5 Tips For Taking An Incredible Weekend Getaway

Words/Images by Emilee Morehouse

This month will mark my one year anniversary of moving back from Paris, France. Paris, I know. You’re probably thinking, "What a dream that must have been." And to some extent, it was. But, while Paris is such a beautiful city, there was always something missing, for me. And I didn’t realize what it was until I made my way back to the Pacific Northwest.

Mountains. Oceans. Evergreen trees.  

Born and raised in Washington State, I had always taken the natural grandeur for granted. But ask any nature enthusiast, and they’ll tell you about the beauty of the PNW. From mountains to rainforests the #upperleftusa is filled with spots to explore, and trails that draw some of country’s most adventurous explorers (and exploresses!).

If there was one lesson I learned from living in France it was how to take a break from day to day life. The French are experts at taking it easy, and enjoying the little moments that life offers. One of the biggest things I noticed was how comfortable everyone was to take short distance and weekend getaways.

When I moved back, I decided to carry this back into my American life, and I’ve started doing so with a few weekend getaways. One of my favorite recent trips to Camano Island, one of the many islands located in Puget Sound, which is an inlet of the Pacific Ocean.

For one weekend we decided to rent a cabin with my favorite tool, Airbnb, and take some time away from our busy city lives. No wifi, no cable. Just the two of us exploring. 

Taking these shorter trips has taught me a lot about how important it is to have time away and relax. It has also shown me that I don’t need to pay hundreds of dollars, and fly thousands of miles in order to feel refreshed from a vacation. Wondering how it's done? Here are my tips to taking an incredible weekend getaway:

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1. Limit Your Distance: One of the things I think is really important is limiting yourself to a short distance. For us, we try to keep total travel time (driving, ferry etc.) at around 2 hours. That way we’re getting far enough out of the city, but our travel time isn’t eating up our vacation time. This also allows us not feel rushed; if we want, we can sleep in and make stops at shops and spots along the way.

2. Budget Your Resources: The point of a vacation is to relax. So don’t put yourself in a position where you’re stressing out about how much you're spending, what kind of place you’re staying at etc. You know what feels right for you, so stay within your budget and remember that you can always cut costs by booking a spot with sites such as Airbnb. If you're traveling with a friend also, split the costs. If I pay for the Airbnb, then they pay for the food and the gas. Remember that it's not about how much you pay, it's about taking time to chill. Don't put yourself in a position where you're stressing out even more. 

3. Say No To Temptation: I’ll be the first to say that I’m a workaholic, so I make a conscious efforts to stay in places that don’t have WiFi. Why? Because I know that if there’s WiFi I’ll find some reason to be on my computer or working. And that’s not what it’s about. You’re supposed to be getting away from all that, remember?

4. Spend Time On Planning: I am the biggest planner in the world. And you know what? I very rarely do anything that I plan to do, when I travel. That being said, I always have a plan. So if things don’t go the way they were supposed to, and there’s a lag in options, I always have a plan B. The reason I plan so much is because being prepared cuts down on stress. And even though I have no real love of planning, I hate being stressed out even more. Save yourself the panic, and know the details of where you’re going, what you’d like to visit/see while you’re there, and any other fun spots you want to hit (think restaurants, museums, state parks etc.). 

5. Have Fun! This might sound corny, but it really is an important part of your mini vacation. Taking time off is about you having some personal time. So bring that book you’ve always wanted to finish reading, or a card game you haven’t played in ages. Take some time off from being an adult, and eat junk food for dinner. Bring that sketchbook or watercolors you haven’t had time for. Remember that this time is for you, by you. Make sure you’re having fun along the way!

Don’t ever take the place you’re living for granted. I’m a firm believer that there are interesting things to explore in or around just about every city. So what are you waiting for!? Get out there and find that adventure, even if it’s just a couple of hours away from your house. You might be surprised by what you find.