I’m all about long-term travel; last summer I spent three months abroad. But during the school year, us college students have classes all week and don’t really have the opportunity to travel for more than a few days at a time. It’s the same idea with those who work full-time or have obligations during the week, which constitutes most of the working world.
Fortunately for you, there’s an easy way to travel that’s often fairly inexpensive. The key is to maximize your weekends by visiting locations nearby or locations that are easily accessible.
This past weekend, I traveled to Virginia from Houston, and it was a pretty easy leap that was certainly worth the investment. You can take weekend trips like this too with just a few easy tips!
1. Be smart about booking airfare. Cheap airfare comes and goes, but you’re more likely to find it if you book on a Tuesday or Wednesday around six weeks in advance. I am signed up for Airfare Watchdog, which sends me alerts about cheap airfare from my local airport. I’d definitely recommend it, as it usually sends information about unadvertised or very inexpensive last-minute deals. Kayak is also another great website for finding deals and comparing prices between airlines and different dates.
2. Try to travel by train or bus if possible. You can avoid the hassle of airports and security by simply taking ground transportation. For example, a bus ticket from Virginia to New York City costs around $20, less than the price of a dinner for two. These methods of transportation are convenient and inexpensive, and sometimes offer a pretty scenic route as well.
3. Visit cities with good public transit. How are you going to get around once you get to your destination? Well, if you’re like me and you don’t have a car, often times public transit is the way to go. Public transit is a cheap way to traverse a city. In Chicago, where I plan to take a day trip soon, the metro goes straight from the airport. This is a great setup because, instead of paying dozens of dollars for a taxi or shuttle, I can simply take the metro for just a few dollars.
4. Know what you want to do. It’s best to have a rough plan of what you want to do throughout your weekend so that you will be more likely to be able to fit it all into your short time frame. This will also help you save money and get around more efficiently. You’ll also have more time to deviate from your path if the opportunity presents itself.
5. Pack light. This tip is invaluable for any traveler on any trip, but especially for short, weekend getaways. That extra pair of shoes? Leave them. That second fancy suit? Forget it. Extra, unnecessary items will weigh you down, which can hinder you from seeing a lot of things you could have easily seen otherwise.
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