Tips to Maximize Weekend Travel
I, like a lot of people out there, am mostly confined to weekend travel due to my job. Because of this, I am constantly trying to find ways to make the most of my weekend adventures. Sure, there are times when I splurge on trips and use my vacation days to travel longer, but since I prefer to travel more often than not, plain old weekends usually just have to do. If this sounds familiar to your own travel situation, you’re in luck! Below are my top five tips for maximizing your weekend travels:
- Pick a destination that doesn’t take a ton of time to get to: Whether you’re driving, flying, taking a train, boating, whatever, don’t spend the entire weekend in transit. The “it’s the journey, not the destination” theory does not apply here. It’s the destination that matters when you only have a few days to enjoy the trip. My preferred maximum travel time is 4-5 hours each way, and even that’s pushing it. Any more than that won’t give you enough time to explore your chosen destination.
- When choosing a destination, choose a theme for your trip: This is an important step: what do you want to do over this weekend trip? Do you want to relax by the pool and read? Do you want to get out and walk around and explore? Do you want to do extreme sports? Pick a destination that fits what you want to accomplish best. Or, fits your budget best. I’m a big fan of picking the cheapest air fare and then planning accordingly (see: “Trip Planning: Washington, D.C.“), but that’s not for everyone. Take a minute to think about your budget and what you want out of the trip.
- Make note of restaurants you wouldn’t want to miss while you’re there: You certainly do not have to plan out every meal, but I think it’s important to make sure you hit the restaurants that you really wanted to go to. Make reservations if you have to, or plan to explore around that certain restaurant in order to make it a part of your itinerary. I don’t know about you, but I really do not enjoy wandering around aimlessly trying to find somewhere great for dinner only to settle for something mediocre because I’m too hungry to keep looking. I usually do a little restaurant research online before a trip and pick one or two that look too delicious to skip.
- Don’t over-plan: To piggy back on my last point, make note of the things that you really want to see/do/eat, but don’t schedule every minute of your trip. Allow some time to explore and discover some new things. I usually make a list of attractions I’d like to see, then try to walk to them all so I can find new attractions along the way. When you don’t have an unlimited amount of time to explore somewhere new, it’s great to have a good idea of what you want to accomplish while you’re there. But it’s also great to not drive yourself crazy with a strict itinerary. Find a happy medium.
- When all else fails – Staycation!: I am of the belief that a staycation can be just as restorative as a vacation. Sometimes all it takes to recharge and lift your spirits is to get out of your house/apartment and break up your routine. Explore your own city or kick back for a spa day and room service in those wonderful fluffy white hotel beds. If you want more tips on planning a fantastic staycation, check here.
What is the best weekend trip you’ve been on lately? How did you plan it?