On National Plan for Vacation Day, travel lovers across the U.S. pick up their calendars and plot out their vacation days for the year. The five-year-old holiday was launched by the U.S. Travel Association to inspire Americans to intentionally plan paid time off rather than missing out. Last year alone, 768 million vacation days were left unused!
Since Northeast residents rate “reducing stress” as the best motivation for vacation, we’ve rounded up seven relaxing trips to consider as you map out the year on National Plan for Vacation Day.
National Plan for Vacation Day 2020 from U.S. Travel on Vimeo.
Schedule a Long-Weekend Staycation
If you live in one of the Northeast’s bustling metropolises, you’re in luck. From reflecting in the Boston Public Library and Boston Opera House, to relaxing at Aire Ancient Baths in New York City, there are plenty of stress-relieving activities in your own backyard.
Those in smaller cities can cash in on even more peace and quiet during a staycation. Book a few nights at your favorite hotel, make a reservation at the best spa in town and then relax at a local romantic restaurant before ambling back to your room. The bliss of a staycation is its simplicity.
Slow Down on an Automobile-Free Island
For a slice of unpolluted paradise, consider heading to a car-less destination this year. Though two of these islands require a trip outside the Northeast, the tranquility and peace will make any extra travel worth your while.
Meander along beaches and boardwalks on Fire Island in New York.
Visit the lighthouse and maritime forest preserve on Bald Head Island, North Carolina.
Don’t miss a horse-drawn carriage ride and a taste of local taffy on Mackinac Island in Michigan.
Check out some other blissful locations recommended by a AAA travel editor!
Pull Up Anchor in Boston or New York
AAA Northeast members love cruises for so many reasons: all-inclusive amenities, diverse ports and activities, and the relaxation of being truly swept away to another place.
For a truly Northeast-friendly vacation, consider departing from Boston or even Manhattan. Plan for Vacation Day is the perfect time to check your calendar against your favorite cruise lines’ schedules.
Go Camping at One of These State Parks
If unplugging in nature sounds like your idea of heaven, request some PTO for a weekend at a state park this year. The Northeast is rife with lush forests, rolling hills and wave-pummeled coastlines guarded by historic lighthouses. Find inspiration at the following state parks.
Mount Greylock State Reservation was Massachusetts’ first state park. Don’t forget to clamber up to the highest point in the state, where you can see 90 miles away on a clear day.
Burlingame State Park in Rhode Island offers more than 3,000 acres of hiking, canoeing and the sort of rustic camping that will spark memories of childhood summers past.
Letchworth State Park is one of New York’s most gloriously rugged state parks. Known as the “Grand Canyon of the East,” the park is nearly 17 miles long.
For a soothing waterfront campsite, look no further than Connecticut’s Hammonasset Beach State Park. It’s one of the state’s most popular parks, so don’t forget to reserve your campsite on National Plan for Vacation Day!
At High Point State Park in New Jersey, you’ll enjoy stunning wide views of farms and forests, hills and valleys in three states.
Pawtuckaway State Park isn’t the biggest or boldest of New Hampshire’s parks, but that’s what makes it so peaceful. Take a hike in the woods, then head out for a sunset kayak paddle before the stars come out.
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Escape to the Beach for the Summer
A year in the Northeast wouldn’t be complete without a trip to the beach. Whether you prefer to plant yourself in the sand for a few days or meander along the Atlantic Coast in a classic car or camper van, this is the perfect getaway to wash all your cares away and welcome summertime with open arms.
Just remember: Put in your request for PTO before everyone else in the office takes those same summer days.
Plan a Blissful Week at a Wellness Spa
Nothing says stress relief like massages, steam rooms and the gentle scent of herbs in the air. On this National Plan for Vacation Day, book a stay at one of these Northeast spa resorts.
In Massachusetts, don’t miss Canyon Ranch in the Berkshires.
In Rhode Island, luxuriate with in-room spa amenities at The Chanler at Cliff Walk.
In New York, soak in the understated glamour of Whiteface Lodge on Lake Placid.
In Connecticut, you’ll dream of making one of the cottages at Winvian Farm your permanent address.
In New Jersey, unwind at Reflections Spa at Crystal Springs Resort before a relaxed round of golf.
In New Hampshire, you won’t regret the Omni Mount Washington Resort for its spectacular views and classic elegance.
Fill up Your Senses at a Northeast National Park
Whether you’re a fan of camping, parking the RV, or checking into a charming boutique hotel, there are plenty of accommodations and dining options around the Northeast’s national parks.
From the Cape Cod National Seashore to Acadia National Park, you can settle into one stress-free destination or map a route that includes stops at several.
Start planning by requesting a vacation day on April 18, when you’ll get free admission for the first day of National Park Week.