3 Meaningful Trips to Take This Winter Break

By Kaitlin Hurtado on December 5, 2017

With the end of fall quarter quickly approaching, winter break is right around the corner and the amount of free time you are going to have will likely increase. Winter break gives you the perfect opportunity to do what you’ve been pushing off during the past semester. Binge watching all of “Stranger Things” and “Mindhunter,” trying out all those recipes you saved browsing through Facebook while you should have been studying, or taking several naps throughout the course of a single day is usually on a student’s mind when they think of the possibilities that winter break will bring to them.

While all of these options are great, you may want to consider doing something you can’t always do in the middle of a semester – taking a meaningful trip. These trips don’t have to be out of the country or ridiculously expensive to be worth your time, but with the right planning it can become the highlight of your winter break and give you a much-needed boost in morale for the upcoming semester.

via Pixabay

Take a break back at home

If you have the opportunity to do so, make a trip back home for the holidays. With life at college being so overwhelming and hectic, students often forget to contact their family back home on a regular basis. A week full of class and work can go by quickly for you, but for your family that is used to seeing you everyday and speaking to you everyday, a week hearing next to nothing from you can seem like forever.

Weekly or monthly Skype calls are nice, but nothing is like a trip home, especially during the holidays. Spend time with your family when you have the opportunity to do so, whether it’s tagging along to grocery shop with your mom or catching a movie with your siblings. You can skip out on buying groceries during your trip, and even a little bit after you return to school when you stake claim to all the holiday leftovers.

When you go home, take the opportunity to reach out to friends from high school that are still in the area or have come back home for the holidays just as you have. In order to beat holiday traffic if you are driving home, try seeing if any of your friends live in the same area as you and are willing to pitch in for gas for a drive back home for the holidays.

Road trips

While road trips might be necessary to get to where you want/need to be for the holidays, they don’t have to be a typical, boring road trip fighting over who gets to be the DJ or when the next stop is going to be. Instead, put more care into planning a road trip you and your friends or family will never forget.

If you plan on going back home just for Christmas or New Year’s, set out a few days earlier so that you have time to enjoy every aspect of the road trip without all the stress of getting ahead of traffic or trying to find the cheapest gas. Try to pick different stops to plan your trip around and try to cater to every person’s interests during the trip.

If all of your friends are serious foodies, try picking out different restaurants that you have been hearing about, but haven’t had the chance to go to because it’s a little to far away for a casual dining experience or you just haven’t had the time because of school. If you and your friends are more into nature, pick different views and parks to stop at along the way.

Make the road trip a mini-vacation in itself by staying overnight at different hotels, or even friends’ places back home. Spending the night at a friend’s place saves you the money of booking a hotel room, and gives you the opportunity to get to know your friends better when you get to learn more about where they come from firsthand.

Book a vacation with friends

Winter break is the perfect opportunity to spend time with friends as the lack of class is one less thing to plan your time together around. Make a list of places that everyone wants to go for a trip and narrow it down to the option that would please the most amount of people.

A winter break trip to a cabin is a great way to decompress after a long semester of hard work and allows you the opportunity to bond with your friends with limited distractions. Plan your trip around traditional holiday activities to get in the spirit. Plan group meals centered around recipes you and your friends have been wanting to try, or try local diners to get the most out of your time away.

If you don’t want to spend all your vacation time cooped up inside the cabin, try out local activities that you wouldn’t necessarily be able to do back at school. Make trips to local nature spots or enjoy some outdoor activities. If it’s snowing, plan a snow day out with your friends.

By Kaitlin Hurtado

Uloop Writer
Hello! I'm Kaitlin, a second year Literary Journalism major at UC Irvine. I'm a writer on Uloop's national team and a campus editor for UCI.

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