How to Plan A Weekend Trip

How to Plan A Weekend Trip

Pike National Forest, Colorado

Pike National Forest, Colorado

I don’t want to toot my own horn, but I’ve gotten pretty good at planning weekend getaways. There really is an art to it that requires a combination of scheduling, but still giving yourself free time to just stumble upon new things wherever you’re visiting.

When I get the itch to put together a fun few days away, these are usually the questions that come to my mind first. Once you answer these, you’re well on your way to having one of the best weekends yet.

1. What kind of adventure am I trying to have?
When I ask myself this question, the first thing that pops into my mind is city versus outdoors? If I’m feeling more of a city vibe, like when we went to Kansas City, I know I’m going to spend most of my time dressing fancy and going to restaurants, bars, museums and popular sights.

If I’m thinking outdoors, it’s more like hiking, long walks and if Trevor is with me, which he usually is, we’re definitely going to do some fishing. So right away you’re going to want to answer this question.

2. Alone or with family/a group?
This is a big one. Your whole weekend getaway can go down the tube pretty quickly if you choose to invite family or friends, but what you really wanted was a weekend completely alone with your significant other.

I usually base this decision off of what kind of adventure I decide I’m in the mood for, but either one can be fun as a group or as a couple. Also, maybe you want to go somewhere completely alone. I definitely need some me time every now and then.

3. How much money am I willing to spend?
Sometimes you really want to go somewhere, but it’s not the time to spend a bunch of money on travel. This is when an outdoor/camping adventure might be a better fit. You can go to the state park that’s an hour away so it’ll feel like a vaca, but spending hardly any money.

If you’re a go big or go home kind of vacation person, I suggest planning in advance. This way you can save up and set money aside to take the trip you really want.

4. How far away do I want to go for just a weekend?
The downside to weekend trips is that they only last for...the weekend. Maybe you can take off work on Friday or Monday, but you’re still super limited on the amount of time you have. If I’m only going somewhere for two days, I definitely don’t want to spend eight hours each way driving to the destination. Sometimes that’s necessary if you’ve chosen the family option, but I think driving three hours to get where you’re going is probably the max for a weekend trip.

There is an exception though, and that is if the route in which you’re driving to your destination is filled with great places to stop along the way. If you have a place to stop and marvel at or walk around for a bit every hour or so, then I feel like trips go by so much faster and you’re really getting the bang for buck out of a short trip.

As my Grandma always says, “Different strokes for different folks,” (thanks, Gram) but for me, this is how I usually start out the planning process for a quick trip. If planning isn’t your thing, then just jump in the car and see where the road takes you.

Has anyone gone on some awesome weekend trips lately? I want to hear about the in the comments!

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