Weekends are fun and we always want to make the most of them. It’s a time you get off work that you can utilize to do the things you want to do like rest, sleep all day or binge watch Netflix all day. Or maybe you are the adventurous type that prefers to jet off somewhere on a weekend trip. If that’s you, how do you plan for a weekend trip? After you’ve packed your Perfect Weekend Bag, how do you decide on where to go and how do you get there? For a weekend trip you have only 3-4 days to make the most of your type so how do you optimize this time for the best experience? Below are some tips to help.
It’s always better and easier when you plan ahead. I’m a last minute kind of person and a chronic procrastinator and I always regret it. When I visited Paris I thought I could just be spontaneous and go with the flow but because I didn’t plan properly, I ended up not visiting the louver because of bad planning and bad timing. To make the most of your precious daylight hours, apply some tools to help you out along the way. If you’re planning a road trip, you can use apps made specifically for road trippers that will suggest stops along the way and calculate your travel time including rest hours. If you are going on a hike there are also apps that can help you with that and give you the necessary information. Even if you’re not a planner per say, having options will at least prevent you from wasting precious weekend hours!
Check the weather forecast for your location before you go so you can pack the right clothes and the right gear. Make sure to pack extra layers for cold nights, and if you live in the Pacific Northwest, always bring a rain jacket. If you’re hiking, make sure to bring sturdy rain boots and reliable socks. The right gear can make or break a trip and if you have the perfect weekend bag this should make packing easier.
If Possible, Travel on a Long Weekend
The weekend goes by really quickly so it always helps when you have an extra day like Friday or Monday off to make the most of your trip. Just a quick look at the calendar and I discovered several weekends that included government holidays and possibilities to extend your holiday. You can even get clever with your vacation days at work, and tack them on to a long weekend to extend your trip even more!
Choose Your Crew
If you are traveling with a friend or a group of friends plan with them and make sure your interest, traveling styles, and priorities are aligned.
Traveling with someone you are not in sync with can be torture and could end up stressing you more and you lose your weekend of relaxation. Plan well, plan ahead of time. Plan wisely.
Get Up As Early As Possible
If it’s a road trip leave early and so you make the most of the day and you also get the benefit of catching the beautiful sunset. And if you’re flying or taking the train, try to book an early trip, Using all the daylight hours will allow you to spend more time exploring new places, or just soaking in one place! Either way, more vacation hours awake equals more vacation fun. If you’re not particularly a morning person, drink coffee or something.
Be Flexible with your Plans
While having vacation goals and destinations are very important, it’s also good to leave room for unexpected changes in the plan. I know for Berty and I, we don’t always have a 100% successful trip. We’re exhausted, lost, or didn’t research enough ahead of time to make our dreams a reality. True story when we went to Yellowstone in early April. Nearly everything was closed! However, instead of seeing obstacles as a roadblock, consider them detours and opportunities to discover something new along the way!
Plan for Food
If you’re anything like most of us, we are constantly looking for the next coffee shop, bakery, or gas station to pick up food! To prevent unnecessary stops, buy easy grab-and-go snacks beforehand and keep them within reach for a quick energy pick me up also pack drinks and protein bars if you are going on a hike or a long walk. But if you’re looking to stay on budget, we suggest pre-buying healthy options like baby carrots, oranges, trail mix, and yes please pack lots of water.
When it comes to planning dinner, there are some food strategies that you can employ.
The first step is gathering recommendations before you even leave home. Put them on a list along with any notes of who recommended them, the location, and what style of food is served. Make sure you have more recommendations than the number of meals you need. Having the list of great options prepared in advance makes things way easier than starting from scratch for each meal, but you have the flexibility to choose what sounds good for each meal based on your current location.
That said, don’t be afraid to go off-list if you get a great recommendation from a local during your visit! Being flexible with your plans or spontaneous an often lead to great memory-making experiences. Try out the great pizza place that the taxi driver recommended or the taco place that the hotel staff tells you about. This way you would even find local gems that are not common knowledge to tourists and visitors like you.