But where to go? First, we are limited to destinations serviced by Southwest Airlines, which is fine since they fly to a zillion places. And we can only take domestic trips. Second, I earn 3.75 vacation hours every two weeks and currently have 37 hours available, whereas Boyfriend gets a limited amount of vacation days per year. Thus we are looking for trips that we can live it up the most in 4-5 days (thus not lose two whole days to air travel).
We've already picked one destination: Orlando. Call me a sucker but I love me some Disney. I've been to Disneyworld probably 10 times in my life but never with a romantic partner and never since I turned 21. I think we can have a completely awesome grown-up experience in Disney without breaking the bank. Also we have free/cheap accomodations already lined up for whenever we book the trip. One trip planned (sorta).
The second and third destinations are still up in the air. My first choice would be Ft. Myers since we also have free accomodation and it's a city than can be done well in a long weekend. New York winters can be unforgiving and getting away to the beach is something I would definitely relish. Also, how much money can one spend on the beach? My sister and I went to Ft. Myers a couple of years ago and the only thing we spent money on were drinks at the beach and some bar food. Also the flight is only 4 hours so we can leave Friday morning and be back at work on Monday after having spent 3 wonderful days on the beach. This is definitely a good option.
Second option for trip #2 is New Orleans. Boyfriend and I have never been and I've always wanted to go there. The flight is slightly longer (the oddities of not living near a hub airport) but it's definitely more authentic a place than Orlando and Ft. Myers. I would love to tour the cemetaries and taste some Gumbo. Oh but would that trip be a Budget Buster (when compared to practically free Ft. Myers). Who knows? It depends on how much free hotel points Boyfriend has earned but New Orleans is definitely on my list of places to travel to.
For trip #3 I want to go Out West. I've never been west of St. Louis and I'm anxious to change that. Out of the places Southwest flies, my top choices would be Salt Lake City, San Francisco, Las Vegas, and Reno. Salt Lake City for the skiing. San Francisco because it just seems awesome and it's my parents' favorite city. Las Vegas because it's Vegas, baby and I've never been. And Reno because I think it could be a neat place to get a little big-city-gambling feel and still get to do some amazing West Coast skiing. I subscribe to a skiing magazine and frequently get mailers for affordable ski/stay/play packages in Reno. And, paradoxically, the flight is only 6 hours when compared to the other long flights out west (San Fran = 11 hours, Salt Lake City = 9 hours).
The free flights don't kick in until January and then we have 13 months to use them so it's not something that's happening anytime soon but it's fun to have some vacation planning in the back of my mind while the tempurature drops.
Anyone want to weigh in on my options? Is Reno the travel destination of our (affordable) dreams? Let me know what you think!