Right now you might be thinking to yourself, “Gosh Denny, with the economy the way it is, and my job paying me (insert low income here), there’s no way I can afford a vacation.” Well, screw your economic problems and the words you just spoke out loud. YOU CAN GET AWAY. There are plenty of ways to vacation for a weekend even on a small budget:
Traveling with family can be a challenge, especially if you’re from different areas of the United States. So why not consider booking a vacation for a weekend? Here are some reasons why “Weekend Getaways” is one of the best sources for finding your perfect vacation for a weekend.
If you could go on vacation for a weekend, where would you go? If it were up to me, I’d say anywhere with a beach — but the exquisite thing about our country is that it is full of wonderfully diverse locations and climates.
At the beginning of this year I planned the perfect vacation. I went away for a long weekend with my husband. We had been talking about our dream vacation and decided to have it in a reality. In this article, we’ll tell you all about our time there, what things we liked and disliked, how it affected us both and how you can plan your own perfect vacation.
Vacation For A Weekend
Everyone deserves a vacation. Whether you’re tired from working too much, stressed from managing your relationships, or simply want to make the most out of your vacation, the trip that follows is meant to help you get the most out of your time away.
10 SIMPLE STEPS TO PLAN A WEEKEND GETAWAY OR VACATION
Posted on 01/06/2022
Weekend vacations are incredibly underrated. First, they are a great way to escape daily hassles, de-stress, relax, and unwind on a weekend. Second, weekend trips have many benefits. Imagine, you can explore a new destination without spending a fortune, travel even with a 9 to 5 job, and see the lesser-known towns in your area. I bet this is really cool! But how do you go about it? How to plan a weekend getaway?
While planning a weekend adventure might seem like an easy task, it actually involves some work. You will still need to think about budget, where to stay, what to pack, food, and, the most important thing, how to keep your luggage light! However, it can’t compare to a long, annual trip. In this post, I’m going to give you some killer tips to help you plan the best weekend trip ever. These are the basics people usually forget while planning a weekend away, but taking them into account when planning your fun 48 hours will make a huge difference in your overall enjoyment of the journey!
TOP TRAVEL TIPS FOR PLANNING A WEEKEND GETAWAY
So you’re on a mission to plan a weekend trip but still unsure where to start? Fret not. In fact, you can even do your weekend planning last minute!
1. THINK ABOUT WHAT KIND OF TRIP YOU WANT
Start by identifying your travel goals and reasons you want to visit a particular destination. Are you looking to get off the grid so you can forget about your job for two days, or are you looking to visit a location you’ve always wanted?
When planning a weekend getaway, think about what kind of trip you’re hoping for. This will help you narrow down selecting a destination and get the creativity flowing. Once you know what kind of trip you’re looking for, come up with a list of destinations, whether it’s cities, small towns, or countryside getaways.
2. CHOOSE THE RIGHT TIME TO GO
Next, you’ll want to figure out when you will be traveling, because that will determine your packing list, accommodation options, and the booking process, which may involve getting permits in National or State Parks.
Choosing the right time to go depends on what you want to do while you are there. Whether it is boating, sightseeing, hiking, camping, or spending time at the beach. Obviously, you can’t predict weather two weeks ahead but it’s important to get a reliable weekend weather forecast. It’s a no-brainer, they can adversely affect your travel experience.
Flooded country roads make it hard to access remote areas, heavy downpours can spoil your plan of a bike trip. Suffocating heat and humidity can shed away your dream of hiking making it unbearable and risky as well. However, with a little planning ahead, you can actually save yourself from these bad experiences.
Today, social media and apps have a very deep impact on our lives and they help us way beyond. So here is the time to make the most of your smartphone. The best way to plan a mini-vacation is to add cities you wish to travel to your phone’s weather app. The moment you check the weather for the location you are in, you can also check to find how the weather will be in your future destinations as well.
3. CHOOSE A DESTINATION AND BE FLEXIBLE ABOUT IT
Once you have decided when you are traveling, it’s time to think about where you want to go.
When it comes to picking a destination, keep your mind open.
The beauty of a small trip is that it can lead you to unexpected places. You may find inspiration as you browse Facebook pages and stumble upon your friends’ recent post about a nearby place they ventured to, or you may find a great travel deal.
With that said, perhaps you want to explore the city you live in, and that can be a rewarding experience! This brings a lot of practical advantages too. At the end of your workweek, you won’t have to rush to the airport or worry about forgetting things. You can start a mini-vacation whenever you want it.
