Having just returned last night from a spontaneous weekend trip about an hour train ride away from Berlin to Leipzig yesterday afternoon, I thought it would be a perfect time to talk about the benefits of a mini-weekend getaway. While we can’t always hop on a plane and jet set off to someplace exotic for two weeks, we can definitely still reap the benefits of travel by leaving our own hometown or city and exploring a new city or town nearby.
More than a stay-cation (which are also a great, but sometimes you just want a literal change of scenery) but not a full blown vacation, mini weekend trips are definitely the way to go if you are looking recharge your batteries over the weekend while staying within your budget and not having to dip into your work holidays.
So without further adieu, let us count the ways in which mini-weekend getaways kick some major ass.
It’s cost effective
You don’t always need to invest in an expensive plane ticket to the Bahamas to have a vacation. (Who ever said go big or go home has gotten it all wrong. Go moderate and have an awesome weekend, I say. Clearly my phrase isn’t half as plucky as it’s original, but you get where I’m going with this…)
For just the price of a tank of gas or a cheap bus or train ticket, you too can enjoy the pleasures of someplace new. Granted you have to invest a bit of money for a place to stay, but by booking a cheap hostel or motel for just Friday and Saturday night rather than a full 7-14 days, you will definitely be saving some moolah. Not looking to spend any money at all? Try couch-surfing or staying with a friend.
It’s environmentally friendly
There is no denying that traveling has a detrimental impact on the environment, which is very difficult to avoid when your destination needs getting to. Luckily, when escaping for a small weekend getaway to someplace nearby, flying can be avoided completely. So go ahead and book that bus ticket or hop on the train – you can even cut your CO2 emissions by taking the train, by up to 90%! And if you do opt for driving, you are still leaving a smaller carbon footprint than you would were you to fly. Just invite a bunch of friends along, and then it counts as carpooling!
It’s not too long
Do you know that feeling you get when you return from a 7-10 day long holiday? You arrive home and all you want to do is follow up with another holiday; one where you will actually allow yourself to kick back and relax. We all love cramming in all that there is to see to make our vacation days count, especially when we have invested in an expensive plane ticket, but the great thing about weekend trips is that they are short enough and low-pressure enough that you don’t have to put the sight-seeing on turbo mode. Hell, you can choose to just do one or two touristy things during the day and use the rest of the time to relax and sip cocktails at a local bar. Sounds like my kind of weekend, if you ask me.
… but not too short either
If you are in serious need of a bit of a re-boot, I think it really does help to actually allot the time for it and actually go somewhere that forces you to unplug and relax. Setting aside a full weekend is a perfect way to do it. Staycations can kind of be a bit of a pain in the arse since you have to set everything up and will still be tempted by your phone, laptop, and that endless to-do list rattling around your head. But when you have actually committed to leaving your area code you can really give in to the vacation gods that be.
It re-awakens your excitement for life
Sometimes we all just need a change of scenery. While I am the first one to say that life is all about finding the little joys each day and firmly believe you do not have to travel to far off places to live a fulfilling life full of wonder and all that jazz, we do need to change up our surroundings every now and then. But instead of skipping off to Timbuktu, just head out to a neighboring city or town – it’s amazing how just putting 60 miles between you and your current location can expose you to an entirely different local culture.
Have you recently taken a weekend getaway to areas nearby? Would love to hear about it in the comments below!
photography: Rae Tashman
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