We’ve all done it before, haven’t we? Reached the end of the year and realised we’ve either thrown all of our annual leave at one big holiday or become part of the third of all Brits that never got round to using it all up in the first place.

Then we’ve come back home, looked at how much annual leave we have left, and wept tears of sorrow for the year still has a long way to run and we’re now running low on allocated time off.

Next year, you vow silently to yourself, next year will be different. You’ll do lots of long weekend breaks instead. Really make the best use of your days away from work. Here’s why you should be all about the weekend adventure to max out your annual leave, and a few ideas on how to spend it. Vive le weekend warrior.

Two hikers making their way up 'The Edge', a mountain in Kosovo.
Hike ‘The Edge’ in Kosovo
Lynx. Bears. A 532km2 national park. Two mountain peaks over 2500m high, and a camp on the edge of the ridgeline that connects them.

1. Lots of weekend adventures are more of a good thing

Going off on adventures is the best. Seeing new parts of the world, little corners of the planet you’ve not been to before, well it simply can’t be beaten. It’s what life is all about. Think about it though. If you go to one new place a year and spend lots of time there, yes you can say you really got under the skin of a place but also… you only went to that one place. Only ticked off one destination from your bucket list. More long weekends away means you’re seeing more of the world. Becoming a true global wanderer. More travel. More adventure. More of a good thing.

Canyoning down a river in Bosnia.
Hike, Raft and Explore Bosnia and Montenegro
Summit the highest peaks of each country and raft the longest canyon in Europe

2. It’ll have a positive impact on your mental and physical health

Work, work, work. Work. Work some more. Work. We’re all working way too hard. Way too hard. It’s not good for us. Getting out and about, and living the long weekend dream, will give you a new lease of life. As a species, we’re not made to spend our entire lives chained to a desk, staring at a computer screen spreadsheet, and worrying about shareholders. Adventure refreshes the soul, makes us feel human again. And because they often involve outdoorsy activities, they can also be great for our physical wellbeing as well as our mental wellbeing.

A wide range of scientists are saying little adventures make you smarter, calmer, and sexier. We’re not being flippant either, actual GPs are now prescribing ‘nature’ to patients to treat a range of health problems.

Go. On. Lots. Of. Adventures. Can’t say it enough. Doctor’s orders. Think about it. When would seeing the northern lights not make you feel better?

The outstretched legs of someone relaxing on the deck of a boat travelling through the Arctic.
Sail, Hike and Chase the Northern Lights
Journey into the Arctic Circle for an action-packed weekend exploring fjords and hunting the incredible Aurora Borealis

3. You’ll look at the concept of time in a whole new way

Let’s paint a picture. You’ve gone out on Friday night, drank way too many craft ales, and only come back to the land of the living at 1:30 pm on Saturday. By the time you’ve dragged yourself out of bed, stood under a cold shower for 45 minutes, cooked up a full English with bleary eyes, eaten said full English and then curled up on the sofa with Netflix, the first day of the weekend is basically a write-off. Yes, you’ve got Sunday but Sunday is your life-admin day. Tidy the house. Run various errands. Stop to watch the football. Before you know it, it’s Sunday evening and the only thing between you and work on Monday morning is the Antiques Roadshow theme tune.

Hikers climbing a steel ladder against a cliff face in Slovakia.
Adventure Hiking in Slovakia
Explore the perfectly named Slovak Paradise National Park via a network of trails, ladders, bridges and catwalks

By booking yourself on weekend adventures, you’ll get a newfound appreciation for what can be achieved in a weekend. Rather than just reflecting on how you binged a load of TV shows while nursing the mother of hangovers, you’ll be able to go back into work and actually tell your colleagues something interesting about your weekend. Something interesting like “Oh, yeah. Climbed the highest mountain in North Africa on Sunday morning. No big deal.”

A man poses at the top of Mount Toubkal, in Morocco.
Climb Mount Toubkal: The Winter Edition
Don your crampons and trek your way up the mighty Mount Toubkal in the height of winter.

4. More interesting weekend adventures means you’ll meet more interesting people

What’s better? One this-has-gone-on-too-long holiday, in the same place, with the same people or lots of short getaways where you’ll meet interesting new people every single time? Life’s too short to miss out on the chance to meet loads of new people, with fresh perspectives, and stories to tell.

Look at it like this. If you turn down multiple weekend breaks in favour of one long holiday, you turn your back on a chance to make a load of potentially very fun friendships. Say “yes” to life, say “yes” to the Fri-Mon escapes, embrace the spirit of weekend adventuring and get to know a tonne of cool, like-minded, people. You won’t regret it.

A team of group of mushers with their sleds and husky dogs, making their way across the Finmark Plateau
Husky Sled and Northern Lights Expedition
Mush your husky pack across Norway’s remote Finnmark plateau and sleep under the stars in a tipi

5. It’s easier to organise than you think

Sorting out the logistics for a load of epic weekend adventures has never been easier. Yes, you’ll have to sort out your flights but other than that it’s just a case of picking your dates, making sure you’re free on the dates and getting yourself booked up. Leaving you more time to look for other weekend adventures to sign up to and/or stand around in the garden while contemplating what an absolute adventure hero you turned out to be.

Hiker with head lamp stands in the mouth of a cave in Romania.

Explore our weekend adventures to see what you could be doing.