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How to make the most of a long weekend getaway

When you’ve only got a few days of vacay, make it count!

Having an extra day added to your weekend can be a game changer. Whether it’s a national holiday or a day you took off, turning a Thursday into a Friday, or having Monday free (and avoiding the Sunday blues) is a big victory! 

A long weekend also opens up a world of travel opportunities. With the right destination, it’s a great amount of time to pack your bags, take off, maximize the fun, and return to kick off a new, shorter week fully recharged! Here are some tips for making the most of a treasured long weekend:

Be strategic with your travel time

Traveling through the night or waking up at 4:00AM is far from enjoyable. With a long weekend trip, you want to pick a destination within reach. If it’s in another time zone or hard to get to, that’s gonna eat up valuable relaxation and adventure hours. 

Pro tip: Have your bags packed and with you wherever you start your weekend. You can leave straight from work (maybe early), and arrive at your destination that night. Even if you arrive late, you’ll wake up on Day 1 with travel behind you. 

For quick trips, traveling light is your ticket to adventure.

You need less than you think

Overpacking can happen to almost anyone who owns a full-size suitcase! For a long weekend trip, here’s your packing list: Phone, wallet, keys, sunglasses, swimsuit, and two changes of clothes (including footwear). 

If you’re stuffing more than that into a bag with wheels, you won’t be light, nimble, and ready to say “yes” to the unexpected during your few days of freedom. Plus, you want some empty space to bring home your souvenirs. 

Pro tip: Stick to carry-on-sized luggage, but pack an empty bag inside. Odds are you can pick up unexpected necessities (rain jacket) at your destination, and you’ll be prepared to bring them home.

Did you know you can reach Nassau Bahamas in just a few days?

Do the mini version of a big vacation

Yes, you can travel abroad and island hop over a single weekend. Many travelers assume that a foreign destination or multiple cities requires weeks, but there are actually plenty of options for multi-day mini getaways. If you’re in reach of a coastal port, like Long Beach or Jacksonville, you can step onto a two-, three-, or four-night cruise and visit Mexico or The Bahamas, trips that’d normally take a week!  

Pro tip: Plan something big for each day. If you’ve got three days, that’s three adventures—scuba diving, sailing lesson, jungle trek… Whatever excursions you choose, you’ll maximize your trip and catalogue some memories of each day. 

Go with the right weekend crew

Whether it’s your spouse, sister, BFF, parent, or rec soccer teammate, you want to have the right travel partners for a long weekend getaway. You’re going for a short, action-packed adventure, so there’s no time for indecision or sleeping in. When your travel crew is on the same page, you can move quickly from spot to spot and see it all!

Pro tip: Take your long weekend vacation with people you’ve traveled with before. That way, you know what you’re getting into. With a first-time travel companion, it can take a couple days to get into a flow—you don’t have that kind of time!

Prepare for your return to the real world

A long weekend holiday can be just enough time to hit full vacation mode, so returning to reality can feel abrupt. If you’ve been maxing out every hour of fun, you might be exhausted when you return. Or if you’ve gone full zen and unplugged from every digital device, you’ll need to change gears quickly. Use your travel time back to reset for a smooth arrival.

Pro tip: Make it easy on yourself by pre-ordering a meal and some staple supplies to meet you at home. And aim to lighten your schedule and tasks on your first day back to your regular routine. 

Your long weekend vacation doesn’t need to end the moment you leave paradise. Bring home the excitement, the fun, and the memories of what you discover! The next long weekend will be right around the corner.