How to Plan a Mini-Vacation to Save Money and Time

Sometimes you only have a day, or two, or three, to get away and perhaps your budget simply doesn’t allow for a more costly trip outside the country or to the other side of it. You can plan a mini-vacation or a little road-trip like I did and have just as much fun.

  1. Decide how much time and money you have to spend. Do you have one day or a long weekend? Do you have a budget for hotels or do you need to couch-surf at a friend’s place? We had a long weekend, so we looked at Airbnb, hotels and a friend’s place.


mini-vacation travel to Lunenburg Nova Scotia

Lunenburg, NS

  1. Do some research. For a fun staycation, act like a tourist in your own town and spend a day seeing things you just may have neglected. Is there a nearby town or province that you’ve always wanted to see? Check out their tourism websites for ideas. I always wanted to see the town of Lunenburg and I also wanted to visit the breweries that were popping up all over the Nova Scotia south shore so we planned our trip around that. Like wine instead? Plan a trip to visit the cottage wineries in your own province. Just make sure you have a sober driver.



  1. Plan out your itinerary. Our road-trip started Friday and ended Sunday. We had planned on making 11 stops over 1250kms. We researched breweries’ websites and facebook pages to find out what times they were open and if they had a tap room, samples, growler fills, or food. We used Google Maps with the Maritime Beer Report’s craft beer map and a simple Excel spreadsheet to plan out our travel times and visiting times within opening hours. Don’t forget to allow enough time to have meals along the way. If you would like a copy of my NS brew tour or NB wine tour itinerary in Excel, send me a message at and I’ll send it to you for free.


Mini-vacation Breakfast from Allen's Motel

Breakfast from Allen’s Motel

  1. Book your stay. Make your reservations for accommodations and other attractions before you go, so you are not left to sleep in your car or missing out on fun things that are full.
  1. Fill up your gas tank, turn off your email and go! Don’t forget to take lots of pictures!
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