This week it will be February, the second of twelve months in 2012 [for those of you who are calendar-challenged]. Assuming the world will end in December, that doesn’t leave much time to travel, so if you haven’t yet made your travel plans for the year, what are you waiting for?
I understand that most people are probably not obsessed with travel planning like I am. I usually start the year by looking at a calendar, considering the bank holidays, and building a strategy to maximize vacations and minimize the number of vacation days I need to take off from work. No, I am not yet independently wealthy so I must still work. Having said that, if you would like to leave me your fortune I will be more than happy to take if off of your hands.
Maximizing vacation time also means letting go of the traditional trappings of American life and perceived responsibilities. For example, most jobs [unless you are in retail] have off on Thanksgiving Thursday and the Friday after. That means, for a mere three vacation days [Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday], you can leave on the prior Friday night and return Sunday after being away for nine days. You can maximize that time even further if you are crazy like me and take an early morning Monday flight and go straight to work from the airport.
If you are part of the segment of the population that is engaged in species propagation [aka children] – all the better. Forget the Thanksgiving turkey and the in-laws and take a nice long trip to a sunny destination where the kids can sit at the beach making sand castles while you sip away at some fruity rum drink served in a pineapple or coconut. The psychic energy you expend worrying about who is going to be where on Thanksgiving, will the turkey cook properly, will Aunt Susan misplace her dentures again, will Uncle Rick get drunk on Jack Daniels again and talk about how great it was when “men were men” – not to mention the inevitable fight over the remote [will it be the game or Spongebob?] – cry out for a vacation away from the insanity.
Further, most people have no idea what Thanksgiving is supposed to represent, and the factual details of the story are a bit horrific – it should really be called “Thanks-taking.” So, if you want to get together with family and cook a turkey, do it the following weekend, or the weekend before. Create your own tradition.
Holiday time and days off are supposed to promote relaxation and calm, not angst and anger. So, if you can make it past the airport security queue without losing your patience, you are home free. Now get on the internet machine and start planning your holiday!