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Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Microcation

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Travel has never been easier. Well, sort of.

There’s no shortage of travel-worthy destinations, flights are increasingly affordable, and finding lodging is a breeze. There’s a catch though. Some of us are short on vacation days. And even when we do have ample time off, there’s that professional guilt we feel when we’re not checking emails. In fact, 57% of Americans did not take a leisure trip longer than four nights in the last year, according to research from Allianz Global Assistance research.1 They’re instead taking shorter getaways, usually lasting between two and four nights. These microcations (“micro-cations”) are generally friendlier on your budget, require less time off work, and allow you to see several new places each year.

If you’re feeling inspired to take a few microcations instead of the standard full week away, make sure you adjust your travel insurance accordingly. Save yourself the hassle of insuring several individual trips by opting for one of our AllTrips travel insurance plans. Our AllTrips plans, also known as multi-trip and annual travel insurance plans, cover all travel within a 12-month period, so whether you take one microcation or 10, they’re all protected.

Planning a microcation is easier in a lot of ways, but it does take some strategy. These tips can help you make the most of every microcation you book this year!

1. Strategize

Putting together a well-rounded itinerary for a few days in a new city requires some forethought. First, decide which sites or activities fall in the “must-do” category. If they require tickets or reservations, go ahead and book those in advance to ensure they don’t sell out before you arrive. Then, build the rest of your loose schedule from there. You want to do some research in advance so that you don’t waste precious hours at your hotel pondering what to do - but don’t plan every minute of your trip. You want the flexibility to pop into an interesting looking store, or to follow your nose to a delicious smelling bakery.2

2. Consider your commute

When you’re working with a long weekend, you don’t have much time for the traveling itself. Before you even pick a destination determine how easy it will be for you to get there. Is there a direct flight? Is it within driving distance? Vacation travel doesn’t stop when you get to your destination. Remember to factor in how easy it is to navigate the city you’re visiting. Is it walkable? How’s the public transit? When you’re planning your approach, consult a map. You want to stay somewhere pretty centralized so that you can get around easily.3 And if you have tickets to a museum on one side of town, take a look to see what else is around. Is it adjacent to a restaurant with rave reviews? If you know in advance what experiences are in close proximity to each other, you can use your time more efficiently and avoid retracing your steps.

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3. Experience the eats

One of the best ways to experience the culture of a new city is to eat your way through it. Sometimes, some of the most iconic activities include the local cuisine. Think beignets in New Orleans, deep-dish pizza in Chicago, or cheesesteaks in Philadelphia. Before you head out with an empty stomach though, do your research. If you set your sights on a trendy spot, other people will be going there too. When you’re on a microcation, you don’t want to spend all morning in line for brunch. See if you can make a reservation or if going at a less popular time is an option.

4. Go with a group

If your friend group has spread across the country, microcations make the perfect opportunity for a reunion. Rather than the standard meetup in your hometown to traipse around your old stomping grounds, consider celebrating a birthday, promotion, or impending marriage in a fun new city. A weekend getaway can be pretty cost-effective when you split accommodation costs with a group of friends. Plus, it’s just downright efficient to catch up with friends while you cross a city off your bucket list.4

5. Blur the lines

If you travel for work, you may visit (or come close to) incredible cities only to find yourself stuck in a convention center for the duration. Consider tacking on a couple of leisure days to the end of a business trip. The roundtrip airfare is often still covered by your employer, giving you a few days in a new city without the cost of flights. To make sure it feels like a getaway, try to create a clear separation between the workdays and vacation days. If you have a hard time disconnecting, turning off email notifications can help you embrace your time off.

Travel companies are hip with the microcation trend. There is an increasing number of trips and packages built to fit into a compact three or four days. These already-designed excursions can be a great way to experience a microcation, and they definitely cut down on planning.

Whether you plan your own microcations, or you let someone else plan them for you, investing in one of our AllTrips travel insurance plans can help protect you in the event of a cancellation, lost luggage, or medical emergency.

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