31 July 2014 by Andrea Weiss

Weekend getaways

What makes an ideal weekend getaway? This was the topic for this week’s #TravelChatSA.

Garden cottages at Belvidere Manor near Knysna

A few hours' drive from home. A refreshing break. A big spoil. Or a simple camping trip. What makes your ideal weekend getaway? 

This was the focus of this week's #TravelChatSA. Topics up for discussion included how often you manage to get away, what's most important when booking a weekend break, and a sharing of dreamy weekend destinations for others to try. And then, of course, tips for making it work ...

#TravelChatSA sees fellow travellers get together for an hour on Twitter on a Wednesday evening from 7pm to 8pm to chat about their favourite topic. For those who join in every week and share their photographs or opinions, there's always a great prize up for grabs.

So, in the spirit of #TravelChatSA, here are our five tips for making your next weekend break a great getaway:

1. Close to home

When you are trying to make a break for it, the last thing you want to do is sit in the traffic for hours on end, even if road-tripping can be fun. Rather pick something that is within easy striking distance (be it by car or aircraft); you could even make it to your destination within a few hours of closing your laptop on a Friday afternoon.

2. Hassle free

Unless you're a real glutton for punishment, keep it simple. Don't try to pack the kitchen sink. Rather just make sure you've got those creature comforts (like your favourite pair of slippers and some biltong for the car).

3. A change of scenery

OK, this is more of a personal one. Some people like the bright lights of the big city and some like the quiet of the countryside. So, we're assuming you live in the urban jungle and need a break from the noise, rush and traffic jams of your daily life. We're thinking somewhere you can breathe in the country air and listen to the birdsong. 

On the other hand, if you live in the countryside, the big city lights might be just what you're after. A spot of theatre, some fine dining, window shopping. A change is as good as a holiday, they say ...

The view from Phantom Forest Eco Reserve's sundeck near Knysna

4. A little bit of luxury

Alright. You could do it the hard way and pack the tent, but if you really want to relax, there's nothing wrong with checking in for a bit of luxury. We're thinking lovely linen, delicious dinners, beautiful bathrooms, a special spa treatment.

5. A room with a view

And then, of course, there's no better way of clearing the mind than gazing out at beautiful scenery. That way you might feel compelled to do absolutely nothing at all, which is just the way we like it ...

Sunset from a room at The Views Boutique Hotel & Spa at Wilderness

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