With the days getting altogether longer, brighter and warmer, it was only a matter of time before we all turned our thoughts to getting away from it all. Holiday season is dimly visible on the horizon – but with living costs higher than ever, it can be difficult to justify a fortnight of annual leave and accommodation…
The answer, for many, is to lean fully into the idea of the long weekend. Utilising the bank holidays can make long weekends all the more accessible with your annual leave budget; they can also be much kinder on the wallet. But how do you go about planning the perfect weekend away?
What Do You Want from Your Getaway?
Any holiday plan needs to start with end with you – or, specifically speaking, what you want out of your holiday! There is no point to settling for a destination or experience you aren’t completely up for doing. A holiday for the sake of going on holiday is not an innately pleasurable experience. Instead, it’s a waste of time and money, and one which could see you feeling disappointed for months after you return.
As such, you should treat your holiday with the reverence both it and you deserve. Start with the things you enjoy, or the experiences you find yourself craving. You might be up for a cultural weekend, or you might simply be after a relaxing few days sun and sea.
What is Your Budget?
The reason many of us don’t reflexively start with our true holiday desires is budget. Some experiences are priced out of what we can afford, and many would rather settle for something within budget than get disappointed during planning.
But there are budget ways to achieve almost every kind of holiday, from remote beach getaways to pampering spa weekends. You just need to be shrewd with your budget. If you know exactly how much you can put towards your holiday, you can sub-divide this into travel, accommodation and spending money.
Choose Your Destination
Your destination is only partially baked-in to the kind of weekend experience you’d like. If your holiday is a domestic one, you might choose somewhere with strong rail links so you can travel there and back both cheaply and easily. If you’re going abroad, you might use your flight budget to narrow your search criteria. Careful balances need to be struck here, but again your holiday vision should win out!
Planning and Packing
Lastly, we come to the logistics of making your holiday happen. Packing for a weekend away is simple in theory, but it’s extremely easy to overpack while simultaneously forgetting the most important things.
You should start by gathering all the important things you will need to travel – from your phone and wallet to any physical tickets, money and your passport if you are travelling abroad. These should be packed last, but gathered first and kept together. Rather than packing multiple outfits for different weather conditions, try to pack one flexible outfit for each day you are out.