How to Make the Most of Weekend Travel

How often do people say they wish they could travel more? Bucket lists and new year’s goals are constantly  filled with new places to visit and explore, and yet, travel plans never seem to see the light of day. The most common excuse for not traveling is a lack of time, but could it be that we’re simply not utilizing the time that we DO have? A long weekend or a single day off can give you the perfect opportunity to explore a new place. Don’t trick yourself into thinking that a weekend isn’t long enough to get your travel on! By following a few helpful tips, you could successfully work a 9-5 during the week and feel like a full-on jetsetter every weekend. (Or at least, pretty often.)

 

#1 Plan Your Itinerary

To get the most out of a short time frame, it’s important to have a plan of action. This doesn’t mean that you have to rigidly schedule every second of your getaway, but having an overarching idea of places you want to go, restaurants you’d like to try, and sights you’d like to see with help ensure you’re utilizing your time most efficiently. Look up destinations ahead of time and get an idea of what activities will make the most sense during which time slot. Maybe you research a restaurant just to find out it’s closed on Sundays- now you’ll be able to make sure you schedule it for Saturday. Perhaps a few sights are all in the same neighborhood, you’ll want to plan for those on the same day so you’re not wasting time trekking back and forth across town. Leave yourself some wiggle room to get lost and explore recommendations from locals, but planning ahead and having some sort of itinerary in place will keep you from wasting any precious time!

 

#2 Use Small Airports

The actual travel time on trips is usually what keeps people from taking weekend vacations. On a trip that’s only two to three days, the last thing you want to do is spend hours upon hours in an airport. Those are hours that should be spent relaxing/celebrating/exploring! Well thankfully, this can be easily avoided by simply avoiding big airports that are so often a headache! Smaller airports that are slightly off the beaten path are every savvy traveler’s dream. They’re fast, efficient, quick to get through, and great for a budget. You’re able to skip big city traffic, huge terminals, and crazy TSA lines. Instead, you can show up and be on your way! The Stockton Metropolitan Airport, for example, is located in the heart of California’s Central Valley and connects to Las Vegas, Phoenix, San Diego, and soon Los Angeles! From parking to boarding, it takes only an hour or less to get through, and your travel options are endless!  The best part? You can totally skip all of the Bay Area traffic.

 

#3 Stay Close to the Action

If you’ve done some research and planning ahead of time, you’ll have an idea of where you’ll want to visit and in what areas you’ll be spending the majority of your time. Choose accommodation that is as close to the heart of your plans as possible. It may be a bit pricier, but the time and transportation money you’ll save being central will be worth it. Perhaps stay in a room rental or hostel in the heart of downtown or by the water, versus a more lavish hotel room on the  edge of town. If you’re making the most of your exploration experience, you’ll be spending very little time in the actual room anyway! And having a central location will make it super easy to pop in for a quick rest or a change of clothes, and keep you close to the action! If your weekend getaway is to be more of a one-spot vacation, however, that’s fine too! there’s absolutely nothing wrong with planning a two day excursion to be spent nowhere other than a sandy beach and a hotel spa. If that’s the case, spend a little more on your accommodations in the most ideal location for your plans.

73 Responses
  1. Thanks for explaining how to plan our trip’s itinerary. My husband and I want to plan a short trip to the casino next weekend. We’ll be sure to use your advice to make sure our vacation goes smoothly.

  2. I appreciated it when you shared that it is great to choose accommodation during your weekend travel so it will be easier for you and your friends. My sister just mentioned the other day that she is thinking of going on a trip with her friends over the weekend as they want to spend time with each other before they go to college. I will suggest to her looking for a nice hotel that has plenty of amenities for them to enjoy.

  3. Ariel, excuse me, but I don’t think we should plan EVERY second of our trip 😉 We should plan it as a whole (important points), and the rest should be improvised! At least… it’s my own opinion)

  4. It’s awesome that you talked about looking for a hotel that’s close to where you want to spend your time when traveling. Recently, my wife and I started to plan a weekend getaway. We haven’t gotten a proper vacation in a long time, and we want to try our luck at a casino, so we’ll be sure to look for a hotel that’s close to one. Thanks for the tips on how to plan the best weekend short vacation!

  5. Please accept our thanks and congratulations on the success of your recent series on Weekend Travel. We see so much of the negative side of life in the media that it is refreshing to have a positive, upbeat report on the good things that are happening. I think these tips are very helpful for many people who need a little extra push. Thank you for your thorough research and clear writing.

  6. Great article. Thanks for explaining how to plan a trip’s itinerary, really need this. Actually, my sister is confused about how to plan a trip and where to go, and what to try like restaurants, hotels, etc. I will definitely give her this suggestion.

  7. Two days can feel like two weeks if you plan them right. It’s easier than you think to maximize your travel opportunities by giving your weekends the credit they deserve.

  8. My sister and I are planning to travel to Troy so we can explore its culture, which is why we’re currently looking for some travel tips. Well, you made a pretty good point that it would be best to opt for a smaller airport so we won’t get lost. Thank you for clarifying here as well the importance of wearing comfy clothes.

  9. My sister would like to go on a fun journey this year and travel abroad, which is why has decided to start looking for an airport shuttle that will pick her up. Well, I also agree with you that she must seek recommendations from locals. Thank you for sharing here that opting for a smaller airport is better since this will avoid her from getting lost.

  10. I’ll try my best to find a small airport near my intended destination. I have never flown to a small airport though. So I worry that something could go wrong but I have to trust it.

  11. Thanks for pointing out that we must choose an accommodation that is the closest to the plans that we have or places we will visit. I will follow your advice so that we will have lots of time to enjoy ourselves. I hope to find a motor inn accommodation as well because I will be bringing my car with us for this road trip.

  12. Thank you for the tip to have a plan of action when planning a trip. My wife and I want to travel before summer is done. I’ll tell my wife that we should come up with a plan as we look for things to do for our upcoming trip.

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  27. do you have something for people who are the opposite? once i get into my weekend, i do nothing and i always regret it…. when monday comes… i’ve done nothing productive and everything is due… of course, i don’t work- i’m a student so that kinda changes it because things actually have a due date

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