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We love a weekend away at Clock Out Check In. There is something very satisfying about a shortened work week with a city break to look forward to at the end of it. We have already given you some top tips on how to make the most of your bank holiday weekend but now we want to share with you our top 5 things to avoid when booking a long weekend away.

TOP 5 LONG WEEKEND FAILS

1. NOT CHECKING FLIGHT TIMES

Well this is technically two fails wrapped up in one. Firstly, don’t book a long weekend away if the flight is longer than 4 hours. If you are trying to fit a city break into 3 or 4 days, why would you want to spend more than half of your weekend on a plane? There are so many incredible places to visit within a 4 hour flight from the UK (such as Barcelona – check out our top 5 things to do in Barcelona). Secondly, check the flight times and don’t just book the cheapest flights. If you have taken Friday and Monday off work, don’t fly late Friday night and return early Monday morning. Maximise your time off by flying late Thursday or early Friday morning and return on Monday afternoon. Don’t leave it too late on Monday though as you’ll want time to get yourself ready for work on Tuesday!

2. FORGETTING AIRPORT TRANSFERS

Following on from #1, do not forget to factor in airport transfers when booking your weekend away. We learned this the hard way having booked our flights to Nuremberg last year, only to find that we couldn’t get the Stansted Express from Liverpool Street at that time of day and we would have to get a National Express coach at 3am instead – not ideal. In addition, the coach transfer cost us more than our flights! Transfers to and from the airport can add significant time and cost onto your journey so plan these at the outset when booking flights.

3. PICKING THE WRONG HOTEL

You have 3 days to explore a new city – how much time do you expect to spend in the hotel? I would imagine it is very little so really think about where you want to stay and how much you are willing to spend. A reasonable 3* hotel in the heart of the city is a much better bet than a fancy 5* hotel in a terrible location. Save the money and spend it on an experience in the city instead.

4. NOT PLANNING AHEAD

Some people love arriving in a destination with no plan and seeing where the wind takes them. This approach can be great but if you want to make the most of your weekend away you should plan ahead. You don’t need a rigid itinerary but it is worth working out what you want to see and when. We’ll be sharing some itineraries for our favourite city breaks over the coming months but until then read a travel blog or check out Trip Advisor before you go.

5. NOT TAKING A MOMENT TO RELAX

Don’t forget that the weekend is your downtime from work. A tightly packed itinerary hopping from one tourist spot to another can be exhausting. Make sure you leave an hour or two every day just to wander, explore and maybe stop in a cute little bar for a glass of wine. Holidays are meant to be relaxing too. You will appreciate the rest when you get back to work on Tuesday!

What are your top long weekend fails? Let us know in the comments below.

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Alex is a solicitor at an international law firm based in London. He has always loved travelling and loves to eat like a local. His favourite destination is Peru where he spent a month travelling in 2009 with World Challenge.

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