We get a lot of people always asking us how we are able to travel so much. Most of those questions really stem from a belief that we are full-time travelers, digital nomads, or online teachers just traveling the world together. Even as exciting as that may sound, we have decided not to go down that route. Instead, we travel mostly as weekend warriors! Weekend Warriors are those that plan epic trips, adventure, and explore on their free time, days off of work, and vacation time! Get it, “Part-Time” Tourists 😉 This lifestyle seemed ideal to us when we got married because we both had other aspirations! Steve wants to make a difference in the world by being an amazing healthcare administrator while I wanted to be a high school Spanish teacher (although my dream has shifted a bit during the last couple of years).
So you too also want to travel yet maintain a full-time job, go to school, etc? Well, this article has got you covered with everything you need to know about how to successfully rock the weekend warrior lifestyle! I’ll be using our trip to New York City this past summer as an example!
Planning is key
Since you don’t have too many days during the weekend, you have to maximize the time that you do have! Even if you don’t stick completely to your plan, it’s nice to have a general idea of what you are doing. It usually takes me a couple of days to plan out an epic weekend trip that covers our ideal hotel, best places to eat, top attractions we’d like to see, activities we would like to participate in, and a cool spot to take an epic photo! A big part of planning is making sure your budget is known before you go. If you are looking for some budget travel tips, this article has got you covered.
Start your weekend ASAP
Most of our weekend warrior trips start at 5:01 on Friday. As soon as we both clock out we are in adventure mode! Pack the night before so everything is already in the car if you plan on road tripping somewhere. For our NY trip, we knew that it was going to take us about 4 hours to get there. So we scheduled to leave work 2 hours early so we could enjoy dinner in NYC. If your boss is cool with you leaving an hour or two early, I would take advantage of that headstart and get to driving to avoid rush hour traffic from your own city.
Let’s face it. There is no way that you can see, do, and eat it all in just one weekend! This was especially true for NYC. Instead of trying to go to every place we wanted to go to, we made a list of what was most important to us. For Steve, it was seeing the 9/11 memorial. For myself, I really wanted to see the Statue of Liberty. Make a list of the top things that you want to see/do/eat and go from there.
Getting up early vs. sleeping in
This is always the question we ask ourselves! One of us loves to sleep in (it’s a mini-vacation after all) while the other has no problem getting up at the crack of dawn (I’ll let you decide who is who ha). Sleeping in allows you to relax and sleep away the stresses of the week that you just got through. While getting up early enables you to maximize your time and get the most out of your limited days. We have decided that it’s so important to make all parties happy when traveling…so we do both! Usually Saturday morning we get up early and spend a crazy day packing in as much as we can. We get up early and stay out late. Then when Sunday rolls around we sleep in. We go out and get a late breakfast, try and find a church nearby to attend a service, see any last minute sights, get a late lunch, and then we are off!
Try and avoid spending lots of time on social media and/or TV shows.
This point is pretty self-explanatory. There is plenty of time during the week to indulge in those activities, make your weekend count! I’m totally not saying that you shouldn’t watch a short episode or two once you’re back in for the night. When we get to our destination we usually wind down to the current Netflix show that we are watching. However, what I am saying is to make your time count. Be present and happy with your travel buddy(ies). This is something that I am still trying to get better at so in no way I am saying that I’ve mastered this skill.
Realize that it’s not possible to see/do it all.
This took me a long time to figure out. I have major FOMO and the thought of not getting to all the items on my bucket list used to drive me crazy! A weekend is hardly enough time to scratch the surface of the place that you are visiting. It’s okay. Don’t try and cram a lot into a couple of days. Be content with what you get to, and let the rest go. Plus. there is no one telling you that you can’t come back a second time 🙂
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