California mid-week and week
day vacations are overlooked but are well worth considering for
value and savings.
The weekend getaway in which
working stiffs receive an official break from
jobs, hop in a car, on a plane or take a train and go somewhere
else is the coveted vacation these days.. The US and California tourism
industries define a trip as 50 miles or further with an
overnight stay. We Californians know that such measurements are
meaningless in one sense. Many people drive more than 50 miles each
way to a job daily. Some keeps second homes, apartments, stay with
family or other such overnight arrangements, returning home each
So the weekend getaway,
usually a traditional overnighter or two-to-three night stay, is
considered one of the top attractions, and things to write about. We
can't deny the facts. In 10 years of travel publishing, we've seen
the trend take a turn to even more last minute bookings--and there's
a definite pattern of when to book for the weekend.
But what about all the people
who have lost their traditional jobs and work from home? Or the
people who have no kids in school, or no kids at all? What
about senior travelers who are unencumbered by routines and
restrictions of the work world? In
California those numbers continue to climb. And for those with
a few bucks in the bank, a tank of gas and affordable hotel room can
get your spinning wheels out of a rut and into roads less traveled.
The advantages to week day or
mid-week getaways are numerous.
1) More availability of hotel
rooms in many destinations.
2) Lower prices on hotels.
To prove this point, our first
choice for hotels in Pismo Beach will demonstrate. Checking two Best
Western hotels overlooking the Pacific Ocean in Pismo Beach, we
booked out two weeks from today, mid-week. It is off-season so
availability was there. And we found rates from today costing $126
per night per room. Just to see how much more we'd pay two days
later, booking for rooms Friday night instead of Wednesday, the
price nearly doubled to $245 for one Best Western in Pismo Beach,
and $265 for the other. You've paid for your gas if you can go
mid-week. But not everyone can, obviously.
3) Less crowds to cope with
when you get there. We can show you photos to prove this
theory. As a tourism photographer, one of our members on staff
knows there's a formula for picture taking. Travelers want
destinations to look traveled and used with people in the pictures,
but not too many. There is a window of opportunity for destination
picture taking. It usually comes in the summer, mid-week for
4) Some museums are open
during the week. Always call first on these museums. I went to
one and nobody was there, even though the sign said it was supposed
to be open. There was no indication of why it wasn't open. But if
you do your homework, you may be able to see a rare collection of
19th century horse-drawn buggies, musical instruments, fans, or any
number of items on display in these California gems.
5) Less lines for shopping,
dining and theme parks. Places such as aquariums are packed in
the summer. One that is most enjoyable in the fall or winter on a
week day is Aquarium of the Pacific. In the summer such places are
challenging to enjoy for those who don't like crowds and noise.
6) More expendable time with
less pressure to to get out of a hotel room if you like it.
That's true if you book Monday and give yourself some leeway.
But come Friday/Saturday, you may have to leave if you don't cough
up double the money in some places.
7) Some flights are easier to
book, offering cheaper rates mid-week when booked in advance.
This depends on if the flight is a business travel flight. Some are.
But if they are not popular business destinations, then week day and
mid week flights have greater offerings when the kids are in school
and not flying to see a mom or dad in a
Now the minuses.
1) Some museums and
attractions are only open on the weekend.
2) Some restaurants are closed
3) Special events are
weekend getaway driven.
4) For those who really like
crowds(?), sometimes a week day vacation can seem desolate.
5) Rush hour traffic in bigger
cities most be factored in.
6) Some destinations are
popularly booked for business travelers, making airline seats harder to
Like those who prefer fall,
winter and spring vacations (called the shoulder season in the
tourism industry), some prefer combining these off-season travel
times with midweek stays and vacations. Trips such
as a fall foliage drive to Mammoth Lakes, a week day getaway to
Idyllwild, Palm Desert or Big Bear Lake, a drive to San Diego,
flight to San Francisco, Las Vegas or even Humboldt County to see
the giant redwoods can offer more benefit than an apple to
keep the doctor away.
California mid-week and week
day vacations are something we've been doing for a few years, except
when attending a concert, festival, fair or event that only happens
on a weekend. Savings of up to $100 on a hotel room is not
bad, nor is the relaxing atmosphere of a pool or beach where the
size of the crowd is just right during the week.