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Operation: MINIBREAK

[A five minute read]

A stress free weekend, for less than the price of a Sydney dinner. Yes, it can be done!

The last few months have been heeeeectic. I’m sure you can relate.
It’s easy to think that doing overtime will help you get ahead, and sometimes it will. But sometimes having time away brings you back clearer, calmer and stronger.
That’s where minibreaks come in. If you need to work longer hours Monday – Thursday in order to make it work, then that’s what you need to do.

On Friday morning, my sister and I decided to have a spontaneous minibreak.
The brief? A place in nature and by the sea, max 3 hours drive from Sydney.
With minimal planning, we enjoyed the most chilled, refreshing weekend near Jervis Bay.
For under $200 each.

Here’s your Operation: MINIBREAK run sheet. From conceptualisation to delivery as us #eventprofs like to say…

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Friday: 08:00

Phone a friend and tell them you are kidnapping them for the weekend. Make sure one of you has a car, or sign up to Car Next Door to “steal” your neighbours car.

Forget hotels and jump onto Airbnb – you need a home away from home, not just a nice bed.
You could go Friday night, but you will be rushing out of work, driving in peak hour, dining at the drive-thru and arriving late and frazzled.

Instead, pour yourself a glass of wine on Friday night whilst you throw a FEW things into a bag.

Enjoy your beauty sleep then wake up early on Saturday morning. Like 6 or 7am early. No traffic, morning breeze and chilled weekend vibes all the way. And you halve your accommodation cost.

Accommodation booking tips:

> Search for any place in nature, max 3 hours easy drive from Sydney.

> Add in your key filters (max $250, entire place only), Use map view to explore the area – I started at Palm Beach and worked my way down to Jervis Bay, skipping over Sydney of course.

> I shortlisted 10 places then reviewed each one (open each on a new tab for easy comparison).

> Look at the photos – does it look like you are in surburbia or the bush?
Does it have the little extras you love, like a bath or Nespresso machine?
Look at the map – is there nature nearby?
Read the reviews – what kind of vibe does the place have?
Does it have Instant Book so you’re not waiting for a host to confirm?
Does it have a half decent kitchen?

Friday: 13:00

Time for some lunch break research. Find things like:

> Somewhere to stop near your accommodation for brunch

> The major supermarket closest to your Airbnb

> The best coffee in town

> Where the best beach / nature trail / lookouts are

> A local yoga studio or cinema etc – check session times

> If/when there are local markets

Few extra tips:

> On your phone, screenshot your Airbnb travel directions and contact details in case you are someplace wifi hasn’t reached.

> Make and/or download your best road trip playlist onto your phone.

> And download a movie too if it takes your fancy, just remember your laptop/tablet.

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Friday: 19:00

Pour yourself a glass of wine whilst you pack. Then tidy up so you come home to a nice home. Things you might like to pack:

> Sunnies, swimwear and towel if you are near the ocean or a spa

> A hoodie, trackies and hotel slippers or comfy socks

> A travel candle and matches

> Mini speaker for some chilled tunes

> Minimal or no makeup – just let go for a weekend. You could bring a nice mineral face mask instead, or a manicure kit

> A deck of cards or travel game

> Phone charger for the nature photos

Now, with a teeny bit of planning, you can enjoy some nice home cooked food and enjoy the nature. Remember you can go for a boozy pub meal any night in Sydney. So you aren’t spending $$ on things you already own, bring as many of the below items from your kitchen.

No matter if your pantry is barer than a nudist beach, we can fix that along the way.

> A selection of herbal teas and Nespresso pods / coffee. No beverages = weekend ruined.

> A bottle of wine.

> A massive bottle of water for the car trip.

> A cook-by-numbers dinner. Laziness is key. I love the Protein Bread Co pizza bases – healthy, easy, delicious.

> Coconut oil. You can create a fryup in the worst of holiday home frypans (it burns at a much higher temp than most other oils), you can moisturize with it, you can fix squeaky doors with it and even wash your face and brush your teeth. Not joking. I never leave on any trip without it.

> Any snacks you have lying around – chop some carrot sticks, grab the crackers and raid the fridge for cheese. Put in a bag in the fridge, ready to grab in the morning.

Saturday: 06:00

> Wake up then put fresh sheets on your bed. Trust me.

> Get dressed for the day. Planning on going to the beach? Put your swimwear on underneath your clothes. Going for a bushwalk? Wear your hiking gear and shoes. It saves getting changed in a public toilet or the car later on.

> Have a light breakfast at home to tide you over a while.

> Brush your teeth, grab your bags, your fridge pack (with some freezer blocks) and drink bottle then head out the door.

Saturday: 07:00

> Kidnap your friend

> Stop in at your local café for a roadie (coffee, not wine. We don’t drink drive)

> Stop in at your local newsagent and grab a magazine or two

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Saturday: 07:30

Time to get out of town. Operation: MINIBREAK starts now!!!

Duties of the passenger:

> The chief of Google Maps. Communicate to the driver calmly and in advance, and remind them again before the big turns. Always your #1 top priority so don’t let the team down.

> DJ. It’s an important role so don’t be like me and think it will be funny to put on Peter Andre. It won’t be, and you might end up hitchhiking.

> Tour guide. Point out key sights along the way. Remember to go via that awesome brunch spot and decide which supermarket you will stop at.

> Water boy/girl. Keep the driver hydrated.

> Petrol scout. Running out will ruin your weekend.

Saturday: 09:30

Time to shop (for food…)
To top up the stash we bought from home, we purchased stuff for a cheese platter, pizza toppings and pancake toppings.

Saturday: 11:00

Brunch time.

Saturday: 12:00

Fun o’clock. Head to that awesome beach or nature trail and forget about city life for a few hours. Stress? What stress?

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Saturday: 14:00

Head to your accommodation to check in. Have a day sleep (aka nap), sunbake some more or read your magazine.

Saturday: 15:00

Whip up a cheese plate. Pour yo’self a glass of wine.

Saturday: 18:00

Throw together your lazy chef dinner and enjoy… with a glass of wine. We whipped up our pizza in about 15 minutes. (BBQ chicken, BBQ sauce, pineapple, mushrooms, rocket for the record)

Saturday: 19:30

Time for some cards, a movie, pampering or more wine.

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Sunday: 07:00

Scenic sunrise? Yoga class? Local markets? Whip up some pancakes? Or maybe just sleep in?
(If your’e not woken by a rooster at 5am like us!)

Sunday: 11:00

Chop up any leftover food like carrot sticks, cheese etc and pack with any dinner/brekky leftovers so you have snacks and lunch ready for the trip home.

Check out of your Airbnb then find some more nature to enjoy, before starting the drive home.

Sunday 13:00

We stopped at the Stanwell Tops lookout and enjoyed our picnic lunch of leftovers. A pod of dolphins frolicked past and I drank wine straight from the bottle.
Yes you heard me, I don’t usually pack wine glasses when I travel…

After lunch, continue to meander back to Sydney town.

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Sunday: 16:00

Home sweet home. Oh look, fresh sheets. Mmmmmm.

BUDGET BREAKDOWN

Total for 2 guests – $380:

Airbnb $200
Fuel: $40
Groceries: $60
Brunch: $50
Coffees: $20
Magazines: $10

Hope you can enjoy your own minibreak soon.

Over and out,
Grace.

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