Making weekend trips the BEST ever

One of the best ways to satisfy your travel hunger is to have a fantastic weekend getaway. After all, you don’t need to take time off work, there’s less waiting to save enough money, and you really only need to plan one or two things to have a great weekend. So what’s the best approach?

Sometimes, spontaneous or last-minute weekend trips are the best!  You don’t have the rigid plans, the high expectations, and everyone can name a great memory which came out of nowhere.  As one of my favourite authors has said in her famous book, ‘Why not seize the pleasure at once – how often is happiness destroyed by preparation, foolish preparation’.

With that in mind, here’s some tips on having a great weekend away without too much money or effort involved.

Subscribe to airline sales & promotional emails

Instead of dismissing these as spam, frame them as inspiration. They actually give you great ideas to check out places you wouldn’t have initially thought of.  Airlines discount because they need to sell more seats to that destination, so sometimes you will also be going at a time when it is quiet or off-peak, increasing chances that your accommodation booking and activities may also be cheaper.  If you really prefer a meal and have some in-flight entertainment during your flight, subscribe to the premium carriers’ promotional emails, not just your low cost carriers.  Even full-service carriers have to discount at times to remain competitive.

Try something like Virgin’s Happy Hour or Malaysia Airline’s Deals of the Day, plus the equivalent for your favourite airline.

Travel to a place where your friends have moved

Preferably, this is an interstate location from where you are, given you only have the weekend.  They normally will love to show you around, taking you to their favourite food, drink and shopping places.  You get to explore a new place away from home, and they will appreciate that you’ve flown (or driven) to visit them.  Also, if they are happy to pick you up from the airport and then drop you back off, even better!

Add on a weekend or day trip away

Before or after your business trip, tack on a day trip or weekend away. This is the growing ‘bleisure‘ market, and through your company generally you will have colleagues or local business contacts that will organise some interesting activities for you.  Experiencing local cuisine, spending half the day at a beach, or even going on a local wildlife safari, is pretty commonplace now for the extended business trip.

Check out weekend breaks with LastMinute or Expedia.

Do a driving trip

If you enjoy driving trips, there are lots of information from tourism sites, and online forums, to satisfy the sightseeing driver.  The advantage of driving on your weekend away, is that you can cover more sights and away from the city centre, if you want to.  Also, driving trips doesn’t have to be far away from your home.  Even if you’ve lived in a city for more than half your life, drive out and you’ll find there’s still seaside towns, regional towns, mountain hikes to explore, and usually within a couple of hours drive away.

Research online for nearby recommended road trips, or plan to check out some of the best road trips in the world.

Experience a bucket-list item

If you do a bucket-list item, usually you’ll want to devote most of the weekend trip to this one thing.  This is the only item on this list that may need a bit more planning, but given this is a bucket-list item, chances are you’ve already researched when and how to get there.  Try to focus on bucket-list items that you can do locally, or a short drive or plane trip away.  If you’ve always wanted to go bungee jumping or scuba diving, there’s probably LOTS of places not far from where you live that offer those activities.

It’s a different story if the bucket-list item is seeing the Eiffel Tower; that’s probably best left to when you’re living near Paris, or relocating to Europe for your next suitventure. Write down a small list of bucket-list items that you really want to experience in the country that you’re living in.  Focus on those for your weekend trips.  You’ll be surprised how quickly you can cross them off your list, once you focus a bit and find out how you can complete them at a place near where you live.

Hopefully this has inspired you to plan more amazing weekend trips away!  I look forward to hearing your past weekend trips, and any upcoming weekend trips, in the comments below.