Thanksgiving or Christmas. Not both, and it rotates.

Sometimes I make it for Easter. About half the time, I visit on or around the 4th of July. The European whirlwind was over a Thanksgiving I didn’t go home; the Cayman get away was over a Christmas.

For family, and sanity, the every-other routine has worked wonderfully. And for travel, there are some real blessings. Let’s take a look at the benefits if striking out, with or without family, during the holiday.

FREE days off!
Ok, don’t get excited. I don’t mean no-cost vacations. I mean taking advantage of company-provided, paid time away from work. This can also mean weekends, if you only work during the week. For each of the big vacations mentioned above, Trisha and I took a 12-day vacation and were only required to use about six days of vacation time.

There ARE deals to be had
Traveling at the holidays doesn’t have to be the most expensive and daunting experience, especially if you are willing to try something different. You’re probably not going to find the best deal of your life on two weeks in Disney for you, the significant other and your four kids. But you may get a deal you didn’t expect to another great city. Thanksgiving offers amazing deals with international travel. Which makes perfect sense… It’s only Thanksgiving here. Explore some off-season options, and keep an open mind.

Deals ahead — WAY ahead
A few years ago, my brother-in-law rented a car for part of our journey home for Christmas. When he arrived at the rental desk to pick it up, the attendant asked in shock how he got the new 7-passenger car for such a low price. “I haven’t seen prices this low since summer,” she told him. And that made sense… He had made the reservation in August. Price is relative and “a good price” is even more so. Want that dream holiday at the fancy resort? Do it! If getting it all for a great price is key, or the only way you can afford it, plan ahead. Just think, Thanksgiving airfare will be out before you know it! (Sorry)

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