Weekend Travel

I have always loved weekend travel.

We didn't do much weekend traveling when I was a kid.  There were 3 kids and money did not seem to be abundant.  Then as a teenager we had a small farm and the cattle to tend every day.

In college, I started to enjoy weekend travel.

My freshmen year I traveled from my Platteville, my school, to Lacrosse for the annual Oktoberfest celebration in late September.  Drinking, carousing, laughing, cavorting with drunken girls, seeing the sights of a different city, all condensed into a Friday night, all day Saturday and Sunday morning.

It was fantastic.  Except for the hungover drive back to school on Sunday afternoon and the extreme amount of extra homework, later that Sunday night.

But I forgot about the hangover pain and overwork pain by Halloween when I jumped in one of my new friends car to go to Madison for one of the largest Halloween parties in the country.

The house parties, bars and streets were packed with Halloween revelers and I joined in.

I spent many happy years as a young man, traveling on weekends and having fun.

During my married life with children...not so much.

But almost immediately after I left my wife I went back to my happier lifestyle of weekend travel.  Mostly on the extreme cheap for most of the years and now as my finances are getting stabilized, I can relax more about the money and actually spend some.

Weekend Travel

I am exhausted, but smiling, from my recent weekend travel.

Look at my recent list of 5 weekends in a row

  • Weekend in Central Wisconsin at my friends son's graduation party.
  • Weekend on the water in Shawano.
  • Weekend in Eau Claire at another friends daughters high school graduation party.
  • Weekend at a friends one year old birthday party.
  • Weekend at my mom's for mothers day.

I took last weekend off from traveling, but I still had a great time Saturday night in a local watering hole with a fantastic girl I met.  Maybe a story for another time.  You would be wishing to be me, that night.

Some of the Highlights from those Weekends

  • Golfing twice.  The second time I changed my grip and golfed out of my mind.
  • Saw some old friends I had not seen in a year.  We drank beer and talked for hours, laughing it up and getting reacquainted.
  • Saw some other friends I see once or twice a year.  We roared with laughter.
  • Took a nice ride on a pontoon boat.
  • Had great meals.
  • Partying hard into the night numerous times.
  • Met some new people at a party and hit it off over beer and conversation.
  • Toured a City I was vaguely familiar with.  I had been to this City dozens of times over the years, but never really knew my way around.  I spend the time to explore.
  • Saw my mom 2 times.  My brother once and my sister twice.
  • Explored a lake area.
  • Climbed a high Bluff.

Sunday Morning Climb to Top of Mill Bluff

I love exploring.  Both seeing things I have never seen before and studying somewhat familiar areas in more detail.

These pictures are me climbing a very steep staircase to get to the top of a bluff with fantastic views.

I have driven past this bluff maybe hundreds of times over the last 35 years but this is the first time I took the time to stop.

I am 51 years old and have finally found the free time I have been dreaming of all my life.

It was worth it.

Many hundreds of steps carved into the rocks

I had spent the afternoon before partying and drinking beer with some of my best friends from high school and early adulthood.  So I was beat on Sunday.  But I really wanted to climb to the top.

Me at the top

Be Prepared for Weekend Travel

It is not fun to be disorganized...ever.  And I would argue that if you are disorganized you will not have much fun, either being too overwhelmed with life to bother traveling or doing something interesting or struggling, finding traveling too frustrating to be fun.

I love my weekend travel, but if I had to spend hours packing, hours unpacking and extra hours doing all the things I needed to do when I was gone...I would not go.

Getting Organized for Weekend Travel

Get your chores and errands done early in the week so you don't have so much of that annoyance to deal with on the weekend.

Keep your toiletry bag packed, ready to go and handy.  I keep almost everything I need right in the bag and I have that bag handy in one place.  The only thing I add to the bag is my contact case and glasses.  I think I will get an extra contact case too.

Keep your suitcase in your bedroom closet. Some people keep their luggage hidden away in the basement.  If regular weekend travel is part of your life, your luggage should be kept where your clothes are.

Get a good rolling suitcase that fits on an airplane.  The kind with the handle.  This size is perfect for a few days.  Not too big, but it carries a lot in case you need it.

Have a rough idea of what you typically need for clothes and your own personal situation.

Try to dress how you normally dress so you know what to expect and don't have to make a bunch of decisions.

Study the map a little and have a fairly good idea of how long driving will take.

Other Weekend Travel Tips

It does take some extra money for this type of lifestyle.

  • Extra gas.
  • Wear and tear on your car.
  • A good suitcase.
  • Good shoes for walking.
  • Comfortable clothes.
  • Extras of your main needs - underwear, socks, shirts, toiletries.
  • Meals out.
  • Snacks and beverages while driving.
  • Hotel costs.
  • Costs for chipping in toward whatever you are doing.

You will need some extra of this also

  • Free time.  You can't be working.
  • Free time.  You can't be thinking about work too much.
  • Free time.  You can't be rushing around doing your normal chores and errands.
  • A willingness to go and face the unknown.
  • A thought to adventure.
  • Energy. 
  • Sleep before and after.  I don't sleep that well in a strange place. Plus I may be up later than normal doing something fun.  And I tend not to sleep in unless I am really exhausted or ill.

Some good travel articles from some of my favorite bloggers.

How to Achieve Travel Goals - Steve Pavlina

5 Minute Travel Guide - Bold and Determined

Packing for Super Long Trips - Caleb Jones (Blackdragon)


Is Weekend Travel Worth the Trouble

For me it is.  I love this type of lifestyle, where I work a little harder earlier in the week, staying on top of things.

Then I can drop everything and just go.  Seeing new things.  Seeing familiar things in a new light.  Meeting new people.  Getting to know my favorite people even better.

It is definitely worth it.

› Weekend Travel

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