There’s this misconception that taking a vacation has to be this big expensive thing that you have to book off work and travel halfway across the world in order to have a good time. The truth is sometimes the best vacations are those you can get to simply by getting in your car and driving for a few hours – just enough so it feels special, different and enjoyable. And while you’re at it, why not add a little luxury too?
There is a lot of stress associated with planning a big trip that can be eliminated or at least greatly reduced by planning smaller, weekend getaways. In addition to being a great way to surprise a loved one, it also affords the chance to have some of your friends get in on the action. Throw in the last minute spontaneity this kind of vacation allows and you have the recipe for a perfect weekend retreat.
Does it all sound good but you don’t know where to start? Here are some tips to get the creative juices flowing!
1. Set a Distance
Get out a GPS or Google Maps and figure out how far away in either direction the time gets you. The key is to make it something that isn’t going to be annoying to get back from or exhausting to get to – so say no more than 2 hours. This way you won’t be fighting returning traffic if you’re going to a high volume area on Sunday but you’ll also be going far enough away that you aren’t likely to run into anyone you know or see things that are too familiar.
2. Decide on a Price
You can spend as much on a weekend getaway as you could on an entire European getaway if you don’t set a limit – so stay within it. By setting a price and sticking to it, say $400, you are still feeling like you’re treating yourself without wondering where all the money went. Take into account accommodation, dining and any excursions you may do – if you go all out at dinner, maybe spend the day going for a stroll through a local park to help balance the costs?
3. Choose Accommodation That Gives You an Escape
If you spend all week in a high rise, the last thing you probably want is to stay on the 15th floor downtown somewhere. Same with if you live/work in the country – you probably want to feel the rush of the urban life. Don’t be afraid to get outside your comfort zone!
4. Don’t Overwhelm Your Schedule
The temptation when you travel is to try to squeeze in as much as you can while you are there but remember, you can always come back! Maybe your idea of luxury is to have a room with a big whirlpool tub that you can soak in both nights with music playing and a bottle of wine. Maybe you want to be surrounded by the smell of cedar in your room and spend all day hiking and exploring your surroundings – and that’s all you want to do? Excellent – just do that. If you enjoy it, it’s worth it.