It’s hard to believe, but summer is finally over. The days are getting shorter, school is back in session, and it’s time to bid goodbye to vacations for a while … right? Not necessarily. While work and school can make long trips difficult for most families, there’s always the option of a weekend getaway. These short trips can be the perfect break from the stress of school and home life, and a great opportunity to bond with your whole family. Want to make the most of these brief adventures? We’ve got everything you need to know about crafting a weekend getaway the whole family will adore.
Maximize Your Time
You don’t want to spend the majority of your weekend on the road, do you? When possible, look for direct flights that cut down on travel time. If you’re driving to your chosen destination, be sure to factor in the hours on the road. You don’t want some unexpected traffic to derail your whole weekend. Because of the short duration of these trips, you’ll be saving on lodgings, so don’t be afraid to splurge on a direct flight to maximize your relaxation time.
A weekend trip is short and sweet; as such, you need to be very clear about what you want to do with the time available. Two or three days means you need to have a plan and stick with it. If there’s a specific place you want to visit or an activity you can’t afford to miss out on, make it a priority. The best way to make the most of a weekend getaway is to pick a single event or activity and shape the day around it. If it’s something that requires tickets, get them as early as possible — you don’t want to end up missing out.
Sure, tourist spots are a lot of fun, but they can be crowded and overpriced. Instead, look for local favorites — particularly when it comes to eating. Let your kids help pick places to eat that are off the beaten path, and encourage everyone to try new things. Ask around for the best places to shop and explore. Most locals are happy to share their insider information if you ask nicely, and you could end up discovering a hidden treasure as a result.
Weekend getaways aren’t like traditional vacations (and not just because of the duration). During the school year, everyone is busy and family time is often in short supply. Use this time together to really unwind and enjoy each others’ company. Go window shopping in cool neighborhoods, or try hiking in the mountains as the fall foliage begins to change. A weekend resting on the beach could be just what your student needs to recharge before that big test they’re stressing over.
While a private little getaway has its appeal (under the right circumstances), this is not the time to set yourself far away from the action. Book your hotel as close to points of interest as you can. It will cut down on travel time, and every minute counts for shorter vacations. If you’re worried about prices, remember: the shorter length of the trip allows for a bit of splurging in other areas. It’s worth it to be in the thick of things, with plenty of stuff for everyone in the family to do, instead of being forced to endure a long trip every time you leave the hotel.
What sounds like a great getaway for your family? Take into account the wants and needs of the family as a whole, and go with it! Does everyone bond over music? Check out a local festival and see if any bands strike your fancy. Love trying weird foods? Or maybe your family is sporty and enjoys rafting? Is everyone overwhelmed and just looking to snooze by a lake for a day or two? Ultimately, the perfect weekend getaway combines relaxation with a lot of great family bonding. So think outside the box and create a vacation that’s unique to your family and their specific wants and needs.
Got any weekend getaways with the fam in mind? Tell us where you plan to go in the comments!