Monday, April 12, 2010

Recessionista Long weekends

We all need a break now and then. Taking advantage of long weekends is a great way to have a short break from your everyday life without the hassles of a lot of planning or major bucks. Here are some hassle free tips to get the most out of these ventures:

Do your research

Make sure that you surf the net for all of the deals that are out there. There are countless sites that can be used to find bargains at hotels. There’s and and The choices are endless, so be sure to spend some time doing the research before taking out the credit card. Consider hotels where they include breakfast. Hotel packages are often hassle free and include some extras that you may not have considered, such as cocktails or spa time. Another plus? Hotel packages often include tourist activities, like entrance to museums, special exhibits or shows.

Trains and automobiles

While it may be tempting to fly to certain destinations for a quick refresher weekend, you may want to consider short distance trips. They are less stressful and economical. Consider road-tripping it with your best friend or taking the train. The train offers great rates if you book early enough in advance and they often stop right downtown (no traffic to fight or parking to pay- and best of all, you don’t get lost!)

Munching and Lunching

When you go away, be sure to pack water bottles and snacks like granola bars or almonds. Considering that you’re likely to be very active going from one place to another during your trip, it’s best to budget for some cheap munches while you’re on the go and a decadent dinner later in the evening, when you have plenty of time to rest and enjoy a bottle of nice wine.

No itinerary

A truly relaxing weekend can be one where there is no itinerary or planned activities. Wander around the city, take in various sites and side streets that you may never have seen before, and when you see something interesting, go and explore it some more. This is a great way to unwind and get more familiar with a city where you may only know one side of it. Walking is free!

Shopping Time

Well, what’s a good weekend away without some shopping time? If you’re still hoping to have some fun on a smaller budget, then you need to budget your shopping time. Make sure that you put aside a bit of time for shopping and pre-set your budget limit before leaving. Better yet, withdraw your shopping cash before hitting the stores. Working with cash means that you can see where the money goes and you have to stop once the cash flow does.


An excellent way to take advantage of your long weekend on a shoestring budget is to stay at home. Take little day trips to local attractions and surrounding towns. You can skip the hotel and B and B rates by just hopping out for the day and coming home to your abode at night. Or explore your own town by going to places that you’ve never been before. Try that restaurant you’ve never been to before. Visit that museum you’ve heard about. See some local artists, theatre or food markets. A stay-cation is also a good opportunity to indulge in all your city has to offer by scouting out the best local latte, the best local martini, and the best local food.

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