Weekend traveling is probably my favorite kind of traveling, especially for study abroad students. This kind of traveling is particularly fantastic for people already living in Europe (where you have a home-base to work from), but can also work for people living almost anywhere in the world! I’ve done weekend trips while living in France and Wales to countries all over Europe, but I’ve also done them while living in Pennsylvania. Many people thing that the amount of time you have in a weekend is simply too short to get anything out of a trip, but that just isn’t true! The weekend is what you make of it, if you plan correctly you can see a lot of a city in a weekend. What’s that saying? “The world is your oyster!”
Pick your flights wisely. If you’re planning to fly to your destination, it might seem like a great idea to pick a flight in the middle of the night on Friday or very early Saturday morning, but be sure you’ll actually be able to get to your flight at those strange hours. If you’re planning on using public transportation to get to the airport, buses or trains may not run at those times, and that might leave you paying for an extra night in an airport hotel. If you can, try to leave on a Friday afternoon so you know you’ll be able to get to the airport, and you’ll also get a bit of extra time in your destination!
Book in a timely manner. By this I don’t mean book early, I mean book when it’s cheapest to book! The general consensus is that Tuesdays and Wednesdays are the days when fares are the cheapest, and I’ve found this to be generally true. Another good trick is to put a price alert on Skyscanner, they’ll give you updates when the price for your fare goes up or down. Just don’t wait too long, because your gamble may end with you paying an extra $150 for a flight (not that this has happened to me or anything…)
Maximize your time. My other tips for maximizing your experience will also apply, but you also want to make sure your getting the most out of your limited time in this new city. Don’t waste your time sleeping in if there are a lot of sights that you want to see! If your plan for the weekend is a more relaxed one, then by all means, sleep away, but be sure that you know how much time you’ll need to see what you want to see. Sleep is for your own bed!