How you can plan a thrifty and safe weekend trip

How you can plan a thrifty and safe weekend trip

I love my child, and I know you love your children. But, as with any healthy relationship a little time apart is important. It’s important for you as a parent to get a little break and invest in self-care or building your relationship with your spouse. And it’s important for your child to learn how to cope and interact with another trusted care-giver. It’s been a long 6 months in this pandemic. Time where we have all been huddled together at home with no space, and while I have treasured things about this time; I have to be honest, I needed a break to just breathe and be with my husband. Date night has not been a priority the last 6 months. Mostly because there was nowhere to go, and partly because of being too tired from full days with a toddler and working part time from home. So, when my husband had a work trip a few hours out of town in wine country we decided to make it an overnight get away. You may need some time away too, either with your significant other, with girlfriends, or even by yourself for a night, so here is how to plan a thrifty and safe weekend trip.

Safety of an overnight trip

We are still in a pandemic, but with reasonable precautions you can have a safe weekend trip. Hotels and restaurants are going above and beyond to sanitize and clean. And with the nice fall weather it’s still an option to be mostly outside while enjoying restaurants and other activities. In fact plan your trip around being outdoors and away from crowds. After 6 months of lock downs and restrictions some time outdoors is what we all need! Also make sure you bring along sanitizing wipes and plenty of hand sanitizer. When stopping to use the restroom along the road make sure to wash your hands extra well and for an added bonus use hand sanitizer once back in the car. When you get to your hotel for the night wipe everything down, even though the hotel has increased its cleaning procedures, an abundance of caution is called for. I felt better knowing I had personally wiped down every counter, touch point, and light switch in our room. For more details on Hotel safety, make sure to read this article from Business Insider.

Decide how long, with who, and where

First decide what works best for your schedule, with a toddler a mid-week over night was good for me. But, maybe you are in the thick of distance learning and can’t be away during the week and want to plan a weekend. Next who are you traveling with? If you are married, this is a great opportunity for you and your spouse to reconnect during a challenging season. And you already live in the same house so no worry about the other person being exposed to Covid. Or maybe you have a significant other you see regularly and need to spend some time with. If you are a single mom and need a break, see if a girl friend or two are available to travel with you. Make sure your travel companions are on the same page when it comes to reducing exposure before and during the trip. Last, decide where to go. I would recommend somewhere that is outdoors or nature focused. Plan to travel somewhere with activities that can be enjoyed outdoors and away from crowds. Make sure to do your research before going so you know what is open, what is closed, and what has modified restrictions. For example, many hotel pools require reservations and most still have hot tubs closed.

Thrifty Ideas

Look for deals. It’s no secret that the travel industry is struggling due to the pandemic. So, many are offering deals and generous cancelation policies to entice guests back. Look for a location that is within driving distance, so up to 4 or 5 hours away. Also I recommend checking Groupon or Travelzoo. I’ve found great deals many times through these websites.

Do your research to plan low cost or free activities.

  • Zoos and Aquariums – many have opened the outdoor portion of their facility at a great discount.
  • Hiking – you might have to pay a few dollars for parking but this is the ultimate low cost and socially distanced activity. You can even pack your own lunch to save more money.
  • Food or drink tasting – many cities have food tours, breweries or wineries for tasting. Make sure to check if reservations are needed and if they are outdoors for safety. On our getaway we visited a winery. Since it was mid-week we had the whole patio to ourselves!
  • Pool time – make reservations ahead of time for your hotel pool and enjoy socially distant time in the sun. And it doesn’t cost you anything extra.

Keep food costs down

Part of the fun of travel is splurging on some fun or fancy meals! I love trying new restaurants. But, make sure to balance higher cost meals with more budget friendly options.

Make sure your hotel room has a fridge and a microwave then buy some readymade food at the grocery store. Don’t forget to bring along the disposable plates and silverware too. On our last trip we saved by shopping at Trader Joes for dessert and breakfast. You could easily buy lunch too!  By enjoying microwave chocolate lava cakes back at our hotel we saved $5 over the cost of dessert at the restaurant. At breakfast we enjoyed microwavable broccoli and cheddar quiche, a premade mango smoothie, and scones. In a restaurant this meal would have easily cost over $30 for my husband and me but, it was just $15 buying at Trader Joes.  I love the lunch wraps and salads at Trader Joes as well. It’s easy to pick up a delicious picnic lunch on the go and save more money on eating out.

Whatever you decide enjoy your time away. Being a parent during this season has been extra difficult. You have been there for your family 24/7. It is possible to have a fun and safe weekend with a little planning ahead!


fun and safe weekend trip

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