Tips for Getting the Most out of Your Real Vacation

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A Memorable Real Vacation in Small Town America


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We Created the Term “Real Vacation”

As an alternative to taking a long weekend at a land-based casino, we suggest taking a “real vacation”.  In this article, we will give you some tips on how to get the most out of a long weekend real vacation.

Plan Your Vacation in Advance

A long weekend vacation will not be inexpensive. You will need to buy airline tickets or gas for the car, hotel or motel rooms, you’ll eat in restaurants, you will buy tickets to shows or other entertainments, and you will feel the urge to overpay for souvenirs!

So, we say that the first thing about a real vacation is planning.  Decide who you will go with.  Will you take your kids, a significant other or spouse, friends, other couples or any other permutation of travelling companions?

The first decision you need to make is to approximate where you will go.  Then you need to decide how you will get there.  If you want to go to a famous National Park that requires air travel, you need to check out flights going and coming as  soon as possible.

When you look for airline tickets, you will comparison shop.  In fact, comparison shopping at the planning stage is de rigueur for every aspect of the trip!

What if We Want to Drive?

We prefer driving for a long weekend trip over flying!  When you drive, you get to see the countryside.  This is not to be understated: seeing the countryside is a major part of any long weekend trip!

There was a book published a few decades ago called Blue Highways in which the author spoke about travelling the more local roads just to see what he would see!

Robert Pirsig, in his monumental work, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, spoke about a cross country motorcycle trip he and his son were taking with another couple, friends of theirs.  He said that interstate highways were the worst roads to take.  It was paramount to take local roads as much as possible and the ones that looked squiggly on a map were the best because the squiggles indicated hills.

You don’t need mountains when you can get hills at the tops of which you can see for miles ahead and to the side!


Drive No More than Three Hours

Every hour you drive away from your home city, is an hour you have to drive back.  Look for interesting places to see one to two hours from home.  Keep in mind that even if you live in Manhattan, Chicago, or Los Angeles, there is plenty to see and do just one hour out of town!

Many small towns have small and worthwhile museums.  There might be a local brewery, winery, or distillery.  There might be a specialty bakery.  There might be a pioneer village or something similar to give you a taste of what life was like there 150 years ago.

The possibilities in small town excursions are endless and they all beat another hour on a land-based casino floor!

Choose Hotels Wisely

There aren’t many ma and pas motels these days.  The motels of today are actually low amenity hotels.  They don’t have a big lobby or dining room.  They certainly don’t have a restaurant.  But many do have a free breakfast which is better than going to a restaurant for eggs.  These breakfasts are minimalist yet they are sufficient for all but people with strict food restrictions.

Many of these “motels” have a pool.  It all depends on the season you will be driving, the weather, and whether the pool is indoor or outdoor.

By the way, we suggest never driving in the winter.  Just wait until the cold weather is over.  The last thing you want is to plan a long weekend and to find that a snow or ice storm is headed your way at that time!

Enjoy the Quaintness of Small Towns and the Great Outdoors

A long weekend is long enough to allow for some walking in town and hiking in a state park close by.  All fifty states in the USA have many, many state parks with hiking and boating.

Depending on the season and location, you might be able to see thousands of birds migrating.

Our favorite time of the year to go on a long weekend trip is fall foliage time.  There is really nothing like being immersed in the vibrant colors of fall in North America!

Will You Buy Food or Eat in Restaurants?

This depends on the people you will be travelling with and the nicest restaurant in the area.  Small towns do still have local gems of restaurants with big menus, high quality food, excellent service, and more.  We have eaten in family owned restaurants where the owner is sitting there overseeing the goings on and we have struck up conversations that we found very illuminating.

Gaming, Travelling and Expectations

Just as we tell our gamers to see gaming as a form of entertainment with zero expectations of getting rich quick, we urge weekend travelers to see a long weekend an hour or so away from home as a fascinating adventure but without any expectations that small town America will rival Yosemite or Yellowstone.

In fact, it is those small gems that make a long weekend in the country so emotionally rewarding to city folk!  All you have to do is let yourself feel rewarded!

Gaming While on a Real Vacation

We might say don’t play any online casino games on your long weekend trip[.  However, if you do need a few hands of video poker or blackjack or a few spins of slots or roulette, we have a truly phenomenal mobile gaming platform.

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