However, if you plan on leaving your home town, compare flights, hotels, and car deals to/in nearby destinations to determine the best trip for the weekend you’re looking to a weekend getaway. You can also research what’s going on in those destinations. Check whether there are concerts, shows, and festivals coming up you’d like to attend.
Keep in mind if you have only 2-3 days, it’s best to pick a destination that is no more than a three- to four-hour plane ride away so as not to eat too much into your actual trip.
If you’re feeling adventurous and want to hike popular trails, pick your destination accordingly? Making sure you will be able to do what corresponds to your desire will help you pick exactly the right place.
Your travel buddies can also dictate the destination. If it’s a solo trip, of course, you have a place that speaks to you. But if you are looking for things to do with friends on the weekend, options can differ dramatically since they too have their own bucket list. Comparing places on your lists may help you come to a compromise, or maybe you’re lucky and everyone already wants to visit the same place.
Whatever the case, keeping an open mind and being flexible will help you embrace the weekend – and with that attitude, you’re sure to have an amazing time wherever you end up!
4. BUDGET FOR A WEEKEND GETAWAY
It’s easy to plan a weekend getaway within two days, but your budget will largely determine where you want to go to. With so many things you need to pay out each month, it can be hard to save up even for a weekend trip. In fact, money stress is one of the most significant things that prevent people from traveling. However, with some budgeting and forward planning, you can avoid overspending on your credit card and plan for a small trip.
To make budgeting easier and simpler, set aside money in a vacation budget before you even start planning. You can open a separate vacation savings account and set up auto-payments that deposit to it every week or month. You will end up having a decent amount of money to pay for accommodation or airline tickets. My friend uses this trick so that he always has enough money for a vacation trip in case an opportunity to travel comes up.
If you’re looking for easy ways to save money for travel consider using tools such as Digit and Qapital that let you accumulate money without thinking about it. These apps can help transfer “extra” money into a dedicated account that you can use for vacation purposes. Similar to a savings account, you can withdraw your money when you’re ready to use it. Otherwise, set it and let it grow!
As you actively put money away for a weekend getaway, you will be more likely to put it to good use and plan an incredible trip.
5. CHECK YOUR CAR FOR THE TRIP OR KEEP AN EYE OUT ON FLIGHT DEALS
There are many ways to save on weekend getaways and even more of companies that can help you do so! To ensure your weekend trip goes smoothly, you should next determine whether you travel by plane or opt for using your own vehicle.
If you choose the latter, have your car undergo technical check-up and maintenance before leaving your city. It is a good idea to make sure your driving license and insurance are valid. Download offline maps and update the map data to prepare for your road trip. Don’t forget to plan out your perfect route and decide when the best time to leave will be.
If you are flying, check your passport (ensure it’s valid) and book your airline tickets. Look at Skyscanner or a similar flight search engine and score some great deals for cheap flights.
Consider signing up for airline newsletters that will deliver travel deals straight to your inbox. If you don’t want to limit yourself only to only newsletters, you can also proactively search for deals from airlines, travel companies, hotels, and more. I’m also loyal to Star Alliance (Lufthansa, United Airlines, Air China), and I keep tabs on their travel deals by skimming the occasional emails they send.
6. PLAN YOUR STAY
No weekend trip is complete without finding proper accommodation. Arguably one of the most important things you need to factor in, finding the best and cheapest room for your weekend trip requires some effort. Moreover, since you only have two or three days, the location should be your top priority.
HERE ARE SOME TIPS AND ADVICE TO HELP YOU DECIDE, AND CHOOSE THE RIGHT TRAVEL ACCOMMODATION:
Beach Getaway: To maximize your time, find accommodation near the beach to reduce the amount of time traveling from your room to where the beach is.
Romantic Getaway: To create unforgettable memories while on vacation consider staying at a luxurious suite in a 4+ star hotel or villa. if you planning a hike for your next outdoor adventure go glamping or turn your tent into an amazing staycation.
Family Getaway: If you travel in a group or with your family go camping or book an apartment-style hotel/Airbnb so that kids can move around. Apartment-style hotels with kitchen and hostels are great for anyone looking for a sociable atmosphere with friends.
City Break: In this case, I’d recommend staying within walking distance of the main attractions so you won’t have to rely on public transport.
7. PLAN & MANAGE YOUR VACATION ITINERARY
When planning out your weekend trip itinerary, it’s vital to take into account the logistical details so you don’t end up spending all your time running from one side of a city to another. Calculate the average time it takes to get to each activity, landmarks, and how far the different activities are from one another. If you can’t afford to add an extra day to your weekend trip, try to cluster the places that are located near one another during the same time blocks of your day.
