10 Ways to Make a Weekend Getaway Feel Like a Vacation

Make the most of your weekend travel.

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Who says every trip you take has to be a big one? Two days can feel like two weeks if you plan them right. It’s easier than you think to maximize your travel opportunities by giving your weekends the credit they deserve. Here are ten ways to make a weekend getaway feel like a vacation.

1. Limit your transportation time

You want to get to your destination with alacrity—not with anxiety! Leave early to avoid traffic, or choose a destination close to home. If you just can’t resist traveling farther, consider planning an overnight on the way. If you’re flying, don’t waste more time in an airport than you need to—make sure you have security pre-check.

2. Extend your stay, even by a little bit

Squeeze as much extra time out of your weekend getaway as you can. Leave Thursday night, if possible, or early on Friday. Getting to your destination before dinner on Friday can make all the difference. (And getting home late on Sunday can be totally worth it, too.)

3. A staycation can be a great weekend getaway

Book a room at a hotel or Airbnb and get out of your day-to-day routine. Master the art of the staycation by playing tourist, exploring a different neighborhood, or trying out that new restaurant or café on your list.

4. Maximize your relaxation by unplugging

Don’t check email unless you have to—your weekend vacation minutes are precious, don’t waste them on things that can wait until Monday. Need help detaching? These 10 tips for embarking on a digital detox will help you get off the grid (even if it’s only a little bit)

5. Treat your getaway like a real vacation

Research your destination and activities ahead of time! You’ll not only feel more excited leading up to your trip, but it’ll also ensure you’re getting the most out of your time away.

6. Make memories

Treat yourself. Book a special dinner; get a spa treatment; or spend the day kayaking. Seek out awe-inspiring experiences. Engage all of your senses. A short trip filled with memories will be just as special as a long trip.

7. Make it extra special for your kids

If you’re traveling with children, let them indulge them, too. Keep an eye out for hotels with kid-friendly amenities that’ll make them feel like rock-stars. Let them break (some of) the rules: Maybe chocolate chip pancakes are off-limits when you’re home, but this weekend, all bets are off.

8. Make it a road trip

Hitting two to three places over two to three days will make a short trip feel like a longer trip. Besides all the great scenery, the open road offers you plenty of freedom to be spontaneous. Stop at a fruit stand, explore that quirky roadside attraction, or take a detour to a vista.

9. Explore somewhere new

Discovery is just as fulfilling on a short trip as it is on a big trip—whether that means getting off the beaten path, or exploring somewhere new to you. If you need some inspiration, let us help you decide where to weekend this weekend.

10. Go solo.

Solo travel isn’t just for epic, life-changing trips. It will push you to connect with new people—whether they are locals or other travelers—which will in turn push you to discover more. (Pro-tip: eat at the bar—it’s the best thing you can do on a solo trip) And a solo weekend getaway can also be a much-needed opportunity to reconnect with yourself.

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