Weekend Escape: 5 Ideas for Maximizing a Long Weekend Getaway

We sometimes give ourselves less "me" time than we deserve. The productivity that is required to keep up with the modern world can be overwhelming, and the long weekend getaway is the perfect time to lay back and let everything go.

Here are 5 ways to maximize your long weekend getaway, no matter where it may be.

1. Go with a plan

Have a general sense of the places that you want to visit and things that you want to see. Do not be afraid to veer away from the beaten path, but remember: You need to find the beaten path in order to know that you're veering! Ideas that other people have vetted will also spark your own thought process, giving you more energy for those new excursions. If you are doing your logistics through a travel agency, ask around the office for the lesser known attractions, or better yet ask the locals.

2. Location, Location, Location

Finding the right location for your unique personality, travel style, and travel objectives is usually 75% of the battle. You may need to do a bit of research in order to find the types of places that really speak to you. A bit of research online will familiarize you with the essence of a place, which is often much more important to your enjoying the destination than things like food and architecture. Use this research as inspiration, allowing you to identify locations all across the world that you'd like to eventually get to.

3. Consider going to popular places during the off season

If you're looking for peace and spiritual quiet during your long weekend getaway, you can visit some of the more popular tourist locations during their off season. During the more traveled season, you will find that getting to and from a particular place is sometimes more time consuming than actually enjoying the vacation. Skip the hoards of people, the crying babies, and the noise and consider saving the popular destinations for an off-season visit.

One trick is to visit popular destinations two to three weeks before the in-season begins. Usually you can get the same experience as you'd get during in-season but with a fraction of the crowds.

4. Give Yourself a 10% Adventure Budget.

If you find an activity that excites you while on vacation, the last thing you want to do is lose out on the ability to participate based on your finances. From the very beginning of your trip, set aside an extra 10% of your base budget for any unexpected adventures that you may come across, and give yourself an even better gift - the peace of mind to expand your horizons!

5. Factor in a buffer day

No matter where you're going you have to consider the process of getting there and then returning home. Travel can be time consuming and complex, particularly if your long weekend jaunt is to an international destination with customs and different languages. Regardless of where you're going, factor in a buffer day at the end of your trip. A buffer day is designed to serves two purposes. The first purpose is that it allows you an extra 24 hours in the event that you experience travel delays or other hiccups on the way home. If you're planning to return on a Sunday then keep Monday as your vacation buffer day. If for some reason you don't return until Monday then you're not expected at the office, or that party, or that dinner since as far as everyone is concerned you're still on vacation. This translates into less stress if your travel plans don't go smoothly on the way home.

The second purpose of a buffer day is that if all goes as planned, you can use the extra day to reflect on your short but fantastic weekend trip, and get ready to head back to reality.

It may seem somewhat ironic to talk about how to more efficiently relax on a long weekend getaway, but this is a "process workflow" that reaps immediate dividends! Follow the tips above for a better vacation and a more invigorated presence once you come back home.


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