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5 Tips for Planning a Weekend Getaway

Moving from NYC to Colorado pushed us to adjust to a new lifestyle and get used to being in unfamiliar territory. In return, we’ve learned to face new adventures head on and make the most of them. Instead of shying away from new experiences, we wholeheartedly seek them out and, in fact, have a running list of things we want to try, see, or do!

5 Tips for Planning a Weekend Getaway // Bubbly Design Co. (image from Zazzle)via }

Our next big adventure will be a three-day weekend in San Francisco. T-man originally planned this as a surprise one-year wedding anniversary trip, but based on some life events, we decided to postpone until November — and the trip is finally just around the corner!

As I’ve been prepping for and planning our trip, I was reminded how the anticipation of a fun event can create just as much, if not more happiness than the actual event itself. Have you ever found that to be true? The list-maker and planner in me loves that idea and figured you might, too. So, I’ve got a few tips to maximize your own planning and anticipation for your next weekend getaway!

Tip #1 for Planning a Weekend Getaway Thanks largely to social media, we’re all able to stay connected to a broader range of people than I ever expected and luckily, we have friends in most major cities and places in between. No matter where you might be headed, I suggest starting the brainstorming process by polling your audience of family and friends for advice.

Do I know anyone who has lived there or lives there currently? Who do I know who has traveled there before? Who might be willing to give me some insider tips? I might start with some personal inquiries and e-mails, but I often take this to social media as I did recently on Instagram { I still want your San Fran tips, by the way! }.

Tip #2 for Planning a Weekend Getaway

Growing up, my parents always kept a map in the car. Whether they knew the area or not, it was a safeguard in a time before Google Maps and iPhones, and it taught me the value of understanding the lay of the land. To this day, I still think it’s vital to study a map before traveling somewhere new.

The point is not to memorize all of your routes, but just to have a general sense for the places you’d like to see, how close or far things are from one another, and what sights and restaurants might make sense to visit in the same day. With only 2 or 3 days in a weekend trip, you don’t want to waste precious time doubling back on yourself or sprinting across town.

Tip #3 for Planning a Weekend Getaway

After you have the lay of the land, I suggest creating a rough itinerary. Especially with trips to big cities or popular destinations, you may need to purchase tickets or make reservations in advance. By knowing the lay of the land, and getting a sense for your must-see places, you can sketch out what your visit will look like. My favorite way to do this is with Google Maps { simple tutorial coming soon! }. Here’s a sneak peak at what we’ll be up to…

Tip #3 for planning a weekend getaway - make a Google Map itinerary

Yes, there’s a lot we want to accomplish, but there’s something else that’s important…Bubbly Design Co: Tips for planning a weekend getaway - leave room for spontaneityMy one caution in itinerary creation is to leave some flex room because, let’s be honest, things may not go quite as you planned. Whether it be a rainy day that makes it unappealing to go on that great hike { fingers crossed that doesn’t happen! } or a thrilling row of shops you just can’t pull yourself away from, you want to have some ability to be spontaneous in your trip.

Putting some parameters or formal plans in place helps me feel like I’m going to maximize our trip, but it’s often the unplanned times that we stumble into our favorite { often non-touristy } experiences. Try to carve out time for wandering or exploring without a destination, even if it’s just one hour between your museum tour and dinner reservation. Bubbly Design Co // Tips for planning a weekend getaway - consider transportation

My last tip is closely related to #2. While studying a map, consider, book, or at least familiarize yourself with your transportation options, too. In the case of San Francisco, it’s a fairly walkable or Uber-able city { so I’ve been told }, but we really want to make it out to see the redwoods and that’ll require a rental car. If I hadn’t looked at a map, I might never have known that at all and we could’ve missed out on that experience.

If you know you’ll be riding the subway all weekend, look at getting a multi-day pass to save money OR, maybe a 5-hour drive to your destination would be worth it instead of flying so you have more options to get around town. Either way, a little advance planning will make for a smoother weekend trip!

Even if you’re not a planner at heart, I hope these 5 tips will help build up your excitement for your next weekend trip! And, if you have your own tips or advice for planning or preparing for a weekend getaway, I’d love to hear them in the comments below!

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