I don’t know about you, but I absolutely adore a short break. I look forward to long weekends away or a mid-week escape just as much as I do with a longer trip.

Short breaks offer the chance to abandon everyday life just for a few days. You can get away without breaking the bank and taking too much time off (if you’re not self-employed like me – my boss is pretty cool about my time off!). They can be easily sandwiched into even the busiest of lives.

Short breaks can be near or far – a few hours car ride away, or a couple of hours on a plane. That offers up so many options, especially for me living in Scotland. I can get to so many places in Europe within just a short flight, or can travel many places in Scotland and in England. The possibilities are endless.

Whenever I get back from a short break I feel just as energised and motivated as I do after a long trip. I truly think all we sometimes need is to get away from the drudgery of everyday life, even if just for a day or two. It makes such a difference to happiness, stress levels and your mood.

Here are all the ingredients I think make up the perfect short break…

An amazing location 

how to plan a short break
The most important thing is definitely the location. The best location will depend on who you’re travelling with and what type of short break you want, so you should try to define this first.

Whether you want an active getaway, a city break, a countryside retreat or a beach escape, the location you choose can make or break your trip. Take time to discuss this with who you’re travelling with, to ensure you settle on a location that suits everyone. Usually, if the location is really great you’re bound to have a fantastic time! 

Great company 

The best company - my family!
Some of my favourite short breaks are our regular trips to Archerfield, near North Berwick. I go there several times a year with Thomas, my parents, my brother, his fiancee and occasionally some family friends. Those weekends are so memorable because of the company of really great people who I love being around.

Fantastic food

how to plan a short break

Fresh seafood in Sorrento, Italy

A really great trip requires some great food, especially if you’re travelling somewhere abroad. Tasting local flavours, trying different dishes and just generally eating well is a big part of the perfect break. Even better when washed down with some fabulous wine, or whatever the local tipple is.

If you’re heading somewhere and planning to cook during your time there, factor this in when planning. If you’re travelling with others plan out a menu, who’ll cook and who will be responsible for doing the shopping.

When I go away within Scotland and plan to cook I usually book a Tesco delivery so that my shopping comes right to where I’m staying when I arrive. It saves time actually visiting a supermarket and means you don’t have to try and fit all the food in your car along with luggage. So handy and such a time-saver.

Time to relax

how to plan a short break

Relaxing by the pool in Dubai

Even if you’re the type of person who likes to doing something most of the time, it’s still important to make sure you’ve got time to relax. After all, what’s the point of a break if you don’t actually chill out a bit?

If your idea of relaxing is with a walk, schedule that in. If it’s going to a spa then make sure you book appointments in advance. Maybe it’s just ensuring you have the luxury of a lie-in in the morning. Whatever your idea of relaxation is, make sure there’s time for it.

What do you think makes up the perfect short break?