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Are you feeling burned out? Do you need a vacation but can't take time off? Sounds like it's time for a fun weekend getaway.

But planning a last-minute trip can feel overwhelming. After all, you have to decide on a location and then coordinate travel plans, hotels, and things to do at your destination. So, how can you make the process easier so that you can get to relaxation part of your vacation with less stress?

Here are some easy, last-minute ways to get some rest, relaxation, and adventure – without too much effort.

Weekend Destinations

Want to fly to a new destination? The best weekend getaways are accessible via a short direct flight, won't give you jetlag from a huge time difference, and allow you to easily book a hotel at the last minute. Bonus points if you can get a deal on that last-minute flight.

One way to choose a great weekend destination is to look at a map that includes time zones and choose a destination in North America that's no more than an hour ahead or behind your current location to avoid jet lag. For example, if you live in Toronto, you could fly to New York, North Carolina, Florida, or Chicago without having to reset your watch.

Next, you'll want to look for a destination that you can get to via a direct flight that's under 5 hours so that you don't waste too much of your weekend in transit. Not sure where you can fly direct to? Many airports will list where they have direct flights taking off to on their websites.

You'll want to look out for savings on last minute travel. Sites like Sell Off VacationsTravel Last Minute, and Exit Now offer great deals on hotels and flights at the last minute.

Don’t get hit by surprise foreign exchange fees when you are off exploring. With the Scotiabank Gold American Express® Cardthere are no foreign exchange fees as you travel outside of Canada. The card also includes travel insurance.

Local Road Trips

Would you rather avoid the hustle and bustle of a busy airport and head out on the open road? A road trip can be a lot of fun as well as a bit easier, packing into the car than trudging through airport security if you have kids – even if they ask whether you're there yet every five minutes.

If you don't have a car, check out comparison sites to get the best deal on a rental. Sites like Kayak and Expedia can help you find a deal on the rental car that's right for you. The Scotiabank Gold American Express® Card can also help you save on renting a car.

Choosing a destination might be harder, but simplify your search by focusing on trips that are only 3 to 4 hours away. After all, time in the car can pass slowly on a hot summer or cold winter weekend. If you have friends with a cottage or cabin that they're willing to rent to you, that might be a good option but you can also find cheap rentals on Airbnb or at boutique hotels or B&Bs. Consider heading to Muskoka if you're based on the Greater Toronto Area, to one of the Gulf Islands if you're in BC, or to the Laurentians if you're based in Montreal.

Just make sure you get an early start if you're setting off in your car on a busy Friday as you don't want to get stuck in traffic or at a ferry terminal.

Finally see if your credit card is helping you save on gas. With the Scotiabank Gold American Express® Cardyou can earn 3x Scotia Rewards®* points on gas. The card will also help you as you travel locally, with 5x Scotia Rewards®* points earned while you dine out or take in some entertainment, like concerts and sports games. 

Hacks That Help

Do you often find yourself setting off on last-minute weekend trips? If so, create a travel bag with all your essentials that's ready when you are. Include things like toiletries, extra phone chargers, sunscreen, flip flops, and some beach outfits or hats, scarves, and gloves for winter travel.

It will also help to use a travel packing list to make sure you don't forget anything at home and then end up having to spend part of your vacation looking for a drug store so you can buy toothpaste. Also, keep all travel documents together such as passports and insurance information. Do you travel to Mexico or America often? Keep money in those currencies so you don't need to go to the bank.

Another helpful hack is to plan out weekend trips you're dying to take in advance and create a go-to file with information about hotels, flights, and places you want to see. Plan out a couple trips that focus on either adventure or relaxation so that all you need to do is decide what type of trip you feel like going on rather than having to start planning from scratch. No one wants to do research or make difficult decisions when they're desperate for a break!

With these tips, you'll be ready to set out on a weekend adventure in no time and you'll also be able to enjoy yourself more at your destination. Then you can return to the office on Monday refreshed and recharged -- and maybe even with a tan.


Earn Scotia Rewards®* points while you’re having your weekend getaway with the Scotiabank Gold American Express® CardLearn more here.


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Legal Disclaimer: This article is provided for information purposes only. It is not to be relied upon as investment advice or guarantees about the future, nor should it be considered a recommendation to buy or sell. Information contained in this article, including information relating to interest rates, market conditions, tax rules, and other investment factors are subject to change without notice and The Bank of Nova Scotia is not responsible to update this information. All third party sources are believed to be accurate and reliable as of the date of publication and The Bank of Nova Scotia does not guarantee its accuracy or reliability. Readers should consult their own professional advisor for specific investment and/or tax advice tailored to their needs to ensure that individual circumstances are considered properly and action is taken based on the latest available information.