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Top 10 Weekend Getaway Trips

VO: Phoebe de Jeu WRITTEN BY: Michael Wynands
The shorter the trip, the better you need to plan! Welcome to MojoTravels, and today we're counting down our picks for the Top 10 Weekend Getaway Tips. For this list, we’re looking at helpful tips, tricks and strategies to get the most out of your short end-of-week trip.

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Top 10 Weekend Getaway Tips

The shorter the trip, the better you need to plan! Welcome to MojoTravels, and today we're counting down our picks for the Top 10 Weekend Getaway Tips.

For this list, we’re looking at helpful tips, tricks and strategies to get the most out of your short end-of-week trip.

10: Get in Two Full Days

When you’re only visiting for the weekend, it can feel like the trip is over before it has begun. In order to avoid feeling panicked and rushed, it’s crucial to arrive Friday evening as early as possible and to train your brain to embrace Sunday as the second day of your visit rather than its swan song. You owe it to yourself to enjoy not just two nights in a city, but two days as well. By getting up early Sunday and coordinating to leave that evening, you can get in a full second day of activities. You can even tackle an entirely different part of the city or area!

#9: Get a City Pass

For the budget minded-traveler looking to see the biggest and most popular attractions that an area has to offer, it’s well worth looking into whether there’s a city pass or attraction bundle program available. In a number of tourist-centric major cities and towns, companies offer discounted tickets and passes to the most popular sights, museums and attractions and often pair it with a transportation pass, suggested itinerary, map, app or goodies to help you make the most of your short stay. You’re likely already planning on trying to see most of these major tourist draws… why not save some money while you’re at it?

#8: Do a City Tour to Orient Yourself

One of the biggest drawbacks about only visiting a destination for a weekend is that it can be hard to really get a feeling for the city and its layout. So why not start your weekend off right by helping your brain situate itself with a quick guided bus tour? There are some sights that you might be happy to simply see in passing and this can be a great way to bang those out. It might even expose you to an area you never even knew you wanted to visit. You can also take walking tours, which often provide insight into the culture and history of a neighborhood.

#7: Embrace the Local Transit System

Sure, it’s easy to call a taxi, Uber or Lyft and have yourself delivered to one destination after another, but it’s going to cost you a small fortune. Also, depending on the city that you’re visiting, you’re likely to waste a whole lot of time in traffic. When you’ve only got a weekend to visit, there’s no time to waste, so familiarize yourself with the city’s layout and its public transportation options before arriving so that you can navigate it like a local. Again, depending on the destination in question, renting a bike or signing up for a city sharing program is another great option.

#6: Be An Early Bird!

Your weekends might usually be for sleeping in late, but not when you’re on a weekend getaway! Every hour counts, and when you’re trying to see popular attractions, that goes double for the early morning hours. By getting up and moving early, you can beat the crowds and thus drastically shorten the amount of time you spend in lines or waiting to get a clear shot of attraction X. You’ll be amazed by just how much you’ve gotten done by 11am - and you’ll likely feel much less stressed and hurried about your afternoon activities!

#5: Research Where to Eat Before You Leave

There is nothing more upsetting than a bad, mediocre or forgettable bite of food when on a weekend getaway. In just 48 hours, there’s no way you can possibly eat at every single one of the great restaurants a place has to offer, but the least you can do is ensure that no meal is wasted. Do some research beforehand, comparing the best restaurants in your price range from a variety of online food-centric publications and review-aggregator. Armed with your trusty list of Internet-approved eateries, you’ll avoid tourist traps and dine like a local. To avoid energy slumps or impulse-buying something you’ll later regret having filled up on, carry simple snacks like almonds and veggies.

#4: Ask Locals for Recommendations

Though you should do plenty of research before leaving, there’s something to be said for getting recommendations from people who actually inhabit your destination of choice full time. The best dive bar, local diner, or cheap sandwich shop isn’t going to be talked about online unless it’s already been discovered and if that’s case… it’s not really a local hidden gem anymore, is it? If you meet, or already know a local with good taste, ask them where they eat or what they consider a must-visit local joint. From art galleries and parks to restaurants, bars and shopping, a local can put you onto spots the Internet might never discover.

#3: Know When Things Close

It’s all well and good to plan a jam-packed weekend where you visit 20 different restaurants, museums, stores and various attractions . . . but that’s only possible if all of those places are actually open. If there’s a taco stand you’re planning to hit on your way to the airport Sunday evening and you only realize when you get there that they close on Sundays, you’re flying home hungry and disappointed. So take the mystery out of opening hours. Similarly, look into popular attractions beforehand, some may require reservations weeks in advance. You don’t want to be another ill-prepared tourist.

#2: Make Custom Maps, or Preload Maps for Offline Use

In this modern age, you don’t necessarily want to be dealing with a mapbook or giant fold-out map. You’ve likely grown very accustomed to using the gps-enabled maps apps on your smartphone. With Google’s My Maps feature, you can create your own custom maps, with color- and icon-coded waypoints, and even add directions between destinations as needed. You can basically create a perfect map tailored to your interests. Unfortunately, this doesn’t work offline. And if data roaming isn’t in your budget, you can certainly still download general maps of the area for offline use.

#1: Take the Time to Properly Plan Your Itinerary

This is, in many ways, the culmination of everything we’ve said up to this point. Many travellers have little idea of what exactly goes into a proper and truly useful travel itinerary. There’s much more to it than noting a place to stay and a rough idea of attractions. Using apps and online tools you can really plan out the whole weekend, set realistic walking goals, figure out a budget for entertainment and ensure that you’re operating not just efficiently… but comfortably. One needn’t be exhausted, disappointed or frustrated when travelling - just make a well-researched itinerary!


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