Having a full-time job and not owning a pot of gold are not reasons to pass on traveling. For people with a limited amount of days off and a tight budget, a weekend getaway can be the easiest way to go on a quick trip and discover a new city. Below, I’ve gathered a few tips on how to organize a great weekend vacation on a tight budget and how to ensure you make the most of your trip.
Let Transportation Dictate Where You are Going
If you don’t have a firm commitment to visit a specific city, choose your destination based on how easy and cost-efficient it is to get there. The limited time of a weekend getaway means you have to make the most out of every day; if the plane or train for a certain city offers you more time at your destination, go for it! Consider the cost of getting from the airport, or the train or bus station, to your destination when booking transportation, to avoid doubling the price of your ticket by having to take a long taxi ride.
Use Price Comparison Websites
There are many websites that make planning your trip easier and help you save money. Use them to find the cheapest flights and accommodation, since these are usually the biggest expenses. The more you save on them, the more money you’ll be able to spend at your destination.
Main travel costs aside, you can still save a fortune by comparing prices for other relevant expenses and you can find comparison websites for almost everything nowadays, like for fun activities or for airport parking. Parking is often overlooked as a way to save money, but by booking in advance you can actually save a lot and ensure you have a parking spot waiting for you when you get to the airport. Websites like Looking 4 Parking let you compare all the parking options available within minutes.
Pack Everything in a Carry-on Suitcase
To save time and money at the airport, ditch the suitcase and travel with only a carry-on bag. Since you’ll only be traveling for a few days, you can easily travel with a hand luggage. With more and more airlines charging for any luggage you check in, carrying a hand luggage means you won’t have to pay for your suitcase. This way you can also save time at the airport by not having to queue at the check-in desk or at the baggage carousel when you get to your destination.
Be Realistic in your Planning
It’s easy to get carried away when researching a destination and think you’ll have time to see every little nook and cranny of New York City or Los Angeles in a weekend. Don’t set yourself up for that kind of a disappointment; instead, make realistic plans. For example, when deciding what you want to see and do, allow enough time to visit any museums or galleries, shop, eat and get from one place to the next.
Determine in advance what is on your must-see list to make sure your plan includes your priorities. Once you’ve decided with your travel companions what is non-negotiable, you can fill in the gaps with other attractions or activities you won’t feel terrible about missing if you decide you need a break. By creating a flexible schedule, you’ll avoid the stress of feeling like you have to see everything or of last-minute planning.
A short city break can satisfy your need to see the world and relax while working full-time. In any case, a weekend trip is the best way to discover a new place over a short period of time. It’s also the perfect opportunity to reconnect with friends or family or to just discover more about yourself.
What’s your favorite place to go on a weekend trip? Where would your ideal destination be? Let me know in the comments!
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