By Christina VanGinkel
Weekend getaways can often seem to be more work, than they are worth. After spending countless hours deciding where to go, you then have to arrange everything from travel arrangements, to hotel accommodations, to any activities that you intend to participate in. Unlike a longer vacation, timing of events is often very important, as you do not have any extra days to fall back on if the activities include outside events and bad weather happens to get in the way.
There are ways around some of the hassles involved in putting together a weekend getaway though. If you are truly after a weekend respite from the daily grind of a long workweek, then taking a cue from some of these tips is sure to keep your next weekend getaway on track and not add more to your level of stress than you started with.
Pick a Spot Close to Home
If you choose somewhere that is going to take you longer than an hour or two to travel to, you are risking adding stress through many outlets. Add a flight, even a short one, and the stress level is almost certain to climb. Airports are not somewhere you want to spend even a few hours of your precious weekend time, especially in today’s heated political climate with airports as hot a spots, as you are likely to find. Avoid them like the plague! With gas prices also on the climb, if you have to drive further than a hundred miles, you might want to reconsider the destination. For a longer vacation, it might be worth one or the other of these hassles, but not when you are dealing with a few short forty-eight hours of breathing space.
Vacation packages for weekend getaways are increasingly popular with hotels. Many will provide you with everything from lodging and meals to entertainment. They are my favorite way to take advantage of those few short hours available. Other than tossing a few possessions in an overnight bag, the hotel has taken care of everything else. Water parks are a popular choice with families, but even Bed and Breakfasts have been known to put together some attractive package deals for couples or even singles. Even if you do not see such a package offered, if you have a destination in mind, call them up and ask if they have any such packages available.
Bus tour companies can also offer you package deals where everything is provided including travel. Locally, we have several that offer packages from casino deals to fall color tours. You park your vehicle where the bus meets, and from the minute you step on the bus, your weekend is arranged. They do all the driving; your meals are all arranged, as is your lodging and all of your entertainment. These were once advertised for those of the senior age who did not want to drive up the state during the fall to see the magnificent color changes of the leaves, or off to one of the casinos across the state for much the same reason. We all listened to our parents and grandparents rave about how much fun they had, and soon enough, everyone from young adults on up were soon taking advantage of these fun weekends. Destinations vary, and can differ depending on the season, but if you drive by as patrons are filling up the bus, you will notice people from their early twenties all the way through senior citizen boarding the buses.
Rent a Cabin
If you are after a weekend of quiet, and you want to forego as much hassle as possible, check to see if there are any vacation cabins close by. Dress code is jeans and a t-shirt, and if you pack a cooler, you do not even have to get dressed to go to a restaurant. Many campgrounds even rent cabins with fully stocked fridges. You provide them with a shopping list of what you would like, and they provide everything including a grill. While cabins packages such as these might not be available everywhere, they are more popular than some might know. Check your local yellow pages for cabin rental listings, or check with a local real estate agent to see if they are aware of any close by. If a lake is included, add your fishing pole or swim suit for the ultimate in weekend relaxation