You finally took that chance to get away! There’s nothing like a change of scenery, even a quick one, to leave you feeling refreshed for the busy weeks ahead. But what do you do when you only have a couple of days to enjoy yourself abroad? Or what if you only have one day, but still want to see as much as possible before you have to head home? Here are a few ways for you to get the most out of your next weekend break.
Start Your Days Early
Start any trip off right by getting up nice and early, before the rest of your fellow travellers. The earlier you start your day, the more chance you’ll have to fit in everything on your list.
I know, you’re meant to be on a break! The thing about getting up early is you’ll be first in line for coffee, get photos without hundreds of silly tourists doing jump shots in your way, and have a few calm moments to yourself to admire the world around you. When I spent a weekend in Cologne, we were out the door at 6:00am — it was tough, but worth it for these photos!
It can be hard to wake up early when your body wants to shut down. Try sleeping with the curtains slightly open so the sunlight will hit your face in the morning — it’ll be a more natural way to to start moving in the morning.
Consider Staying at a Boutique Hotel
A boutique hotel can be a little off the beaten path, allow for more flexibility and customisation of your stay, and is generally a more unique experience. If you’ve only got a weekend to enjoy the sights and sounds of new city, you’re going to want to make sure you’ve got a memorable place to stay!
Boutique experience holidays are becoming popular, so there are many opportunities to choose from. Especially in the winter time, or for travel in the first few months of the year, a package deal can be a great, affordable alternative to sourcing and booking everything yourself.
Put Your Phone on Airplane Mode
With only a weekend to enjoy yourself, you won’t want to be spending too much time on your phone. Try to minimise your time on social media and avoid replying to those mass WhatsApp groups. Take this time to switch your phone back to airplane mode as you set off to explore.
Think about all the hours you’ll have waking up early, and how they can be spent if you’re not checking Facebook: going through a museum exhibition, taking a dip in the ocean, walking along the beach you don’t have at home, or even just sitting down in a cosy pub or restaurant to enjoy the local cuisine. Let this weekend break be all about you!
Of course this doesn’t mean you can’t take photos! Capture your experiences in photos and video if you’re interested in sharing them with friends and family when you’re back on home turf. If you’re particularly interested in photography when you visit a new city, try researching some cool Instagram spots.
Keep the Moving Around to a Minimum
Try to keep travelling to a minimum once you get to your destination. Do your homework, even if it’s in the airport on the way over, so you know the best routes around the city, and also how you’ll get to the things you want to see.
Research how you’ll get to your hotel or Airbnb via public transport or car versus walking. The more you can walk around a city (above ground!) the more you’ll be seeing and exploring. By the time you’ve settled in to your accommodation, you’ll have already soaked up a bit of local culture, and likely have plenty of photos to post to your Insta grid when you get back. I’ll never forget walking from Wandsworth Bridge to Tower Bridge along the Thames Path in London. That was a long day!
A Weekend Break? They’re better value than you’d think!
A weekend break won’t always be enough time to properly experience a city, but there are definitely ways to maximise the time you have to enjoy your break. That being said, the more you can see and do, without overloading yourself, the more satisfied you’ll feel about your weekend! And if you plan them well, they won’t cost you too much!
Looking for more planning tips? Check out my pre-travel checklist.