I have just returned from our annual girls weekend; this time our destination was the Windy City of Chicago. Here are 6 tips for planning a weekend getaway:
- Go with people you love to be with. Our little group is made up of my friend Nat, my two girls, and my niece. We travel well together, take things in stride, and are all open to new experiences (including navigating the subway system!).
- Walk the city. Probably one of the best ways to truly see the city was by walking it. Although we used the transit system to get to the downtown core, we walked to our destination points. This gives you a much broader view of not only the sights and sounds of a new place, but also the diversity that exists among its people.
- Create memories. We experienced local cuisine such as Lou Malnati’s Deep Dish pizza, and a Portillo’s All Dressed Hotdog. We visited the Lincoln Park Zoo; thoroughly enjoying the gorilla exhibit and seeing the polar bear being fed. We took an Architecture River Cruise (I will forever see buildings in a new way), cheered on the White Sox at a game and enjoyed a Second City show. We took in famous landmarks such as Buckingham Fountain and the Bean (that truly is something to see!)
- Be mindful of who you are as tourists. Although tourism is a big financial boost to a city, it is important to remember that we are visitors. I am always proud of my travel companions when I notice good manners and an appreciation for the opportunities we have as guests to that city.
- Plan the weekend. Not only in terms of having some sense of how to get places, what local cuisine is present, and things to see but also in the tangible sense of actually planning it. Travel is a wonderful way to promote self-care; it is all too often that our busy lives dictate that we “just don’t have time.” Make the time – put it in the books. Nat and I were already chatting about possible destinations for next year!
- Be happy to come home. Build a life that makes coming home something to look forward to. We always agree that we love to travel and see new places, experience new things, and cement new memories – but it is always nice to walk in the door to what brings us home. 🙂
Photo credit: Me! This is our group in front of the White Sox stadium.
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