Most of us like to get away now and then, but with increasing prices on everything from gas to hotels, it’s not always possible. Here are tips on how to plan a budget-friendly weekend trip, brought to you by Thermal Belt Rail Trail.
Choose Your Destination Carefully
The costs of lodging, food, and entertainment vary greatly in different areas, so keep this in mind as you make your selection. Often, going south is less expensive, although some places in other areas are also good deals. Small towns can be very budget-friendly and may have a more relaxed atmosphere. Many online travel sites offer package deals including airfare and lodging at costs far below what these things would cost if purchased separately. Consider who will be going on this trip, and what sort of things they enjoy. If your entire family is coming along, choose an area with a wide variety of activities and fun things to do, including bike and e-scooter rentals, so everyone will find something to enjoy.
How to Pack for Your Trip
There are many online guides to packing for three-, four-, or five-day trips. Consult the experts for online guidance on what you’ll need, and of course, do a bit of research on the weather and possible activities at your destination. It makes a difference whether you’re headed to the beach, a city, or the mountains. Rolling, rather than folding your clothes, is very efficient and often results in fewer wrinkles.
Staying on Budget During the Trip
Planning ahead is your best bet for finding good deals on the trip, but some happy surprises can still be had along the way — if you’re willing to ask. Staying in the major state or national parks can save you money, as once the cost of your room or camping spot is covered, the amenities in the park are free. Using public transportation such as light rail and buses can save you money over a rental car and parking fees. Living like a local while you’re on the trip is a great way to save money and get a more authentic experience of a new place. Ask residents how they get around town, where they go to eat, and what the great places to visit are.
Plan to Document Your Vacation
If you like taking pictures, you can inexpensively set up an account on platforms like Instagram or Facebook to share your adventures with friends and family members. You could also think about putting out a newsletter. If you aren’t sure where to start, begin in Word, then add your high-quality images. When you’re done, there are plenty of free tools you can use to save your newsletter as a PDF; check this one out, then start sharing your images and stories of your travels with the world!
Take Care of Loose Ends Before you Leave
For a worry-free weekend away, wrap up projects at work, or at least get them to a good pausing stage before your trip. Set your work email to auto-respond, and clear your desk as part of your preparation. Turn off work-related notifications on your phone, and trust that your team can manage without you. Give some attention to your home, too. Make sure you’ve cleared the refrigerator and pantry of any foods that might spoil while you are gone. Photograph travel documents, your passport, and your driver’s license in case something happens to your phone. Refill any medications needed, and take pictures of them, also.
With a bit of research and planning, you can have a wonderful weekend trip at a reasonable price. Take the time to research your destination and then search for good deals on travel packages. If you tie up any loose ends at work and designate a reliable person to act on your behalf, you should be able to thoroughly enjoy your time away.
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