Escaping for a long weekend can be the best, right? But these tragic—and totally avoidable—blunders can turn your quick getaway into “get me outta here!”
Here, things to know before you go according to Budget Travel:
Booking a hotel too far from the action
This is the biggest mistake that travellers make when planning short getaways. It generally takes time to get to and from a city when you stay farther out, and you’re going to have to pay more for transport, too.
Trying to make the most of every second
Figure out your goals for the trip ahead of time and then schedule your activities accordingly. And be realistic about what you can actually see in just a couple days. In the end, it all comes down to personal preference—think about what you’re looking to get out of your getaway and what you and your travel partners can sanely handle. After all, the last thing you want is to come back from your vacation feeling like you need a vacation.
Booking a flight with multiple connections
The flights that float to the top when you’re looking for cheap airfare on sites like Orbitz or Expedia are usually the ones that involve switching planes at an airline’s hub. It’s a fine way to save some dollars—until you find yourself spending extra hours on layovers and facing potential delays. “It’s worth it to pay extra to get the nonstop option, especially when you have a short amount of time in a place,” says DiScala, who logs more than 150,000 air miles per year, “If there are cancellation or weather delays in a hub city, there goes your vacation.” It’s also worth avoiding destinations that require various forms of transportation to reach, such as islands only accessible by an infrequent ferry or resorts that require a private shuttle ride (especially one that doesn’t depart until other passengers have arrived).
Dressing for only one part of the day
Does anyone still wear fanny packs and those zip-off cargo pants anymore? We hope not. When your time is limited, avoid dressing like a tourist on urban exploration, which most likely requires heading back to the hotel to change for the evening. The key is smart layering. For both men and women, a thin T-shirt with a cardigan or blazer is a good way to go in temperate climates. And for footwear, opt for comfortable leather shoes instead of the sneakers from your gym bag. Plus, choosing clothes that you can wear all day and into the night makes packing a breeze, and diminishes the chance that you will have to check a bag.
Mapping out where you are—once you get there
Unless you’re fine with just seeing where the wind blows you—and hey, we’re all for spontaneous travel at times—you’ll lose a lot of time on the ground if you don’t have at least an idea of the layout of your destination before you arrive. If you are going international, grab cash from the ATM at the airport so you don’t have to search out a bank near your hotel. Study maps before you leave and figure out the best route to take from your hotel to the attractions and restaurants you plan to visit.