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.