Central Coast, NSW

Key steps to a great weekend away

By Kath for the Weekender Travel

September 9, 2020 | 4 minute read

What's the most important ingredient for a great weekend away? Sun-splashed beach? Gourmet dining? Adventure activities? Or family-friendly fun? 

Well the truth is - it's none of them. It's not your destination or style of travel that makes for a great weekend away. Instead, take these three simple steps and we're pretty sure your weekend will hit the spot. Here they are! 

Find a place to stay that fits your mood

If you're like me, there's really nothing better than walking into a beautiful holiday home or apartment, popping your bags down and sinking into the luxury of a place to stay that's better than home. In fact, I think half the fun of going away is choosing the right accommodation. But for many people, the choice of where to stay is not so clear. So how do you pick the best home away from home to make your weekend a success? 

First up, give some thought to the type of feeling you want to experience on your weekend away. Do you want to feel spoilt, relaxed, unplugged? Are you planning a romantic weekend?  If you're looking to escape, perhaps a cabin in the bush or a cottage on a farm will give you the serenity you're craving. 

If you’re road-tripping with the girls, a beachfront apartment or country villa may offer the luxury and pampering you’re looking for. And if it's a family weekend away, make sure your abode has enough space for the kids to play, as well as a comfortable spot for the adults to sit back, relax and (maybe) take in a view.   

The point is - choosing your accommodation is not only about practicalities (bedrooms, bathrooms, location), it's also about whether your selection will help you to tap into the feeling or mood that drove you to book your getaway in the first place. Once you know how it is you want to feel on your trip, finding the right place will be so much easier.   

Connect locally 

Ok, we're not saying you have to go to the local football match or head down to the local pub. But many travellers report that connecting with locals in the place they're visiting adds something extra to a weekend away. 

So, first off, choose a destination that matches your interests, the type of events you like to experience or even hobbies you don’t have time for in everyday life. For example, if you love wine tasting and gourmet food, the locals in the Hunter Valley, Orange, Yarra Valley of the Barossa are going to be great to chat with. Similarly, if surfings your thing, it won't be hard to strike up a chat at a local cafe on the coast anywhere in Australia. 

You certainly don't need to spend the day interviewing the locals or making your new BFF. Anything from a quick chat with the owner of a gallery or boutique shop, to a longer conversation with a vintner or local restaurateur can leave you feeling refreshed and connected.  

Do something healthy 

A weekend away is a great time to sleep in, chill out and put your feet up. Blending rest with some healthy activity can feel like a little detox, and send you home with a lot more energy and spark than you left with. That’s not to say you shouldn’t indulge in a local wine or sparkling cocktail at lunch or dinner - we say "Cheers to that!” 

Rather, it's about choosing activities - whether they are restful, rejuvenating or energetic - that make you feel alive and health . Another health treat that often comes with getting out of the city is finding amazing whole-food and vegan cafes, succulent local produce and farm-to-table dining. 

So where ever you're headed, and whatever your preferred style of travel, make sure your trip involves a great place to stay, a dash of community spirit, and some healthy and rejuvenating activities, and your can't go wrong. Your mind, body and soul will also thank you for it.

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The Weekender's travel guides are independently written by real travellers. We do not receive any money from, or have a sponsorship arrangement with, any of the entities listed in or referred to in this article.