There is a certain romance to the perfect weekend getaway. There is nothing more adventurous than packing a bag and leaving after work for a weekend adventure. Planned properly, just a two-day escape can be impulsive, relaxing or just plain fun.
However, if you do spend the time and money to go away for the weekend, you want to be sure you're going to enjoy yourself. Here are a few tips to make sure your trip is fun and not stressful.
One of the biggest rules for an enjoyable weekend trip is that you don't want to spend more time in transit than you do actually getting to enjoy your destination. Pick a destination too far away and fatigue and jet lag will destroy any chance you have of enjoying your few hours on the ground.
The sweet spot is a destination that's only a quick plane ride or a couple hour drive away. Choose somewhere easy to reach that you can explore in just a couple days, and save that trans-Atlantic trip to Europe for when you have more time to invest.
Of course there is always the option of a staycation — a weekend getaway in your own city. Get a hotel room, try a new restaurant and just explore your city like a tourist instead of a local. It can be more exciting than you think, with basically zero travel hassle.
It can be tempting to try to cram every possible attraction in a new city into your itinerary. After all, who knows when you will be back? However, exhausting yourself running from museum to museum will leave you feeling cranky and tired by the time you head home. There is nothing worse than returning from a vacation less relaxed than when you left.
When you are working with a short time frame, you will enjoy yourself more if you just pick a handful of must-sees at your destination. Consider just one or two attractions or restaurants each day. Then, keep the rest of your itinerary loose, with room for spontaneity, wandering new neighborhoods or just people watching.
Whether you're traveling alone or with a partner, a weekend away is a special occasion, so try to find some room in the budget to do something totally indulgent. Schedule a massage, or a really nice dinner out. If that is too difficult, at least work in some time to relax and do something you truly enjoy. The idea is to return to work Monday feeling more rested than when you left.
Weekend getaways are short by nature, so don't waste any of your time scoping out what other people are up to on Facebook. If possible, leave your computer at home and put your phone away as much as possible. Try to live in the moment, and focus your time on enjoying yourself and your companions. Social media will still be there when you get back Monday, I promise.
Where’s your favorite weekend getaway destination?
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Stephanie Yoder is a girl who can't sit still! Since graduating college in 2007 she has either been traveling or planning to travel. She's lived on four continents and visited everywhere from the Great Wall of China to the Great Barrier Reef. She now writes and travels full time, blogging about her adventures on Why Wait To See The World? (formerly Twenty-Something Travel). Follow Stephanie on Twitter or visit her on Facebook.
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