How to Make a Cheap Weekend Getaway Trip

How to Make a Cheap Weekend Getaway Trip

For those of you who are traveling on a budget or cannot get extended time off work, consider a weekend getaway trip to a popular city. Find out more about how to make a cheap weekend getaway trip.

I once created the ‘Cheap Weekend Getaway Trip’ to maximize the number of cities or countries I could visit on a trip. This method allowed me an opportunity to see a city and/or its surroundings without spending the typical one-week vacation there. On day one, I took an organized tour, and on day two, I explored the city on my own.

Sometimes a long vacation far away can in fact be more exhausting than relaxing. That’s why a cheap weekend getaway can be more rejuvenating. And if you’re ready for some time away to decompress, or you just need a change of scenery, don’t miss the chance to save money on a cheap weekend trip. Even though weekends can mean higher rates on hotels, flights, and travel packages, a little planning and extra digging for travel deals can get you on the road to a frugal adventure.


After researching what I found to be the most interesting landmarks in a desired destination, I booked a tour for the first day that covered the majority of these landmarks. This enabled me to get the lay of the land in a particular city. Tour guides offer a wealth of information, not just about the sights and landmarks, but also the local cuisine and landmarks. Travelers to Scandinavia can for example get tons of information and inspiration about Scandinavia by reading Daily Scandinavian and using the search function for desired topics.

On the second day I often revisited the places I enjoyed from the tour or went somewhere entirely new. This is a good time for just enjoying a beach or try hidden gem restaurants that only the locals know about. Personally, I enjoy sitting in a corner-café watching the world go by on a cobblestone street. Such a two-day stay allows you to see the more famous historical landmarks while taking in the culture and beating heart of a city, albeit through a brief snapshot.

Longer vacations can also cost a lot of money compared to a smaller weekend getaway. Because it’s just for one weekend, you usually don’t have to take any time off of work either. All of this makes cheap weekend getaways the best solution for preventing burnout and getting the rest and relaxation you deserve.

How to Make a Cheap Weekend Getaway Trip
A cheap weekend getaway can be more rejuvenating. Photo: Amtrak

Procrastination can in fact pay off when it comes to cheap weekend trips. Waiting until the last minute to book a flight or vacation package usually means fewer choices that could come with higher than average rates. However, you may be able to score a competitive price on your flight, hotel, or vacation package by taking advantage of last-minute deals.

If time and budget allow, try taking the modified three-day-stay approach. This one mirrors the two-day stay outlined above but allows for an extra day to take a day trip outside the city, or to a nearby town. Here’s an example of a trip I planned in Bordeaux, France:

*  Day One: 2.5-hour city tour that included most of the cultural and historical sites inside      the city limits.

* Day Two: 10-hour tour to Saint Emillion that included a visit to one of the 700+ wineries     in the district.

* Day Three: Relax in the city to visit restaurants, neighborhood cafes and bars in or near     historical buildings.

How to Make a Cheap Weekend Getaway Trip
A three-day stay allows you to get a more in-depth view of a country by checking out a region outside of your chosen arrival city in a particular country. Photo: Visit Bergen

The three-day stay allows you to get a more in-depth view of a country by checking out a region outside of your chosen arrival city in a particular country. Perhaps many of you will balk at this approach, but every single person that has traveled with me so far has become a believer and loves this method of exploring the world on a budget without taking long leaves of absence.

The key to planning such a successful weekend vacation on a budget is to plan your trip activities and finances well. Making an airtight vacation budget will help you get the fun and rest you need while keeping your wallet from suffering.

How to Make a Cheap Weekend Getaway Trip
The cathedral in Bordeaux. Photo: Tor Kjolberg/Daily Scandinavian.

One way to save on cheap weekend getaway trips is to find undercover and secret deals on hotel websites and third-party sites. With this type of bargain, you often won’t know the name of the hotel until you click to make your purchase. I have had success with a site called Hotwire. If you can tolerate a little mystery, you can be rewarded with a deep discount on your reservation, and these offers usually include stays at brand name hotels. With some providers, you can snag a deep discount and still choose your date, location, and star rating, and then you’ll learn the hotel’s name after booking.

As a bonus on a short stay, you won’t spend a lot of money only to find out that a certain destination does not have that much to offer and you wish you had only planned a few days there. That has happened to me on a few occasions. One such time was during a trip to Egypt. We simply booked too many days in Sharm el-Sheik as it doesn’t have a lot to see. We stayed there a few days too long and simply rotted until our flight back home. We did, however, make a day trip to the pyramids in Cairo and a trip on the Nile. But I could have saved money and spent time in a location with more to see and do.

So first, figure out where you’re going and how you’ll get there. Maybe you want a beach vacation with water sports and white sand beaches, or maybe you want to visit the local hall of fame or museums. You could even just go to a nearby city, spend a day on a nice golf course, and spend the evening listening to lively music downtown.

How to Make a Cheap Weekend Getaway Trip
Take an organized tour on your first day. Photo: First Bus Aberdeen.

Following airlines on social media and signing up for their email newsletters to find special offers and save money on cheap weekend trips is also a good idea.

As I mentioned before, each person has his or her own preferred style of travel – and there is no right or wrong. However, I recommend you to try this method at least once. It is a great way to see more of the world in small snippets. Remember that you can always return to cities and countries you enjoyed at a later date and spend more time there. I have returned many times to London, Prague, Budapest, Rome, Malaga, Berlin and many more.

How to Make a Cheap Weekend Getaway Trip, written by Tor Kjolberg

Feature image (on top) ©


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