Are you ready to get out of town but need to be careful with your spending? With a little creative thinking, you can plan a getaway that’s both affordable and entertaining.
Here’s how to take a weekend trip that is easy on your wallet but big on fun.
1. Grab Deals Spontaneously
One of the most interesting and adventurous ways to find an affordable getaway is to surf travel websites and simply snag the best deals. By remaining open-minded and flexible about destinations, Lifehacker points out you can save substantially on airfare.
A word of warning: This means you need to be prepared to leave at the drop of a hat. Plan to only pack a carry-on bag so you can avoid baggage fees. Have that bag packed and ready with your essentials, and know what you will do with your mail and any work obligations before you make the commitment.
Also, if you’re a dog owner, you’ll want to give your pooch special consideration. Do some research through reliable pet service sites so you are familiar with local options. Responsible and affordable pet care is out there, whether you opt for a sitter or boarder.
Read more: 7 Reasons Flight Comparison is Necessary Before Finalizing Tickets
2. Enjoy a Road Trip
Planning a road trip is a great way to break up your routine, and if you do some thinking ahead, you can likely find some wonderful destinations within a short distance. One suggestion is to weigh how far you would want to drive at the end of your workday on Friday evening and do some advance scouting.
You might be pleasantly surprised by the bargains within just a few hours, such as theaters and museums, state parks, and special events. Some attractions offer free days and discount days and times, so do your research in that regard as well.
Consider exploring a city that’s new to you, or take in some walking or driving tours. You might even let lodging prices determine your decision — just narrow your selection to a few destinations, check prices, and book your room. You can even pack a cooler to save money on food.
3. Split the Trip with a Friend
You can really stretch your travel budget by splitting expenses with other travelers. Why not gather a group? Be forewarned: Whenever you make getaway plans with friends, you need to communicate up front about expenses.
As Chime explains, you want to ensure all of your friends are in agreement about your destination, activities, and budget. There is nothing worse than having to leave someone in the hotel room because an activity is beyond their funds.
Read more: 20 Simple Ways to Save Money for Travel
4. Eating on the Cheap
It can be all too easy to overspend on food when you’re traveling. One suggestion for saving money on your meals is to avoid tourist areas and look for restaurants off the beaten path. Look for the hole-in-the-wall the locals are flocking to.
Better yet, ask some locals where the best food is and you’re sure to find some gems. You can also hit the grocery store to pick up a few snacks. Keeping your appetite in check will help keep spending in check, too.
5. Aim for the Off-Season
If you’re planning the details of your trip in advance, Money Crashers points out that waiting until the off-season can help you save substantially. Peak season can vary by location, so if you have a particular destination in mind, research when the busy times of year are since that’s when prices will be highest.
Along those same lines, inquire about special events. Conventions, sporting events, festivals, and other activities can trigger spikes in tourism and prices.
On a final note…
Planning a budget-friendly weekend getaway is very doable with some clever strategies and a great attitude. Be open-minded and make the trip about the adventure. With a little creativity, you can stretch your travel dollars and have a wonderful, refreshing time.
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Author's Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the company in question before planning your trip.
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40 thoughts on “How to Plan a Weekend Getaway That is Both Thrifty and Fun”
Thanks a lot for sharing a nice plan.
Glad you find it helpful!
I love to travel at least once a month so this is very helpful. Thank you!
Awesome! Glad you find the post helpful.
This is so helpful. Thanks for sharing
You are welcome. Glad you find it helpful.
I cannot eat just about anywhere. For an Asian traveler my stomach is just too sensitive. However, I am good at finding great & fantastic deals. Also, I am slowly learning the art of haggling in some countries where it’s practiced. Thanks for sharing such a helpful post.
I totally understand. Exotic foods are not for everyone! Now, I think I am a little bias, I also cannot eat just anywhere with kids. lol. Anyway, you are awesome! I leave the art of haggling to my husband. lol. Thanks for stopping by.
Very valuable advice. Locals do know the best places to eat. It can be a money saver and food will always be delicious.
Thanks for your input, Jasmeet!
I love wknd getaways. great tips thanks for sharing
Awesome. Glad you find the post helpful.
Thanks for the tips. As we like to travel often, it’s always nice to gather ideas.
Different travelers give a different perspective. Thanks for stopping by, Jolie.
These are really good tips. I love to go on road trips with my friends. Thank you.
Awesome! Keep exploring!
Great article. Itis full of helpful tips. 🙂 Been doing this with my family. 🙂
Your family’s adventures are great! I have read some of your posts. Never stop traveling!
I love road trips so I’m glad you touched on this. Sometimes this can be Ian inexpensive form of travel.
Thanks, Keshia. I would love to go on road trips. But I don’t have the patience to sit in the car for long hours. lol
Good ideas to plan weekend getaway without spending heavily while having lots of fun.
Thanks, Indu. Hope you find the post useful.
Love this! it gives me a lot of idea on how can go travel with budget 🙂 I have plan to go travel next year and I would love to follow all of these tips! great post!
Glad you find the post helpful! Good luck!
Perfect tips for travellers
Always appreciate the kind words, Gbadamosi.
Hun to be very honest, road trips are fun only when it is a trip but not when it becomes regular. I miss those late night road trips with friends and I kinda enjoyed reading it.
I know what you mean. I prefer traveling by plane! I don’t have the patience to sit in the car for long hours. lol. Thanks for stopping by, Monidipa.
My bf and I do the same. We love weekend getaways even its a drive thats 3 hours long. We leave early around 4am when there is no one on the road to avoid traffic, gas up and a quick healthy snacks like nuts until we get to our destination. Then explore and eat at a nice restaurant. ?
This is awesome! You guys are amazing! Thanks for these tips.
Thank you for writing this. I am trying to plan a 16th birthday trip for my daughter on a budget and you have inspired me to try a last minute deal!
I am sure your daughter will have a great time! Enjoy!
I guess that is the information which every one needs to get for a weekly trip
Thanks, Aqeel. Appreciate the kind words.
These are actually really good and fun tips to follow, thank you! Love a good adventure.
Thanks, Briana. Glad you find the post helpful.
Taking a break from our work is something that I am looking forward to. Though at current times, I still need to prioritize other equally important things that require funds. But looking at the suggestions presented in this post, I should say, we don’t need a lot of amount in order to spend a great weekend somewhere else. Such a helpful post!
Thanks, Sharon. I totally understand. We used to travel fulltime. But now we have other priorities. We travel to maybe a minimum of three destinations a year. Nothing wrong with prioritizing important stuff. We still have a ‘life’ beyond traveling.