Spring is right around the corner, and after this brutally cold winter, everyone is ready to get warm and unwind. Planning a weekend getaway should be a stress-free experience, so skip the hassle of putting together a long vacation. Make a choice, get it booked, and go!

Get in the Know

If you only have only a weekend to get away, it’s important to make the most of your time. Find out if there are some hot spots close to home where you can easily drive, so you don’t spend a great deal of your vacation in transit. Don’t rule out a train or a plane ride either; you can get pretty far on a short flight. For instance, did you know that it is roughly a 4-hour flight from New York City to Puerto Rico and you don’t need a passport to go there?

So where do you want to go? Do you want to sit with your toes in the sand or climb a mountain? Would you prefer to tour a winery or sample many gastronomic delights? Deciding what is important to you will help you narrow down destinations quickly. And don’t hesitate to ask your friends what they’ve done before and get their recommendations!

Don’t Stress

Weekend getaways are meant to be an escape, so don’t stress out over the planning. There is always a deal happening somewhere, so even if you haven’t booked in advance, check your favorite travel website for last-minute deals to find better prices on airfare and accommodations — you may even discover a trip that is more exciting than the one you’d originally planned!

When you’re booked and ready to depart, schedule out two or three things that you’d like to do while you visit. If you know that you want to do a city-by-night tour or a rock-climbing excursion, go ahead and plan it out, but be sure to leave some room for spontaneity as well — there might be some exciting things that pop up when you get there! And who knows, you might want to just leave yourself enough time to sit out on your balcony at the resort in Jackson Hole and relax while you sip your coffee and watch the sun come up over the mountains — didn’t know you had time for that, did you?

Take the Whole Family

Taking a little break from real life is a luxury that the kids will love as well, so ask them what they would like to do. Going on a hike or visiting a theme park before the summer rush may be exactly what your family needs to recharge before tackling the rest of the school year together. You can find family adventure in many places, but you might consider the Schlitterbahn indoor waterparks in Galveston, New Braunfels, and South Padre Island in Texas? Try some authentic barbecue and see the beach while you visit.

Be sure to include the activities that are important to the adults as well; whether you go to a fancy dinner or on a sightseeing tour, there are many ways to distract the young ones — food, technology, I Spy — so you can relish the experience. No matter where you go for the weekend, it’s important to remember that it doesn’t take going a long way to get away from it all. A weekend in the next town over may be just what you need to reconnect and feel revived!