Travel Advice: Vacate Home For the Weekend
1st Dec 2011
Tags: travel advice
Break up your regular routine with a refreshing weekend getaway. A few days of relaxation could be just what you need to recharge your batteries, and you don’t even need to go far from home to enjoy a weekend vacation. Here are some ideas for making your next trip easy and stress-free.
Quick Getaway Options
The point of a quick weekend escape is to do it on a whim, with little or no planning. All-inclusive resorts and hotels are great for this because they often have ready-made packages that include your food, lodging and an array of activities. A local bed-and-breakfast can be perfect for weekend trips, too, and you can find them nearly anywhere.
Since you don’t want travel-time to eat up too much of your weekend, consider spots just outside of town or a short flight away. The shorter your travel-time, the more time you’ll have for activities or just unwinding.
Weekend Travel Tips
Book your flight and hotel together. You can often get significant hotel discounts when you book your hotel and airline tickets through a single company. Because these travel sites get a percentage of both sales, they’re likely to offer deals on such travel bundles.
Pack light for more freedom. Really, how much can you possibly need for a quick weekend trip? When you lug around a lot of baggage, your movement is limited, and you’re instantly marked as a tourist. You’ll miss a lot of opportunities that are available to off-the-beaten-path travelers with more freedom to explore. You need to stay mobile, so follow a couple of simple rules when packing for a weekend getaway:
- Stick to a single, 20-pound bag. Such small carry-ons don’t have to be checked, and you’ll be hailing a taxi while everyone else is milling about the baggage claim. (Check your airline for size and weight restrictions for carry-on bags.)
- Pack just a single change of clothes. Chances are that you can arrange to have your travel clothes cleaned upon arrival, and you can buy an extra shirt, pants or cheap shoes at your destination if you really need them.
- Always keep a travel toiletries bag packed. A small toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo and other necessities will fit in a small travel bag that weighs less than a pound. (Check TSA requirements restricting fluids before you go.)
Check travel warnings for your destination. This can include weather warnings or State Department travel advisories. You’ll also want to know beforehand if the country you’re visiting has special visa requirements or travel restrictions for foreign visitors.
Pack the car beforehand. If you’re driving to your weekend getaway, get a head-start by packing your car the night before. That way, you can leave first thing in the morning, or straight from the office to beat weekend traffic going out of town.
Look up one or two good restaurants. Sampling the local fare is a big part of enjoying travel, and it’s easy to find reviews and recommendations from just about any travel destination. Look for something that’s not too far from your hotel. There’s a benefit to having two good restaurants on your list. If you like the first place you try, you’ve found a good spot to come back to. If not, you have a back up.
Ask locals for recommendations. You can ask the concierge at your hotel, but they’re not all equally knowledgeable. Local visitor centers are similarly a crap-shoot. But local people almost always have their favorite haunts, and they’ll usually be happy to steer you in the right direction if you don’t look like too green a tourist.
Pack your handheld GPS. You’re no longer at the mercy of vague maps and poor directions when you travel. If you can program a couple choice locations into your GPS beforehand, you’ll be less likely to get lost in an unfamiliar city, which means less time spent being lost as well. If you don’t have a GPS, it’s worth the effort to print detailed maps of the area surrounding your hotel.
Hotels.com is a leading provider of hotel accommodation worldwide, offering reservation services through its own network of localized websites and telephone call centers.