What’s the best way to ring in 2018? Planning out your vacations, of course! On average, Americans get about 10 vacation days per year. You certainly don’t want to waste those on subpar trips or less-than-stellar adventures. Now’s the time to figure out how you’re going to use those days wisely. One of the best and most effective plans is incorporating your vacation days into holiday weekends. You get the most bang for your buck, and can spread out your days across multiple weekends. The end result? Maximum vacation time — for a minimum amount of stress. Here are the best places to spend those long holiday weekends in 2018. Don’t worry, we left you a few extra vacation days — just in case you need a little more time to unwind.

Memorial Day – May 28th

woman on dominican republic beach

By the time May rolls around, you’re probably craving some warm weather and serious relaxation. Take off that Friday and head to the Dominican Republic for some incredible fun in the sun. You can windsurf, explore sensational local cuisine, or just spend your days snoozing on the beach. A four-day trip is the perfect amount of time to recharge your batteries before heading back home.

Independence Day – July 4th

san diego skyline

The Fourth of July is the perfect time to see some of the beauty of America (and celebrate our nation, of course). And when it comes to celebrating our country, few places do it quite like San Diego, California. There are parades, fireworks, and events all over the city. For those who prefer a more laid-back appreciation for America, there are plenty of beaches, zoos, and natural wonders to explore.

Labor Day – September 3rd

Viewed by many as the last hurrah of the summer, Labor Day is the perfect opportunity to use some of that carefully-hoarded vacation time. With winter approaching (and sooner than you think), take this opportunity to spend some time soaking up nature. Make it a four-day weekend and head over to Quebec City in Canada. The weather is mild enough that you can hit the great outdoors for gorgeous hikes throughout the area. Afterwards, you can explore all the delights the city itself has to offer, with enough culture and excitement to keep you busy the whole weekend.

Columbus Day – October 8th

Feeling burned out from the chaos of fall? Columbus Day is an ideal time to take a breather and get away from all your obligations. It’ll give you a chance to recuperate before the holidays (and all the stress that comes with them). And what better place to make use of a long weekend than Las Vegas, Nevada? It’s the perfect playground for blowing off steam. You can try your hand at gambling, go on all sorts of day trips, and take in a show featuring some of your favorite artists. Four days is the ideal amount of time for a trip to Vegas. You’ll get your fill of fun and relaxation, then be ready to return home and face your fall responsibilities. Plus, you might get some inspiration for a great Halloween costume (we’re thinking Elvis or a showgirls-style look).

Veteran’s Day – November 12th

man in NYC

With just three days in your itinerary, you want to head to a place where there’s always something to do. New York City is the ideal spot for a quick fall getaway. From Broadway shows to world-famous restaurants to literally hundreds of museums, it’s a never-ending series of fun activities for the whole family. Whether you want to catch some opera or stroll through Central Park, there’s something for everyone. Best of all, it’s cool enough to walk around but warm enough that you can still take in the must-see tourist attractions.

Thanksgiving Day – November 22nd

Thankful for a little extra time off? Make sure you put it to good use, and book a short trip to Reykjavik, Iceland. You’ll be there at the perfect time to get a glimpse of the awe-inspiring Northern Lights (the season typically runs from about October to March). During the day you can explore the rich culture, delicious food, and gorgeous locales that make Reykjavik a must-see spot you’ll be thankful to visit.

Christmas Day – December 25th

cancun

Christmas comes at a strange time in 2018 — it’s on a Tuesday, so you might end up with an additional day off. Whether or not you luck out that way, you can still make the most of your vacation time. Ditch the cold and snow for warmer climates and set a course for Cancun. This stunning, wildly popular vacation spot is beloved for its endless beaches, incredible nightlife, and amazing scenery. Best of all, it will be far less crowded than during the summer months (while still being warm enough to hit the beach). A Christmas away from home in 2018? Sounds like a plan to us!

Why not plan out your 2018 vacations? Tell us where you’d like to go this year and why

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