Trying to decide how to use my vacation this year and wonder what others would do.
Option 1: Using up most of my vacation time in one long 5 week vacation and be able to make it west of the Mississippi to either Yellowstone or Utah.
Option 2: Take a couple of two week vacations limiting myself more or less to areas east of the Mississippi but then still have enough left for a couple long weekends.
I've taken two loop trips out west in 2000 and 2005, but those trips were moving every 2nd or 3rd day which was a bit tiring but full of memories as my kids traveled with us. This year, I want to have more time to sit and hike, plus it will be just the wife and myself.
Longest trip so far with just us has been an almost week long trip. No problems and we both agree that two plus weeks would not be a problem.
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Since we're retired we have 52 week vacations. We do both kinds...long and short. We were teachers so had summers off. Took some long trips but couldn't take trips the rest of the year except during scheduled breaks. That meant weekends only. I don't think it matters what the rest of us do. Do whatever YOU want to do. Our advice is worth exactly what you paid for it.
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I'd say to take a three week trip, a one week trip, and 5 - 3 day weekend trips.
Atchafalaya_man is right that you've seen everything close.
Make a mad dash to where you want to go, than meander your way for the next 2 weeks heading to a far point then starting to swing back toward home. Then make you dash home. This way, you get your long trip, you still have a week trip in reserve and several long weekend trips to keep work from driving you nuts because you used all your vacation at one time.