Short vacation vs long vacation

How much time do you want to spend on your vacation?  Many tell me a week is not enough – especially when you spend two days getting there and getting home.  Some people are happy with a weekend somewhere like Vegas.  Others go for longer sojourns.  Then there are those who go for months and months and months.  So let’s look at these vacations ….

The weekend – in Vegas?  Well on the plus side the flying time to Vegas is quite reasonable at just under three hours and the really nice thing about Vegas is that the airport is pretty much right in the middle of the city.  It seems to be that Sin City is not such an attraction these days for the gambling side of things but more as an entertainment centre where the big names appear and the hotel rooms are abundant.  Not a bad getaway on the whole. Personally I am not a casino fan and a guess I am not alone as new hotels are springing up in Vegas with no casino at all.  So for shopping, great shows and top restaurants Vegas makes sense for a quick break.

A week all inclusive?  Well hey – most working people get two – maybe three – weeks of vacation a year so a week is a convenient chunk of time to commit to a vacation.  The only problem is the time these days it takes to get there and get back.  Getting down to Mexico for example will take anything from 4 and a half to 6 hours.  Add to that the time getting to the airport in Calgary in good time for security, check in etc. and then the travel time from the airport to your hotel at the other end.  Some transfer times can be horrendously long – like 90 minutes in a shuttle bus, sometimes stopping at several hotels along the way.  The ideal is 10 days but this can be problematic depending upon the availability of direct flights and remember that pre-packaged tours for 10 day durations often come at a premium price. Still, in the middle of a Calgary winter a week on the beach can be a very attractive prospect.

A month – in one place? – Now we’re talking.  The popularity of our long stay packages to Spain, Portugal, Malta, Greece, Croatia and Thailand have shown us that people really like the idea of having three to four weeks in one destination.  Time to absorb the local atmosphere, find out which restaurants are your favourites, join the local bike club on their rides, learn the language.  Taking into account that these packages are usually over the “off season” means that not only do they come at a great price (always a good thing) but they also take advantage of less crowds, lower prices at local shops and restaurants and of course escaping Calgary’s winters.

Six months on a cruise?  Now some might shudder at this idea.  They might think that the first few weeks would be fine but then you would get tired of living on a cruise ship and start yearning for your own house.  Ummm – NO.  The clients I have sent on extended cruises like this tell me they love the idea of travelling around the world without having to pack and unpack – also without having to cook, shop for groceries, make the bed, water the plants … yes I could go on and on.  In fact I have heard stories of new friends made and tears and hugs at the end of the cruise, not only with these new friends but with the cruise staff who have looked after them during their six months world cruise.

For those of us not yet retired then time is of the essence and we have to make do with two to three weeks, if we are lucky, or the one week or even the weekend jaunt.  One thing I do know – time is the most precious commodity we have …. the clock is ticking!

By Lesley Keyter

Lesley Keyter is the face of travel in the fast growing city of Calgary. Every week since 1997 she has has featured live on the Morning News Global TV.

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