Thursday, May 24, 2018

Day 3137 - My top 12 tips on how to make a weekend getaway feel like a 10 day vacay

Is it possible to have a "holiday" in just three days? 

Nothing says Gold Coast like the view through the Pandanus trees
Since our boy has been playing at a higher level of soccer, we've been restricted in how long we can escape for.  His season doesn't pause for long weekends or school holidays, so we've got very small windows of opportunity to vacay.

Given my hubby was bummed we wouldn't be doing our usual 10 day escape to Queensland in April, I came up with the idea of utilising a soccer bye for a quick trip to the Gold Coast as the Hubster's birthday present.

Working around our daughter's tertiary schooling and pulling our lad out of school for two days, we were able to take the first flight out of Canberra last Friday and return in time for her night time classes Monday.  We had just three nights away to vacay.

Dressing in layers for the flight ready to peel them off as we head north

But is it possible to have a holiday in just three days?

Or is it a waste of frequent flyer points or well saved flight money?

While appreciative, my husband was skeptical about "wasting" our frequent flyer points on a mere three night escape.  Why have three when we usually have ten?

My answer was: better to have three than nothing at all.

So my mission was to make three nights feel like ten. As a result we somehow managed to fit just as much into those three nights while still arriving home feeling relaxed, refreshed and rejuvenated.

Here is the pictorial evidence:

A room with a view

Taking the time to absorb our surroundings

Morning walks

Exploring all the hidey holes

Making the most of the many pathways and board walks

Stopping for coffee

Laying on the beach and enjoying surf life
Still finding time to fulfill her brand responsibilities - modelling Molly and Frank Swimwear

Having cocktails at lunch

Ensuring we have family fun time

Utilising all the resort has to offer

Taking time to smell the flowers

Enjoying sleep-ins

Eating out at fun places


Hiring a car and taking a wander on the last day

Finding turquoise treasures before heading to the airport

Turning the flight home into another festivity

Here are my top 12 tips on how to get the most out of a long weekend getaway:

  1. Book a resort style destination that feels like a luxurious departure from your normal life. You don't have to pay a fortune when travelling in non-peak periods and using apps like or Trivago
  2. Get a room with a view so even when relaxing in your apartment you are reminded of your destination
  3. Ensure your accommodation is walking distance from restaurants, bars and cafes
  4. Make morning walks a priority so that you can explore every nook and cranny in your locality making it feel as though you've left no stone unturned or hidey hole undiscovered
  5. Spend time doing the stuff the destination was designed for you to do like laying on the beach, fishing by the river or hiking up a mountain
  6. Spend time enjoying your accommodation by laying by the pool, working out at the gym, playing tennis or utilising the hot tub
  7. Make every meal an occasion whether it be creating fun new foods to eat in, or exploring the many eateries on offer. Eat meals you wouldn't normally eat to increase the adventure
  8. Explore the shops and buy yourself something to remember the trip
  9. Check out the local flora and fauna to immerse yourself in the new surroundings
  10.  Sleep in, read books, take coffee breaks.  
  11. Think about hiring a car to extend your sphere of exploration.  It's a great idea to leave this excursion to your last day to fill in time between checking out of the hotel and having to be at the airport
  12. Book your flight home as late as possible to "add a fourth day" and turn the airport into a fun part of the trip by toasting the weekend that was and reflecting on just how much you managed to fit in

As we got ready to board our flight home the family agreed that the three days did indeed feel like ten.  

Mission accomplished. 

Have you ever holidayed for such a short period?

What's the minimum vacation you would take when paying money for flights?

Any tips on how to get the most out of your long weekend?

What are you lovin' about life this week? 

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The Lovin' Life Linky is brought to you by Team Lovin' Life: Deep Fried Fruit, DebbishWrite of the MiddleAnd Anyways50 Shades of Age and Lifestyle Fifty  


  1. I love all your tips for a short break, and I totally agree that a short break is beneficial. A few days away gives us a chance to recharge and recalibrate, re-energise and come home with a new perspective about life, home and work. Loved your pictures and looks as if you had a great time.

  2. Absolutely! I regularly just have a 1 night holiday - or even a well planned day trip can give you that feeling of being 'away'. I think it's the break from the norm that recharges, not the length of the time!

  3. Wow! You fitted so much into 3 days! You've inspired me to organise a mini break for my family too now!

  4. It looks like you settled in quickly to make the most of the time. Just what I am about to do with my troops. Heading away for 2 night (not far though) just to spend time together.

  5. Fantastic photo's Leanne! You did well to enjoy so much in your 3 days. I've had 3 day getaways that have felt like a mini holiday. I could do with another right now!! #TeamLovinLife

  6. Well done, Leanne! When paying money for flights, I'd take minimum four days. I'm looking forward to traveling to Europe this week.

  7. Great tips Leanne and I'm so pleased you enjoyed your time on the Gold Coast which is my backyard. Looks like you had a relaxing time but still fit in plenty of fun.

  8. Excellent idea and wonderful tips. You did make the most of it and as we found out as our kids got older, the family holidays of before had to change in length and nature. Queensland treated you all very well indeed!! Denyse x

  9. These are brilliant and proof that it can be done!! We always like our shorter vacations because we are home bodies at heart and have trouble staying away for longer!!

  10. You sure did pack a whole lot into a few days! Any break is good if you ask me.

  11. Absolutely - any hols, short or long. We take lots of short trips, though usually we drive to those. We often research the places first and have restaurants booked, or know where the cute shops are, best ice cream, what events are on etc. We also have 'resort days' at home too sometimes where we pretend we're on holidays and make a point of doing touristy things, going out for coffees, etc. Chris

  12. What an excellent getaway and thanks for all the practical tips to make holidaying that much less of a stress.

    SSG xxx

  13. We have a five day getaway planned for later in the year Leanne - sometimes you just have to work with what you've got. I don't think we'll be doing any longer vacations for a few years - so a little bit of time away is much better than none at all. You look like you had a great time.

  14. The color of that water, wearing t'shirts bliss

  15. We have short trips away all the time and we love them. It breaks up the monotony and is reinvigorating even though it's only for a few days. I loved your pics and I recognised every single place, particularly Kingscliff.

  16. Looks like you have a wonderful time. Sometimes short trips are much better.

  17. Mission accomplished - absolutely. Loved what you managed to fit in.

  18. Oh wow Leanne, I was following along at home of course and you did a stack during that time! I'm yet to write about my cruise but the thing I really enjoyed - though it was weird and hard - was that notion of not doing anything or feeling like I had to do anything. So for me - doing that for a few days would be nice. (There are always a lot of MUSTS, SHOULDS etc in my world and sometimes they're even for fun things - TV, reading etc... so I need to even let go of them and just enjoy....) xx

  19. I really want a weekend away with my family after reading this! You sure packed a lot in and it all looks fun yet relaxing too xx


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