These days, it can be challenging to go on an extended vacation. However, many fun weekend getaways are local and budget-friendly, offering you and your significant other a chance to recharge your batteries and reconnect with what matters. Chances are that no matter where you live, there are destinations within a few hours' driving or flying distance that offer inexpensive fun and relaxation, especially when you plan ahead and take advantage of special discounts.
When to Go
The first key to planning a budget-friendly weekend trip is choosing the right time to go so as to avoid the crowds. Summer is peak travel time, and you probably want to avoid Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends, as well. That said, by planning your trip for the "shoulder seasons" (spring and autumn), you can get a lot of great travel bargains and avoid crowds while the weather is still reasonably pleasant.
Where to Go
Planning a weekend getaway on the cheap is easier if you remain open-minded about your destination because some are less expensive than others. This kind of "potluck" approach can be great fun when you visit discount air travel sites such as Expedia or Skyscanner and let the best deals determine where you'll go. Book in advance, and you'll be amazed at how little it costs to fly to many places.
Travel sites can also help you to find the best lodging deals as well as affordable restaurants away from expensive tourist areas.
What to Pack
Travel expert Rick Steves has several recommendations on this score. His best advice: travel light, especially when flying. By packing only carry-on bags, you can avoid the hassle and expense of checking your luggage (and won't have to worry about bags getting lost). Chances are that unless you're going on an eco-tour or extreme adventure, you won't need special clothing or equipment, so make do with what you already have.
What To Do
The list of weekend getaway activities could be endless, but if you are a sports fan looking for a winter sojourn, see the famed Yankees in New York. What about Yankees season tickets? Booking game tickets online will save you a lot of money. Some sellers even offer interactive seating charts that enable you to get an idea of the view from various seats before buying. The Big Apple also offers other attractions, including the Empire State Building, Brooklyn Bridge, Statue of Liberty, and more.
Seattle, Washington is another popular destination, as well as home to three professional sports teams. If you go in the spring, you can catch a Mariners baseball game at T-Mobile Park, which features a retractable roof in case of rain. In the fall, see the Seattle Seahawks battle rival football teams on the gridiron at Lumen Field. Seattle is also home to dozens of historic sites and museums and is just a short ferry ride from Port Townsend, one of only three remaining Victorian seaports in the United States.
What Else To Know
Travel discounts are easily found online, but you may also get bargains through memberships to organizations such as AARP (for those 55 and older), the American Automobile Association, and even member stores like Costco.
With a little homework and advance planning, you can enjoy a fun and memorable weekend getaway for less than you think. Visit Your Average Nomad for more awesome travel insights!
Written by: Andrea Needham