Three-day weekends spark travel plans among students

Arches National Park is home to many beautiful natural landforms including the popular Delicate Arch. This Utah national park is highly favored by residents of Utah and even sees an increase in attendance during holiday weekends. (Kamree Laursen)

BYU has a three-day weekend in January, February and March during winter semester, allowing many students to travel for the weekend. The school’s holidays are Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Jan. 17, Presidents Day on Feb. 21 and BYU’s spring day on March 18.

Utah is filled with activities to do and many options for getting out of Provo. If students have a car, they have even more opportunities to get out of the state on three-day weekends.

Some of the more popular travel places among students are Utah’s national parks, Wyoming, Park City and St. George. According to an Instagram story poll done by Universe staff, 41% of surveyed students would prefer to go to one of Utah’s national parks during a three-day weekend.

Arches National Park has become a hot spot for Utahns providing a fun weekend getaway to see the naturally formed arches.

“I would say that we do see a significant increase in attendees, especially over holiday weekends,” Kate Thomas, the public affairs specialist for Arches National Park, said. “It can be anywhere from double the visitation to maybe just a little more than a third higher. It just really depends on the holiday and year to year.”

BYU exercise science student Abby Kooyman said she jumps at any opportunity to get out of town. With her dad working for Southwest Airlines, she is able to catch a flight to almost anywhere she wants. She said she built her school schedule around weekends, getting Fridays off so she could fly to her home in San Diego.

“Whenever I have a free weekend, I try to just go home,” Kooyman said. For her, the warm weather and the beach are enough to entice her away from the cold Utah environment.

San Diego is known for its picture-perfect beaches and warm weather. For San Diego native Abby Kooyman, the opportunity to go back home for the weekend is just what she needs to kickstart her semester. (Ashley Harris)

Kooyman said she has ideas and tentative plans to go to Arches National Park and Bryce Canyon National Park, which she said was actually named after her great-great-great-grandfather.

BYU construction management sophomore Weston Beck plans to go to Wyoming for Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

“One of my buddies has a cabin up in Star Valley, Wyoming,” Beck said. “We’ll probably head up there for the weekend, maybe go skiing, kind of hangout.”

For Beck, three-day weekends are the perfect occasion to escape Provo and be able to experience other places. He said the winter semester can feel extra long when there isn’t a long break such as Thanksgiving to look forward to, so he is taking every advantage he can get to go have fun. He is already coming up with ideas for the next two three-day weekends.

Hannah Castro, a BYU sophomore studying communications, said she is trying to find ways to destress throughout the school year. This includes taking a trip to Las Vegas with her friends for the first three-day weekend of the semester. Castro said she believes going on a trip for a three-day weekend is worth it.

“I say go if you can, because you never know when you can go out of town again,” Castro said.

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