By Christina VanGinkel
With Labor Day weekend only a few days away, deciding on a destination for a weekend getaway might seem like it is too late to accomplish, but it is not. If you do not want to travel far, especially if you will be getting to any destination you choose by driving, consider some of the many options open to last minute travel on the long weekend. While you might think many locales would have no openings available late in the season, with many colleges and schools now starting before what was once the traditional step up to the school year, you can often find openings for getaways that at one time would have been booked solid long before the holiday weekend.
County fairs are happening in all sorts of communities at this time of year. If one is within driving distance to you, make it a day trip or even an overnighter. Fairs often have a variety of fast foods, games, amusement rides, and down home attractions such as beef sales and horseshows. Stock racing is increasingly becoming popular at fairs, so if you are a fan, you might even be able to take in a race or two.
Camping is always a great way to spend Labor Day weekend. Check with local or not too distant campgrounds to see if any spaces are available. Whether you are camping roughing it style with a tent and not much more, or you have a camper and want to set up camp at a location that has electricity and running water, a three day weekend is a perfect time span for a quick camping outing. Go on a hike, get in some geocaching, grill out, sit under the stars and stargaze, roast marshmallows around a campfire, in general just spend the time relaxing once camp is set up.
If you happen to have a Bed and Breakfast close by, consider checking in for the weekend. Maybe you have always wanted to check it out, but figured taking a vacation so close to home was not really a vacation, but if you would really like to spend the time relaxing, what better way than to save your sanity by not spending it traveling. Once you have stayed there and checked it out personally, you can also give first hand recommendations to out of town guests.
Check into a spa. With three days to spend there, you can actually get into the relaxing part of the stay that you may not have the time to accomplish with just a conventional two-day weekend. Book a full body massage, a pedicure, and a facial. With three days to fill, you can take part in many more treatments and activities than you would think possible.
Is there an attraction close to where you live that you have always thought you might like to try, but you never seem to have time to check it out? A hot air balloon ride, a river rafting excursion, paragliding or hang gliding, or how about a beginner’s set of lessons on a hobby such as surfing or scuba diving are all choice options for the long weekend. Check with a local travel agency to find out what might be available this late in the season. Last minute bookings can be a bonus both ways. The travel agent gets to fill otherwise empty spots and you might even discover a bargain or two amidst the late holiday season.
Shopping might not be everybody’s idea of a vacation, but with malls and stores everywhere offering up sales on Labor Day weekend, if you enjoy shopping, the three-day weekend might be your dream come true. Maybe you have always wanted to check out a large mall that is a few hours away, but figured that by the time you arrived on a Saturday and would have to head home on Sunday that it was just not worth the drive. With Monday added to the queue, you can be assured you will have plenty of time to hit all of the stores you want. Be sure to call ahead to arrange lodging, and plan to check out a few of the local eateries to round out the weekend.
If you want to spend Labor Day weekend taking a mini vacation or occupied doing something you have always dreams about, it is not too late. Pick up the phone and make a few calls, and spend the weekend having fun instead of home thinking about all the places you might have gone or excursions you might have enjoyed!