Due to the convenience associated with longer weekends, many people opt for weekend getaways. Not only do weekend getaways cost less, but they also allow you to not miss work or other commitments, and do not require large luggage (even a single pink suitcase is often enough to accommodate everything you would need on your weekend vacation).
As per Budget Your Trip, the average per day vacation cost for a single person amounts to $224. This means that a 2-day trip will cost $448 on average, a 3-day vacation would be $672, a 4-day vacation $896, and so on. That said, you can save even more money on your weekend getaway by making financially smart choices, such as:
- Booking trips in the off-season
- Booking the trip well in advance
- Splitting costs between fellow travelers, whenever possible
- Avoiding large luggage and traveling light
- Using a prepaid debit card for your vacation spending
Planning a Weekend Vacation on a Budget
As mentioned above, managing your finances well is the key to planning a successful weekend getaway on a tight budget. By making frugal decisions, you can get your much-needed break and relaxation without needing to break the bank.
When planning a budget weekend getaway, you should consider the following elements of your trip:
Decide where you want to go and the transportation options available to you. Perhaps you are looking for a beach vacation with sandy beaches and water sports, or want a more historical excursion. You can even carry a single trunk luggage and visit a nearby city, spending the day playing golf and enjoy a bit of live music once the sun begins to set.
Once you have picked your travel destination, you need to choose an economically feasible way to get there. While some modes of transportation offer greater speed and comfort, they also increase the strain on your wallet. Weigh the pros and cons and pick an option that strikes the best balance between cost and convenience.
The second thing to figure out is your place of accommodation once you reach your destination. Whether you go for a conventional hotel or choose something more unorthodox like couch surfing or home-stays, there are quite a few ways to save money on lodging. If you need kid-friendly, family-friendly, or pet-friendly lodgings, remember to also factor that into your decision.
You can save money by finding cheap Airbnbs, campgrounds, or hostels. If you are a frequent traveler, buying some camping gear and carrying it in your trunk luggage may be a smart idea. Many hotels also offer membership packages you can sign up for to enjoy free or discounted accommodation in the future.
Eating costs may seem innocuous, but can easily take up the biggest portion of your overall travel expenses. Thankfully, you can save a lot of money by packing your own meals and snacks in your favorite pink suitcase, so you do not have to spend money every time you feel a hunger pang.
For a camping trip, you can pack your trunk luggage with coolers and food bags with nonperishable items. If the plan is to stay at an Airbnb or a hotel, try finding one with a kitchenette so that you can make meals instead of buying them.
Create a vacation itinerary so you know exactly what you will be spending money on while at the destination. By preparing an entertainment schedule before time, you will know beforehand how much each activity costs and what you can and cannot afford to spend money on.
By making your vacation fun a part of your budget, you can avoid feelings of regret later on.
Weekend Getaway Ideas
1. New York City
The Big Apple is back in business! Not that it ever went out of it, but there was certainly a more subdued vibe during the peak of the pandemic.
Now, however, restaurants are starting to fully open, the music is returning, and the neon Broadway lights are shining in all their glory.
2. Park City, Utah
During winters, Park City turns into a wonderland offering snowboarding, skiing, and plenty of other outdoor adventures. Come summer, the mountains turn lush green and encourage outdoor enthusiasts to spend their day biking and hiking.
Taking a Utah road trip and checking out the national parks is another way to enjoy a mini vacation in the Beehive state.
3. London, United Kingdom
London, with its abundance of attractions and activities, walks right into any weekend destinations list.
There are plenty of places that offer excellent views, numerous restaurants promising diverse and delicious cuisines, and a number of bars and secret spots that you absolutely need to check out.
Oh, and did we mention the mesmerizing London palaces and the Harry Potter Warner Bros. Studio tour?
4. Paris, France
Paris is another great weekend getaway choice, especially for travelers who love a city break.
While visiting Paris is always a good decision, the city –with its picnics, dinners, and outdoor festivities – is particularly inviting during the summer.
Since Paris has a lot of grandeur to offer, we strongly recommend coming with a vacation plan and routing out all your stops, so that you do not end up missing any of the sites most important to you.
Want to check out the Eiffel Tower, Champs Elysees, Moulin Rouge, Shakespeare and Company, and the Musee D’Orsay? Grab your pink suitcase and hop on the metro.
5. Brussels, Belgium
A city that is equal parts quirky and regal, Brussels offers the perfect weekend option for travelers seeking a well-rounded experience.
Sample the chocolate at Manneken Pis, stroll around the Mini-Europe Park, awe at the beauty of the Grand Place, and learn the history behind the Smurfs.
6. Berlin, Germany
Berlin is an awesome blend of historical, contemporary, sleek, and artsy. How you spend your weekend in Berlin is entirely up to you, since, regardless of your hobbies and interests, the city will have something to offer.
If you are a history buff, you can check out the New Museum or Jewish Museum. Art enthusiasts, meanwhile, can visit the Neukolln or Kreuzberg districts. For a more refined artistic experience, head to Mitte.
7. Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Alongside being tremendously picturesque, Amsterdam is one of the most pedestrian- and bike-friendly cities in all of Europe. Like Berlin, Amsterdam also has plenty to offer to everyone.
When in Amsterdam, make sure to visit at least one of the many awesome museums (Van Gogh, Resistance, or Rijksmuseum are all excellent choices). Other than that, you can check out the Anne Frank house, stroll around the artsy Jordan district, enjoy a canal cruise, and explore the Old Town.
A weekend getaway is an excellent way to rejuvenate your burnt-out self without having to hurt your wallet; take time off work; or go through the hassle of carrying, storing, and protecting a large luggage.
Even if you are on a tight budget, we hope that this guide will help you plan a memorable and refreshing weekend vacation.