Pro Tip: Put together a list of things that interest you in the area and save their locations on Google Maps so you can keep track of where everything is and have a clear travel itinerary.
Things look a bit different when it comes to indulging in activities that require pre-book a selected time-slot (some museums require this, as do more adventurous activities). Beyond that, I just keep the bucket list I created days in advance saved on my phone and bring it up whenever I’ve finished an activity and I’m ready to move further. This prevents me from feeling anxious about not seeing everything and makes for a more relaxed trip overall.
8. DECIDE WHAT TO BOOK IN ADVANCE
When you plan a weekend getaway you’ll want to maximize your travel time and know exactly what are the best places to see and the best free things to do.
As much as I like to just show up, some weekend planning is a good idea before heading towards a popular bucket list destination in high season or there is a risk that the tour might be booked out by the time you get there.
Research and organize your tickets to any museums, theatres, and festivals, etc. Another simple way to save money on attractions is to purchase City Passes. Research those in your weekend planning!
ARE YOU PLANNING A GETAWAY SO YOU CAN:
- Enjoy the views of Paris from Eiffel Tower Summit or Second Floor
- Pay American Museum of Natural History a visit when in New York
- Take a helicopter flight over the Grand Canyon
- Do a cooking class in Palermo
- Take the Studio Tour at Universal Studios Hollywood
Plan a mini-vacation ahead of time and book the activities you want to do.
MAKE A LIST OF:
- Free things to do
- Parks and beaches
- Best walks
- City tours
- Day trips
For ideas on things to do in your destination, use these resources:
- Travel Blogs (like MindTheTravel)
- Pinterest (Pin to your own board while browsing)
- Tourism board websites
- Ask colleagues and friends who have been there
- Facebook (put out an update asking for travel advice)
- Guide books (for example, Lonely Planet Guide Books)
- Get Your Guide (they offer tours, activities, and tickets to many tourist attractions)
- Hotel receptionist/bellboy (once in location)
9. PACK SMART. PACK LIGHT.
Let’s face it, you don’t have to embrace the minimalist mentality to travel light. While you’re never too sure what to pack for a weekend trip, it makes sense to remember that you’ll only be away for a few days. Therefore, packing light is going to make your travel easier, cheaper, and saves you time. When packing, think about what activities you will be doing so you can pack appropriately. The hotel has a private beach? Bring a swimsuit. Looking for a weekend hike? Don’t forget hiking shoes.
You’re only going to be away from home for a couple of days, it’s totally fine if your outfits aren’t perfect every day of your trip. I typically only pack one to two casual outfits, and one to two pairs of shoes for a weekend trip. And I usually do my best to match shoes to my outfits.
If you’re driving, there’s more flexibility to pack since you can toss everything into the back seat of the car. But if you’ll be traveling by bus or train consider fitting everything you need into a backpack. You don’t want to be rolling a suitcase around with you. I recommend bringing a backpack or a duffel bag of 30-35 liters for a weekend getaway. You don’t need a size bigger than that. A daypack size, at 25 liters is also a good idea if you don’t plan to pack a lot of stuff. The goal when planning for a weekend trip is to keep things as hassle-free as possible.
10. UNPLUG FOR THE WEEKEND. TAKE A DIGITAL DETOX.
Any weekend is the perfect time to rejuvenate, disconnect from work and reconnect with those you love. It’s a short amount of time when you can take a mental break to quickly re-center yourself and get back on track. You don’t want to waste it scrolling through your phone.
I get it; today we are surrounded by a world of electronic devices, and most people actually spend plenty of their time using them. But a weekend getaway is about breaking routines, doing new things, and switching up how you usually spend your time.
Taking a digital detox has a number of benefits: it can help improve sleep, relieve stress and anxiety, increase happiness, and more. I highly recommend doing what you can to keep your phone and work laptop away. Use them only for managing photos and navigational purposes.
If you can’t afford to completely disconnect while away or you need to check in with work, that’s totally fine. I usually check my email and that sort of thing right after breakfast and before going to bed so it doesn’t disrupt my whole day or take my attention away from what I’m doing.
THE BOTTOM LINE
I have been embarking on weekend getaways for years now. With my hectic work schedule, weekends away are always treasured by me. It is my time to get in touch with friends and family and unwind in a natural setting. No wonder I love going to Saxon Switzerland every other weekend, winters included.
Remember these getaways are also a perfect time to reconnect with your significant other. So invite them to join you.
I hope you find this weekend getaway planner guide useful. While traveling is always going to spark unexpected inspiration with a little bit of planning you can get the most out of your next weekend trip.