Weekend trips can be a sweet escape from the daily rush of the work life most of us carry, so ensuring that this escape is well planned out is crucial in order for you to get your well-deserved rest and make the most out of your money. Since we know exactly how you feel, we’ve decided to provide you with the top ten tips to successfully plan your weekend trip. Happy travelling!
1. Let the destination choose itself
Instead of choosing one place and being stubborn about it,let cheap flights, current weather, or last minute vacation deals choose the destination for you.Before I discovered the wonders of low cost airlines’ seasonal deals, I genuinely believed that I was lucky if my weekend trip involved going to the next city closest to my own. The reality is that if you keep an open mind, the opportunities are almost endless. If you’re in Europe, airlines like Ryanair, Transavia, Wizzair, and Easyjet fly almost anywhere for almost nothing. Look up the current deals that the airlines you have access to are promoting, and you’ll find that 9.99€ can get you very far. If money is not a problem, base your decision on the current weather to guarantee that you won’t end up closed up inside because of rain.
2. Choose arrival and departure times wisely so that you can enjoy as much of your trip as possible.
Is taking a Friday off a possibility for you and your travel buddy? Do it, and plan your travel for Thursday night! If this isn’t a possibility, plan your travel for Friday night to make sure you make the most of Saturday, and plan your way back for as late on Sunday as you possibly can. Yes sure, you may start your work week a little physically tired, but the positive benefits of travel will surely outweigh this, I promise!
3. Be real, you’re only staying there for a maximum of 3 days: pack light!
No, you won’t need three pairs of heels and two sandals. No, you won’t need a gala dress with you just in case. Be real, you are only staying for a maximum of 2-3 days, there is no reason why you need anything bigger than a small backpack. Choose your best walking shoes and jeans and wear them on you, and pack a change of tops and underwear. That’s all you need!
4. Packed lunches are a budget travel must-have!
Add breakfast and coffee at home and you’ll be able to splurge on dinner whilst saving both time and money throughout the day. Last year, I went to Lake Como close to Milan (Italy) with my boyfriend, and we stayed at a central but small hotel in Milan. The night before we went to a supermarket and bought some sandwich essentials, and the next day we ate them in the train on our way to Lake Como. Not only did we make “dead time” (the train ride) useful by turning it into a meal time, but we also saved ourselves a lot of money. Yes, it may feel childish to walk around with a packed lunch but I promise your wallet will thank me!
5. There are somethings you can go a weekend without, but make sure you don’t forget to pack these travel essentials:
First of all, a water bottle should be a part of everyone’s everyday bag essentials, but especially while traveling you’ll find this is a smart way to both stay hydrated and save both the planet and some money. Secondly, you might want to think of investing in a power bank, to make sure your phone (why this is important is coming up shortly) and cameras do not run out. Thirdly, you might want to either pack small umbrellas or hats depending on how the weather is so that you don’t have to buy them off street vendors if the heat is unbearable or if it rains cats and dogs. Last but not least, a toothbrush (need I say more?).
6. Before your trip, make a list of 3 places you absolutely have to visit and 3 places that you would like to visit if there is time left over.
Then, figure out exactly how to get from your accommodation to this location, and from this location to your next. Google maps is usually enough for this as it includes most buses, metros, and trains anywhere. This way, not only will you have a concrete plan for your days, but you’ll also be able to estimate how much the travel will cost you in time and money, and which places to see first, and next. This allows for you to visit the places closest to each other first, instead of jumping from one end of the city to the next.
7. Speaking of which, download local and/or useful travel apps!
Ready to find out a secret that most people don’t know, which will save your lost self? Google maps has an option to download an area offline! This means that, regardless of whether or not you have internet, you’ll be able to navigate around the area without getting lost. It’ll let you choose the range of the area to put in offline, and that’s all! This was a real life saver in Paris for me. The best part? It takes up very little memory on your phone and automatically deletes itself after 30 days. Each city/country has its own travel app usually, so make sure to look into that as well.
8. After you’ve figured out how to get around in your location, find out what the smartest travel deal is to use that system.
Confused? Let me explain: Will you be going to the Netherlands where the main way to get around is a bike? Find out before hand where you can rent a bicycle for the least amount of money. Going to Paris? Purchase the 10 ticket pack to save some money on the metro. Going to Budapest? Purchase the 10 trip bundle. Most cities offer discount prices on bundle purchases, so make sure you research this before you get there!
9. Finally, make sure to verify that your insurance covers you in the location where you are going.
Yes, I know that weekend trips don’t usually allow you to go very far, but if you’re silly like me you’ll forget that even though Morocco is only a one hour flight away from Portugal (where I’m currently at) it is in a completely different continent. Don’t let your trip be ruined because of an overpriced hospital bill if you accidentally roll your ankle. Better safe than sorry! The same applies for lost baggage, personal goods, and anything else you want to be sure is insured.
I wish you all the best with your travels, and hope you have an amazing and successful weekend trip!