Introducing the 3-2-1 Travel Planning Rule

Travel can fun, spontaneous and life-altering. But sometimes, it takes a little extra push to go from a trip idea, to a trip reality. I know I am certainly an offender. Talking about places I want to go, things I want to see, and then not doing anything about it.

Whether it is cost, not enough saved time off work, family obligations, or something else altogether, there are a lot of roadblocks that can prevent taking a weekend getaway or that one big once of a lifetime vacation.

Enter the 3-2-1 rule.

It’s simple:

3: the number of weekend getaway trips you should sprinkle throughout the year. Maybe a ski weekend in Tahoe, a swim in San Diego, or explore the City of Solvang. Whatever might be within a few hours reach that can allow you to to literally leave town, but not have to worry too much about logistics, or even cost. Throw together a go-bag the morning of, book a hotel, or find one once you arrive at your destination city. These little getaways have tremendous power to make you feel good. To make you feel rested. The change of scenery, no matter how drastic can rejuvenate you from day to day life. Maybe you need to stay close to home? Try vacationing in your own city (see Date Night on the Delta King).  

2: the number of states (other than your own) you should visit. Now, technically you can get out of state and come back during a weekend getaway. If you are in California popping over to Vegas or flying to Portland can be a great way to explore nearby neighboring states. Maybe you’ve always wanted to snowboard in Colorado, celebrate Mardi Gras in New Orleans, or spend the new year counting down the clock in NYC. See what times of year work best for your schedule, piggyback off an existing holiday off from work, and get planning.

1: the number of times you should get out of the country. Sometimes you just really need to escape your home country. To truly get out of your comfort zone, to be challenged by a new language, or immerse yourself in a foreign culture. If you are able to swing it, then you should do it. Figuring out where you want to go, what time of year works best for your schedule and determine what you need to do to make it a reality.

All of these pieces fit together. Weekend getaways help scratch the travel itch and keep you feeling fresh. Out of state travel allows you to explore a little bit beyond your backyard. To catch up with old friends, or visit family. To see the many wonders that exist right here in the U.S. And leaving the United States will give you a better sense of self. A clearer understanding of who you are, and your place in the larger world.

With the new year comes new plans, and that’s especially true for travel. So start planning and happy travels!