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Tips for Finding Great Wine Getaways In Your Backyard

It’s scary how many vacation days go unused every year. In 2009, Expedia commissioned an “International Vacation Deprivation Study” and found that more than 30 percent of Americans did not use all their vacation days.* We’ve all heard of the various benefits to getting away, including better health and greater productivity. And according to sources in this USA Today article, vacations can even help people become more creative.

Even if you don’t have time for a decent, full-length vacation, getaways or short breaks may be the answer — after even a one or two-night trip, you’ll feel more rejuvenated and relaxed. If you’re not near wine country, there are so many great getaway spots near cities. Here are a few tips to help you plan a quick getaway:

1.Map it: Decide on the distance you’re willing to drive and draw a radius around your city at the maximum distance. You may remind yourself of places you have been meaning to visit. Though it might not seem exotic, you might be surprised what you can find within just a few miles of your home.

2.Ask the locals: Call wineries or places you’d like to visit and get their recommendations on places to stay. Often they have great advice and know of places that may not be easy to find if you are only looking online.

3.Tourism boards: Check out the local tourism board’s website. These can be goldmines of information and you’ll learn about things that you didn’t realize you could do in the area.

4.Deals: Let the deal determine your destination. When you come across a great deal, sometimes it means considering places you’ve never thought of before. Stay open-minded when you see great offers, and you may find the best getaways aren’t as expensive as you think. This week’s trip on Lot18 is a great example: Luxe New York Getaway. Shelter Island is not on everyone’s radar, but for those of us in the New York area, this is an easy trip. And the hotel, La Maison Blanche, happens to be a great little gem for an overnight or weekend stay.

5.Recent articles: Look at your local paper for information. Check out the travel section online, you can find old articles that have great information on local getaways. Part of my investigation for our getaway featuring La Maison Blanche, turned up a recent article about the property in The New York Times. If the hotel has been featured in your local paper, chances are, it’s a good place to consider.

 * Expedia.com