Why you need weekend getaways
“The Journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”
Adventure Awaits…Go Find It
“There’s a sunrise and a sunset every single day, and they’re absolutely free. Don’t miss so many of them”
“Life is meant to be adventurous, isn’t it?”
Most people think traveling means taking a week or more off while spending an excessive amount of money. It usually means taking one or two weeks off from work in a year to go somewhere new. But why does it have to be that way? I mean seriously, who said that the only way you can really make traveling a part of your life is by doing everything I just listed?
While I love taking a week off just to spend it exploring, that isn’t always a possibility. And to be honest, I’d hate to spend my entire year working non-stop just to enjoy a 7-day trip, while maintaining a certain budget. I’m sure you already know I love to travel; it’s in my blood, it’s my way of breathing, it is just a part of who I am. Waiting a whole 365 days to make one trip…well I just would not survive at all!
So my solution? Use your weekends’ dude! Who said you can’t hop on a plane after work to somewhere brand spanking new and enjoy yourself over your days off. And if you find jumping on a flight just for a weekend getaway is too much; well then turn on your engines! Life is meant to be adventurous, isn’t it? When did it become about all work and no play?
For me, my days off are all about exploration and making memories somewhere new, or back to some favorite places. That’s probably why it may seem like I’m always traveling somewhere every week…it’s probably because I am, for my pure enjoyment.
Some people will probably say three or four days is just not enough time to see a place. Well, I say even 7 days isn’t enough. Seriously…I’ve traveled halfway around the world and spent 14 days somewhere new AND I still have a notebook of things I missed. It will never be enough time, the point is you spend your time wisely and at least still get to do some wandering.
The key is to plan properly and plan ahead of time. If there are things you want to see, list them out, plan out your transportation and the amount of time it would take you to get from one place to the next.
Most days I like to book my flight to depart after I leave work, and if I can request to leave early I’ll do that as well. This gives me at least a day and a half (or two days if I fly back Monday morning) to enjoy where I’m going. I pack my bag the night before and take it with me to work, which makes the weekend more exciting.
“Stop being afraid of what could go wrong, and start being excited of what could go right”
Since I’m more the explore as I go type, I usually don’t have more than one or two things that are on my ‘must see’ list. This makes the short getaway a lot more peaceful without feeling rushed to get items checked off a to-do list. If you are a list person, that’s ok too, just work with the time you have and remember you can only get so much done. So don’t try to jam pack a week’s worth of itinerary in just a day. The point of this is to enjoy yourself and experience somewhere new.
Another part of planning is making sure you book your stay somewhere in the middle of where you plan on spending most of your time. Since it’s a quick trip there’s no need to go so hard on your budget that you stay far away from everything. I usually find a location in the center of the city that’s still affordable. Use all the tools and resources available; don’t limit yourself just to one site. We live in a time where homes, couches, hotels and more are all available to stay in. Just to name a few: Airbnb, Marriott, Hilton, Booking.com, Hotel.com; one of the great things about some of these is you can compare prices depending on sales that might be going on.
Once you know what your days away will look like (whether planned to the T or not) you have a good idea of what your weekend will look like. The worst part has been completed, cause honestly that’s what causes most of the stress for people. Now it’s all about exploring and enjoying yourself.
Whether you’re going domestic or international I have a few tips to keep in mind during your joyous travels:
Leave the Hotel for Sleeping
Spend as much time outside your hotel/room as possible. You didn’t travel to where you are just to spend hours in a hotel room. Seriously, if this is you…just STOP. Go out, start checking things off your list, get lost, go walking as much as possible. Leave the room for showering and sleeping.
Do as the locals do
Be a local…know a local! This is legit the only way to make friends, plus get to experience the culture. Even if you’re domestic, let’s be real every city, county, state does things their own way. Skip the Starbucks, the McDonalds, and whatever other known to man fast food place there is. Find a local cafe, local restaurants to eat at. This is where you’ll meet new people, taste new foods, and live outside your comfort zone.
Learn the art of People Watching
If you have no idea what I’m talking about…look it up. One of the benefits of living abroad is I learned the art of people watching and honestly it’s the most calming part of all my trips. Here’s what you do, find a small cafe, a museum, a park bench…anywhere you see people and just sit and watch. That’s it! See the couple laying down for a picnic, the kids running around, the photographer, and the model. You’ll be amazed at all the things you’ll see, but also the peace you’ll feel. It may feel strange at first, but trust me, you’ll end up doing this wherever you go. And if you give it a try, come back and let me know how it goes!
So what’s been the main point of today’s post? Travel doesn’t need to be a long and planned out trip. It doesn’t need to be using up all your PTO and Sick Days, and you don’t need to wait months or a year just to book your next one. Use what you have, take the time, and see what’s available to explore. Before you know it, you’ll be addicted to those weekend getaways too, just like moi (me). It will be the thing you look forward to and keep you going until the next time you take a trip.
Remember it doesn’t need to be jumping on a plane, if you want to test it out, plan a road trip, it is just as enjoyable and memorable. Life is meant to be enjoyed, life is meant to be lived, so use the time you have wisely and get going!