The art of Planning Your Dream Weekend Getaways and Day Trips this summer (Last updated May 10th, 2019) Finally spring is here, which means summer is just around the corner. It’s that time of year time to plan warm weather getaways and dream up weekend trips to get away from the smoggy-heat of the city. Regardless of what season it might be, a solid plan is always a good idea for a short trip over the weekend, and especially for an extended vacation. I am the type of person who likes to plan my getaways in advance. I find enjoyment in the anticipation and possibilities of where I can go, and what is available to see. However, if you are not the person who enjoys the planning stage, and would rather just throw some necessities in a backpack at the last minute and head off in the car, there are still a few basic elements should ensure you cover before you drive off into the sunset. The first step in planning any getaway is budget and schedule. Looking for something for the 2 days you have off work this weekend? Only have three-hundred bucks but ten days, and want something where you can relax in luxury? These closely woven factors will really determine what your options are. If you are limited to budget but have all the time in the world, you may want to look at local areas, perhaps a bike trip, or camping. Or if you are less of an outdoor adventurer, and more of a bed and breakfast and antiquing kind of traveler, check off season rates, or better yet, look for last minute package deals. If you have the budget but work only allows you to relax Saturday and Sunday, many places, local and distance travel, offer special weekend packages. Each season brings new festivals and events to both city and country areas, so don’t miss out on the local flavor of travelling in your own province. Step two in planning is who is going. Going solo? Romantic getaway for two? Packing the kids and dog along for the trip? Interests and capabilities are other factors to consider. Once you have the schedule and budget figured out, finding common ground for travelers who are vacationing together requires some thought. While your idea of a cycle trip through parts of the Trans Canada Trail might be perfect for you, it may not be so easy for little ones to keep up. Or if your significant other is looking for a spa weekend, but you would like to experience jazz filled nights in a big city, compromise here and there might be necessary. So now that you have your budget and schedule, who is going on the trip, next step, and by far my favorite (and secretly where I actually start my dreaming of vacations long before I actually take them) is where to go. My latest travel dream is a tour of the English Countryside touring spectacular gardenscapes far from the madding crowd. However, my budget, nor my young son would be all too thrilled. So, perhaps I start locally. There is some wonderful countryside I could drive to right here in Ontario, and a few places that also offer family friendly fun, such as Springridge Farm located on the side of the Niagara Escarpment, just west of Milton, which has an amazing strawberry festival each summer, and a Fun Farmyard Play area for kids. What is the best way to find the best getaway for your budget, schedule, and travelling companions? Check out the heyCountry Getaway APP! Download it here if you don’t have it. By looking at the app there are numerous ways to search interesting places to visit listed by categories keyword searches on your hobbies, concerts, country jamborees and other festivals. Also, checking family calendars for birthdays or weddings is also a good way to plan around important events that I have to attend. If it is far enough away to warrant a weekend getaway, why not?! Every opportunity to travel, I say! Martin Buber, the Austrian-born Jewish philosopher, said “All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware.” There is something to be said for arriving at your destination, and enjoying the journey along the way. Make every minute count, plan out the essentials with Getaway-trip App , and check out our Travel section on HC for inspiration on where to go. Then be prepared for the unexpected joy you may find along the way!