Any hard worker and expert traveler knows that weekend getaways are the key to survival in the real world. If you do it right, you can turn those mere 48 hours into a full-blown adventure.
Without school vacations and while grinding 9-5 everyday, your travel bug must be treated on the weekends. With such little time, you need all the help you can get figuring out how to maximize your weekend trips. It’s an important skill in the real world. Right after paying rent.
If your budget is as tight as your schedule is, register for a StudentUniverse Youth account to tap into the holy grail of travel deals. Anyone under the age of 26 is eligible, not just college students. And you get $20 towards your first international flight when you sign up. Wink, wink. Nudge, nudge. Well, we know you’re short on time, since you are trying to get the most out of your weekend getaway after all, so let’s get into it.
Timing Is Everything
A simple, no-brainer but, it has to be said. Book your travel plans so that you can leave immediately after work on Friday afternoon and return as late as possible on Sunday evening. If possible, plan your trip during a long weekend such as Columbus Day or Memorial Day. Get paid and get away.
Pro Tip: Consider asking your boss to swap your Friday hours to work 7am-3pm or 8am-4pm instead of 9am-5pm. That way you can beat rush hour traffic and save money on an afternoon flight. Not to mention, evening flights have higher delays than afternoon flights, so get out of work before you end up spending all night in the airport. You need every minute (and dollar) you can get, right?
Location, Location, Location
You’ve heard the saying right? They might have been referring to real estate but, it’s just as relevant in maximizing weekend trips. When planning your getaway, choose a hotel most central to the attractions or downtown area.
It may cost a few extra bucks but who wants to spend an hour or more of their day going back and forth to the hotel in trains, cabs, etc.? Not a savvy traveler. In the end, you’ll spend the same amount because you can save money by walking everywhere instead of paying for public transportation. Plus, when you book your hotel with StudentUniverse, you can save up to 30% on your rooms, allowing you to ball out on the perfect location.
Feeling motivated to book yet? Wait until you see the cheap flights we’ve got lined up for you.
Maximize every precious minute by mapping out your entire trip beforehand. Find out which attractions are nearest to those restaurants whose menus you’ve been drooling over for weeks and spend the afternoon in that neighborhood. You won’t want to waste time hopping uptown and then downtown and back uptown again. Instead, map out which restaurants, attractions, shops are near each other and plan accordingly.
Also, research which museums and attractions require tickets to be purchased ahead of time and which of those restaurants need reservations weeks in advance. You might even save a few bucks by planning ahead. Many restaurants and entertainment have discounts, groupons, etc. that you can find with just a simple Google search.
Pack Your Walking Boots
If your schedule and the weather allows, walking between your activities allows you to see more of the city. Wander down the side streets and you’ll be amazed at the local shops and dining that you might discover. Take your time to stop and talk to the locals and don’t forget to ask for recommendations. You’re guaranteed to better maximize all of your weekend getaways if you avoid taking an uber to each destination.
You can’t see it all. Not in 48 hours at least. Before you arrive, jot down two lists. One list of must-sees and one list of maybes. Plan into your schedule all of your must sees, eats and dos and then with any extra time, choose your top maybes to tackle.
Pro tip: Pick a mix of tourist spots and local spots to get a real feel for the city and its culture.
So, Get to It
At StudentUniverse we make travel possible for any budget and any schedule. Check out our cheap flight and hotel deals and get booking. Afterwards, share your favorite cities to visit for weekend getaways and tips for making the most of your time with us and your fellow travelers.
When the group chat can’t decide where to go first…
Get inspired by our list of top US cities for 20 somethings. There are weekend getaways for everyone.