Today’s post comes from author Leslie Campos over at WellParents.com. She gives great advice on how to be a healthy parent raising healthy kids, including exercise, eating habits, and of course, TRAVEL! She’s shared a few tips with us on budget-friendly weekends, so please enjoy!
Taking a brief vacation is a great way to rest, relax, and recharge. This is especially important for business owners and managers who are often at risk for burnout. Fortunately, there are many budget-friendly destinations that allow you to enjoy a much-needed getaway without the added worry of breaking the bank. Whether it’s getting back to nature, taking in nightlife, or exploring a city’s art or culinary scene, look for an option that allows you to immerse yourself and leave “regular” life behind.
Where to Go?
For busy people like managers, it’s not always possible to take a lot of time away from work, so to maximize your rest and relaxation, look for a destination that’s within a short travel distance. This approach often means you can drive or take a short plane trip, both of which are much more cost-effective than a trip that requires traveling long distances. Also consider who will be with you for the trip. If you’re traveling solo, a wellness spa may fit the bill; if you’re traveling with a spouse and kids, a family-friendly destination with multiple activities to choose from may be a better choice.
Look for Deals
Travel booking companies often get access to special deals, so utilize them for your trip planning. Also, keep in mind you can often save money by traveling during “off-season.” If you want to stay on the low end of the budget spectrum, activities like camping, borrowing a house, or staying at a budget motel and visiting a national park might be good options. If you want to go to the middle of the road, an Airbnb gives you more space and amenities, and allows you to bring or prep your own meals. If you want a little bit of a splurge while still keeping costs low, consider an upscale hotel or outing for one day, and less expensive options for the rest of the trip.
What to Bring?
When you’re taking a weekend trip, you don’t need to pack a lot, but you do want to be prepared, especially if you’re staying someplace without easy access to a washing machine. According to Travel Made Simple, consider the weather and pack accordingly, and think about special clothing you may need for various activities. For example, are you hanging out at the beach? If so, swimsuits, towels and lots of sunscreen should be at the top of the list. Planning a dinner in an upscale restaurant? Each traveler should pack one dressy outfit. You’ll also want to be wearing comfortable clothes while you’re traveling. Don’t forget necessities like medication, electronic devices, and chargers.
How to Save
There are a lot of ways to save money when taking a quick weekend trip. For example, pack snacks, rather than buy at service stations or airports, and use a refillable water bottle rather than buying pre-bottled water. If you stay someplace with a kitchenette, bring or buy your own groceries. When planning activities, look at sites like Groupon for special deals, and always ask if specials are being offered. Your employer may even have partnerships with hotel chains or theme parks that offer discounted services. Also set a per-person budget for things like souvenirs, which can get especially pricey.
Remember To Relax
When you try to cram too much into a short trip, you can end up feeling rushed and overwhelmed. According to Thrive Global, the purpose of the trip is to give you some downtime, either by yourself or with family and friends. While it’s great to scope out what unique elements a destination area has to offer, don’t over-schedule yourself. Pick one or two activities that you’ll enjoy, and allow yourself time to read, take a leisurely walk, or even just people-watch. You want to come home feeling rejuvenated – not like you need another vacation!
Weekend trips are great options when time and budget don’t allow for an extended get-away. Resist the urge to over-pack, over-schedule, or over-think, and find a destination that will provide a true respite.