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The weekdays can sometimes be characterized by our routine - work, gym, family obligations, etc. It's the weekends that are our opportunity to pursue the interests that really make us come alive and explore all we can be. Hampton Hotels wants you to be set free and embrace your weekend self! You can begin embracing your weekend self today by visiting www.hampton.com to learn more and taking the 2014 Hampton Buzzfeed quiz to find out where your next getaway should be.
2014 Spokeswoman Teri Johnson
Teri Johnson is the creator, host, and executive producer of Travelista TVTM, an online video network with a focus on travel, culture, lifestyle and entertainment. Known for her spontaneity, jovial personality and her ability to present travel and lifestyle advice and experiences to all demographics, she is recognized as a global travel expert.
Teri's passion for adventure, storytelling and her multi-lingual talents has taken her to nearly 60 countries. Teri is a travel blogger for the Huffington Post and appears in and contributes to several magazines including Cosmopolitan, Uptown Magazine, Four Seasons Magazine, and Ebony Magazine. She can also be seen as a guest on Travel Channel's "Stuff Rich People Like," NBC's "Celebrity Apprentice," and Fine Living's "All Girls Getaway."
When she is not traveling, the Texas native resides in New York City.
Put the fun back into planning.Forty-eight percent of employed Americans have forgone a weekend trip because they didn't feel like planning it (Hampton Hotels survey, 2014). If you need some inspiration on where to go, take the Hampton BuzzFeed quiz to find out where your ideal weekend getaway is.
Write it down.Everyone knows that weekends are a time to unwind, yet 63 percent of Americans still don't always get to do what they want, according to a recent Hampton survey. This summer, create your "Summer Getaway Checklist" and start planning your weekend excursions aroundthe activities and adventures you've always been meaning to do. Then start planning dates around those getaways, and voila, you'll be owning your weekend in no time!
Take a break, you deserve it.On average, Americans spend eight hours on activities such as errands, chores and other obligations which keep them from enjoying their weekend. Spend some time on Sunday evenings mapping out a schedule for the week to divide up your errands and commitments. This will ensure you are spending your next weekend doing the things you actually WANT to do.
Deciding where to go shouldn't be stressful.The Hampton Hotels survey found that 33 percent of employed Americans think deciding where to go is the hardest part of planning a trip. When you focus on what your interests are or look at your summer getaway checklist, deciding where to go and where to stay shouldn't be difficult. Hampton Hotels has more than 1,900 locations. That's more than 1,900 places you could be spending your getaway.
Don't pack too much in.The key to a fun weekend getaway is to enjoy and not be stressed out by following an itinerary or timeline. Focus on two to three "must-dos" on your list and keep your schedule flexible for other last-minute activities. After all, the spontaneous moments are always the most memorable!
Great getaways don't mean breaking the bank.I love picking places that offer free, hot breakfast since that's a great way to save money. Hampton Hotels offers free breakfast and wi-fi. With more than 1,900 locations, it's a great option for an affordable and convenient weekend stay.
Keep it organized.Utilize free apps like TripIt, which take your travel itineraries and organize everything (flight confirmation number, hotel info, etc.) onto one easy place. Every time you book a flight, hotel or rental car, simply forward the confirmation e-mail to TripIt, which formats the information into the mobile app.
Assign responsibilities.The burden doesn't have to be on you to plan the perfect getaway. When traveling with family or friends, assign roles to help divide up the planning. Perhaps your best gal pal is great at finding the hole-in-the-wall places in the city, or your brother is great at locating the best attractions. Give everyone a hand at planning and/ or bringing necessary items you'll need for your trip.
Disconnect.A Hampton survey found that working on the weekends keeps 10 percent of Americans from going on a weekend getaway. Take a vacation from electronics for the weekend and leave your phone, laptop, and other electronics at home before you embark on your weekend trip. Post an update on Facebook telling friends you are taking an "electronics hiatus".
Take advantage of loyalty programs.If you want to be a weekend road warrior, sign up for loyalty programs, such as Hilton HHonorsTM, so you can start earning valuable points on your getaways and even build enough for a free stay!
Top Weekend Getaway Picks
For the Culture Lover...Austin, TX
Known as the "Live Music Capital of the World", Austin is an entertainment mecca and boasts lots of free entertainment. If you're in town during summer, enjoy Austin's largest free concert series, Blues on the Green, every other Wednesday through August 6 in Zilker Park. For the history buff in you, consider taking a free tour of the Texas State Capitol and soak in the history of the Lone Star State.
Tip: If you ever find yourself on vacation looking for a local museum to explore for the day, consider downloading Museum Finder. This free Google app helps you locate museums near you in a matter of a few seconds!
For the Outdoor Weekender...Denver, CO
Explore the Denver area by hopping on a Bikealope Bike Tour and get to know the history, art and architecture of the "Mile High City." Venture out of the greater Denver area and take in the scenic views and adventures of Rocky Mountain National
Park, roughly an hour and a half drive outside the city.
Tip: Hikers search for trails high and low, so why not make things easier on yourself and download AllTrails Hiking & Mountain Biking Trails, GPS Tracker, & Offline Topo Maps, a free smartphone app that helps you find new hiking trails. Each find will you show you the distance, rating, route type and reviews of the trail.
For Family Fun...Washington, D.C.
There's no better place to hang out and explore as a family than our nation's capital. Both adults and kids will enjoy all the family-friendly sights from the International Spy Museum to up-close animal encounters at the Smithsonian's National Zoo.
Tip: Have you ever been driving through a city and wondered what all the buildings were around you? If so, consider downloading Field Trip, a free Google app that runs in the background of your smartphone alerting you to cool, hidden and unique things around you.
For the Sports Fan...Chicago, IL
Go behind the scenes at the legendary Wrigley Field and learn about 100+ years of baseball history. If baseball isn't your style, spend a few hours at the 8,000 square foot Chicago Sports Museum to learn about the legends and traditions of Chicago sports through unique memorabilia and a collection of game-used artifacts.
Tip: How do you stay in the know with your favorite sports teams when you're not home to watch the game? Team Stream, of course! This free smartphone app, created by Bleacher Report, provides top news on your teams all in one place.
For the RelaxerTampa, FL
Nothing is more relaxing than the Sunshine State! Take a dip in the Gulf of Mexico at Clearwater Beach, frequently ranked as one of the best beaches in America. Finish the day indulging in Tampa's local food and wine scene.
Tip: If you are a wine lover, the Wine Events smartphone app is perfect for you! It provides numerous listings for local food & wine events in Tampa and other cities. Within each listing, Wine Events provides specific details on the event and gives you the option to share with your friends on Facebook.
For the Foodie...Atlanta, GA
Kick your taste buds into high gear in Atlanta! Go to Mary Mac's Tea Room to enjoy made-from-scratch southern classics like fried okra and potlikker with cracklin' bread. You can also explore the World of Coca-Cola, situated in the heart of Centennial Olympic Park where you can try more than 60 flavors of Coca-Cola from around the world!
Tip: Ever crave good food, but don't know where to find it? If so, consider downloading Foodspotting, a free smartphone app that provides a visual guide to good food and where to find it. Not only can you recommend dishes and see what friends and other food spotters suggest, but you can bookmark food you would like to try in the future.
Planning the perfect weekend getaway
Top Weekend Getaways [PDF]Download PDF
Top 10 THINGS TO DO IN GREENVILLE, SOUTH CAROLINAs [PDF]
USA TODAY SNAPSHOT: 3-DAY WEEKEND [PDF]