DECIDE YOUR BUDGET
First things first. What can you afford to spend over the weekend? It’s a little boring to think about, but it’ll help form your plans and make sure you have enough cash to see you through. There are incredible things to do to suit every budget, or even no budget, but it’s good to rule out activities if they’re going to cost more than you have to spend.
BE A TOURIST IN YOUR OWN CITY
Are you itching to get out of town, or would you prefer a staycation? Both have their benefits, but seeing your home city through fresh eyes is always a great way to spend the weekend. Cycle to the other side of town and explore somewhere you’ve never been before. Book a guided walking tour in an area rich in history or architecture. Gather a group of friends and do a tasting at a craft beer brewery or gin distillery. Visit an art gallery. There’s so much to do, you just have to find it.
BOOK IN ADVANCE
Make a plan. Do your homework and figure out two or three core activities you’d like to include in the weekend and plot out which days they’ll happen. It’s too easy to put it off, play it by ear, and be disappointed when tickets are sold out or you’ve not sorted the logistics in time to make x, y or z happen. If your budget is tight, there’s all the more reason to suss out free concerts and exhibitions – and how to get there. The early bird gets the worm and all that.
HEAD OUT ON A ROAD TRIP
Here are the road trip ground rules: keep devices to a minimum, have actual conversations with your carmates, look out of the window at the scenery and banish road rage. Go with the flow. Be spontaneous. Traffic, wrong turns, broken air conditioning – it’s part of the experience, so take it all in your stride. Pack a picnic (much better than service station food) and don’t forget the Lipton Ice Tea. And you’re off!
MAKE NEW FRIENDS
Creating memories with your friends is what epic times are all about, so why not make some new ones? Throw a little gathering, over brunch or in the evening, and why not invite neighbours or people you know but have never spent quality time with before? This is how the magic happens and it doesn’t cost a thing. Sometimes new people are the key ingredient to an unforgettable weekend.
Endorphins, people! We need them. So once your loose schedule for the weekend is formed, factor in some exercise and get your body moving. A quick pilates class after work on Friday will do the trick. Brisk walks, dance-a-thons, cycling, chasing dogs in the park, martial arts – however you choose to get your blood pumping, make sure there’s a little bit each day for maximum weekend joy.
START A HOBBY
Want to learn how to play the trombone? Dedicate part of your long weekend to improving your skills. Dying to get up the nerve to do amateur night at the comedy club? Or become a yoga instructor? Take a class (book a block so you’re sure to go) and just get started. Do it. Afterwards you can reward yourself with a special treat for being such a go-getter.