Weekend trips can be the perfect way to get away from the routine and stressors of home and work without having to sacrifice a lot of time or money. In order to help you plan even better (and more!) short vacations this year, here are my top tips for planning the best weekend getaway possible.
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1) Book one of your favourite accommodations in advance (or one with good star ratings)
With it being my first time visiting Seattle, I wanted to make sure we stayed somewhere in a prime location so we could explore by foot! While many travelers like to allow for flexibility and spontaneity in their travel plans, the truth is that a weekend trip isn’t really meant to be super flexible. You don’t really have the time to make decisions on the fly on a trip that may only be 2 or 3 days long. I also highly recommend staying in the same hotel the entire time, since changing hotels is very time consuming!
I felt extremely spoiled right off the bat with my stay at Fairmont Olympic Hotel. It is located right in the heart of the city and offers breathtaking architecture and impeccable service. It was the perfect hotel and city to celebrate me and my boyfriends anniversary over the weekend!
We arrived to our room and while unpacking our bags we were greeted with a bottle of red wine, charcuterie, and a personalized note from Valerie, the content marketing manager at the hotel. I cannot say enough about the service at this place. Every single chef, valet, server, and housekeeper that we met were so kind and accommodating. Speaking of service, here are a few shots of our In Room Dining (breakfast) experience.
2) Decide on a reasonable budget
The Fairmont Hotels are definitely more of a luxury hotel, but for an anniversary I think it was the perfect choice! Not everyone can afford to spend thousands of dollars on each and every trip they take, so setting a rough budget before you do any other planning can help shape your getaway into something you’re financially comfortable with.
We were gifted this incredible experience, so when making a budget we took into account gas (transportation), activities/sightseeing, and food/booze. Because we were able to walk by food everywhere, we only spent money on gas to and from home. When creating a budget you will also have to take into account accommodations. While most people believe that travel is always super expensive, it is definetely possible to travel closer to home on a smaller budget.
3) Do your research ahead of time
Once you’ve decided on your accommodation and budget, it’s time for the fun part. Start researching fun things to do around the area. I find it’s worth paying a little extra to stay in a really central location; you don’t want to have to spend half your time on public transport or in taxis on such a short trip!
Since it was only a five minute walk to downtown, we had lots planned! We went down to Pike Place to check out all the vendors, WOW there were a lot! We also went to the gum wall, where we stuck our gum on the wall with about 300000000 other people’s gum. And finish our day off at Pike Place Chower (best chowder of my life)!
4) Allow Enough time each day to relax
Sometimes you do just feel like you need a vacation for your vacation? I know I have done this COUNTLESS times. Take a bit of time each day to relax and take it slow. My boyfriend and I decided one morning to order breakfast in bed. We stayed in bed till 11am, while watching some TV and eating this gourmet spread that the Fairmont offers! I got the buttermilk pancakes (of course I did), and Brad got the Eggs Benedict. Both were SO AMAZING!
On a separate night we went to Shuckers, their Oyster Bar, for dinner. We had oysters, calamari, and scallops – BEST scallops I’ve ever tasted in my entire life. Our server, Darla, was SO pleasant and helpful. She even gave us some killer recommendations on where to go to watch the hockey game later that night. If I had to give that place a star rating out of 5, I would give it an 8!
Because we were not paying for our accommodations, we clearly decided to SPLURGE on food!
5) Snap lots of photos
I love looking back on old photos and reliving the memories through my photos. Maybe that’s just a “me” thing, but I find it to be such a joy in my life! Whenever I travel I always bring my handy camera with me and all the gear in my bag!
Before we booked the trip, I had a food photoshoot planned with Valerie and Madison. Fairmont Olympic is launching a new Spring Menu, so they asked me to shoot photos for their social channels and website. Let me tell you it was HARD not to dive into every dish while shooting.
Banana Bread French Toast of my dreams! These chefs sure know how to pay attention to DETAIL! Had to get a maple syrup drizzle shot of course!
Breakfast Parfait with fresh raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, kiwi, and dragonfruit. YUM!
A build your own Moscow Mule with their Honey Flavoured Vodka (this isn’t even released yet)! Such a cool idea!
I hope these tips help you to plan your next weekend trip! Ask me if I have one complaint about our stay at Fairmont Olympic??! Because I do… it wasn’t long enough. I know for a fact that we will be back in the near future! I totally recommend Fairmont Olympic Hotel to anyone visiting Seattle!!
I love to bake, cook, exercise, and document all of the above. Nutrition is not low fat. It is not low calorie. It’s not feeling deprived or being hungry all the time. It’s nourishing your body with real, whole foods so that you are consistently satisfied and energized to live your life to the fullest! Read more…