It is my firm opinion that traveling, whether domestic or international, whether big or little trips, or long or short trips, improves a person for the better. I know many people who don’t travel because they don’t have the time, feel it is “too hard” to get away and they miss out on wonderful opportunities that short trips can provide.
My husband and I are the master of the short, on the fly, spur of the moment trip.
One of my favorite short trips we did was to NYC in fall of 2012. We left Phoenix, AZ on a Saturday afternoon to do a date night in New York City (my husband’s idea…he’s awesome that way…). We returned home to Phoenix 10pm on Monday night. We were gone 55 hours. But here is what we accomplished in that time frame, in order…(remember all this was done with one full day in the city, and one morning after)…
Checked into Waldorf-Astoria
Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral
Lunch at Rockefeller Center
Broadway Show~”Wicked”~ at the Gershwin Theatre
Carriage Ride Through Central Park
Times Square and Dinner at the Renaissance Hotel, overlooking Times Square (it was dark in the restaurant but I loved the Wicked billboard was behind us!)
Empire State Building, to get a view from the top of the city at night
Back to hotel/bed–The Waldorf-Astoria is a little piece of NYC (and Hollywood) History. It is full of old school glamour and it was thrilling to stay in there. An upgrade got us a suite. Not that we had much time to use the sitting room… Here is my in front of the famous lobby clock.
(next morning), 1/2 day NYC…Subway, Grand Central Station, walking tour of Wall Street/downtown area, View Brooklyn Bridge, Lunch. After our walking tour we wanted to get a shot of the Brooklyn Bridge; of course then it started raining, but other than that our weather was pitch perfect the whole visit. Perfect for walking the city.
Travel to Newark, NJ to start back home. Two flights home.
What can you do in 55 hours? That my friends is what you can do with 55 hours. That 55 hours included all of our travel/layover time.
Wait, did I miss anything? Oh yes, we also went to the Hearst Tower and FAO Schwartz toy store (worth the visit if you have children).
After the Broadway Play and after our Carriage ride through Central park, we decided to stop by the famous toy store on our way to dinner, where, kid you not, a little girl from England asked her father “Daddy, are they famous?” as we walked by. In that moment, I knew I had picked THE right dress for the Broadway Show/NYC trip…and in that moment, Mr. Darcy (my husband) was glad that he too had dressed to the nines, and while I’m on the subject…if you are ever in attendance for a Broadway show, dress for the occasion! Flip flops are a no. t-shirts? Never. You don’t have to black tie it (unless it’s opening night) but for God’s sake don’t dress like your going to a barbecue. (and if you do, don’t tell me, I can’t bare it!)
Let me tell you, it was awesome and fun. Here’s a few tips for short trips…
You do not need a full week to see most places. A full week is nice, but a few days can get you the highlights of most cities and even some countries. My first trip to Paris I had only 3 full days in the city. In that three days I saw 15 attractions.
When we do short trips like this to places that are on the other side of the US, we use our points for the flights. Getting the flights free makes the short time in the destination more palatable.
Utilize the flights/wait time. My husband and I don’t mind flights. They give us much needed time to talk and visit without the interruption of our 5 small children. They give him time to do computer work he needs to catch up on and now that I am in graduate school again working on a new Master’s in History, they give me study time.
Plan ahead. While we do take weekend trips where we do everything “on the fly”, this particular trip we planned out our day in advance, which allowed us to maximize what we were able to do.
Be flexible. You will probably not be able to see every single thing you want to in a weekend. Save those for the next weekend you are in that city. For me, my next trip to NYC will start with a visit to the 911 Memorial, The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Statue of Liberty. It is good to have things to look forward to.
We are light packers. When you are going on a trip that is 3 days or less you should never check a bag on the way there. Are you a heavy packer? Don’t worry, I have a “How to travel light post” coming soon.
Make intentional shoe choices. This is important. The dress I took for the Broadway show has an amazing pair of 4 inch black patent leather heels I normally wear with it. Did I pack those? NO. I knew we would be doing a great deal of walking and those heels would have been great~~ if I were into self punishment. I wanted to have a good time and look fashionable, so I chose a pair of black patent leather ballerina flats for that night. What I sacrificed in fashion I made up in enjoyment by being able to walk the beautiful city in comfort. If you can’t live without the heels; make sure you are doing short walks or taking taxis. Trust me, your feet (and your companion) will thank you.
I found New York to be busy and beautiful. I was anxious to finally visit there as it was one of the destinations I have always had on my bucket list and I was especially anxious to visit there ever since I learned that Mr. Darcy and I have grave plots, which are part of his family’s plots, in the same cemetery as Irving Berlin (writer of White Christmas); actually Irving and I will be plot neighbors once I am interned, not that I am in any hurry to move in.
Have any other short trip tips? Share them in the comments!