If you’re like me—and the vast majority of people—you’re living for the weekends.
I’m lucky to work for a company that celebrates “summer Fridays” year-round, meaning we’re free to shut down at 2pm and start our weekend early. It is glorious.
But even if you’re stuck at the office all day, there are things you can do to maximize your weekend adventures.
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1. Use the week to make a plan
Make a list and go shopping, pack your bags and car, fill the tank, and know exactly where you’re going so you’re ready to hit the road come quittin’ time.
2. Avoid rush hour
Plan your commute time around rush hour as much as possible, even if that means leaving later or earlier to avoid being stuck on the road.
3. Don’t be discouraged by a long drive
There are lots of great places within 3-4 hours of my house, but sometimes it’s worth packing in a tighter schedule (i.e. getting less sleep) and driving farther. Gather some snacks and load up some sweet new tunes and/or podcasts, and you’ll be there before you know it.
MORE: 7 Things I Learned Living in a Van for a Week
4. Make a reservation
This ties back to planning, but it is worth noting. If you’re going to a campsite that takes reservations, make one. It’s so simple, but twice in the past month I’ve been turned away because I didn’t properly plan. If it’s first-come, first-serve and luck wasn’t on your side, have a back-up plan (or two). You don’t want to waste time Googling other campsites from the side of the road. You probably won’t have cell reception anyway.
5. Turn off the phone and really take it all in
I am addicted to social media, but when I’m camping or on any kind of short trip, I seriously limit phone time. I do take pictures and if I need to use the map, okay, but I don’t want to be distracted and waste my weekend checking Instagram. Make the most of your time outdoors by being present.