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Ideas from an Australian in London on making the most of weekend getaways

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Balancing the desire to travel with the reality of working nine to five can prove a difficult feat, but full-time work certainly doesn’t mean only travelling when your annual leave permits. A weekend getaway is the perfect way to get a bite-sized glimpse into new, inspiring destinations – and, if done right, sometimes a bite is all you need.

To guarantee you get the most out of your two days away, follow these tips:

Location

Although travelling to another continent may sound more enticing, it’s probably not the most practical for a weekend away. Instead, stick to somewhere close by and easily accessible, so you can spend most of your time exploring, instead of trekking there. Less-known destinations are great for weekend trips; leave the cities full of popular tourist attractions for when you have more time and, instead, go somewhere lesser-known and wander the streets.  You may well be surprised with what you find!

Getting there

Explore all transportation options; the fastest or cheapest doesn’t always equate to the most efficient – unless it’s both fast and cheap! Leave on Friday night and take an overnight bus or train, often cheaper than flying. The Eurostar on Saturday morning is also a great option if your destination is connected to it. Depending on when and where you’re going, flying can also be a cheap and quick way to get there.

Accommodation

Find somewhere close to the action. You’ll want something as central as possible to avoid wasting time making your way to and from your accommodation.

Packing light

Avoid wasting time trekking to and from your accommodation to pick up and drop off kit – instead, pack as light as possible. A weekend trip away doesn’t call for much, so only pack the essentials with an easy to carry bag that won’t weigh you down.

Don’t pack too much into your day

Since you’re strapped for time, avoid the temptation of cramming as much as possible into two days. Instead, pick a few things you’d like to do and spend more time experiencing these.

Keep your schedule flexible

Make sure your schedule is flexible, as you never know what you may stumble upon, or what could come up. That trip up the Eiffel tower can wait, while you indulge in an amazing pastry you’ve found in a back street local patisserie.

Ready to conquer a weekend escape? Here are some popular weekend escapes from the UK to get you started:

Berlin – There are often incredibly cheap flights from the UK to Berlin (sometimes as low as £8) and, with sights including Museum Island and The East Side Gallery (located on the remains of the Berlin wall) it’s well worth the trip.

Copenhagen – Copenhagen is another option where you can find cheap flights from the UK. Enjoy people watching in coffee shops, walk along the Nyhavn harbour and explore Tivoli Gardens, a 19th century amusement park.

Paris – A weekend trip to Paris is basically a rite of passage for anyone living in the UK – and rightly so, as it is one of the easiest places to get to. With some of the most famous landmarks in the world, it’s no wonder so many flock there each weekend.

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