Getting the most out of your weekend abroad


There’s no getting away from the fact that modern life is hectic: with ever more demands on our time, getting away from it all for a weekend break is the ideal way to rest and recharge. A change of scenery and pace can do wonders for even the most stressed executive or multi-tasking mum.

Putra Mosque
Putra Mosque

The key to a successful short break is to think about what you want from your time away and then to find a destination to match. Is your priority hot weather or high culture? Even if you’re looking for both, chances are that there is a destination to suit. Here are some destinations to consider for great weekend breaks in 2013.

Barcelona offers a temperate climate all the year round and a huge range of cultural and architectural sights. After admiring the stunning buildings of legendary architect Antonio Gaudi – with the Sagrada Familia cathedral being a particular highlight – you can take your pick when it comes to eating out. Barcelona’s dining options range from Michelin-starred restaurants to family-operated tapas bars. Many people travel to Barcelona for the nightlife alone, so if you want to party, there are lots of lively bars and clubs open until the early hours.

Paris is a classic choice for a weekend break abroad, and the world-famous city of romance needs little introduction. Take a river boat trip along the Seine for a glimpse of the iconic Notre Dame cathedral, then hop off close to the Champs-Élysées for a spot of retail therapy and a look at the famous Arc de Triomphe. With frequent flights from airports all over the UK, the convenient Eurostar service from King’s Cross St Pancras, and a wide range of hotels to suit all tastes and budgets, a weekend in Paris seamlessly combines convenience and culture.

If you’re looking for natural beauty and tranquillity, the Italian region of Campania is worth considering. With the gorgeous Amalfi coast as well as great food and fine weather, it’s an ideal choice for a relaxing break. With flight times of less than two hours, sunshine is nearer than you might think. The area offers quaint family-run hotels for those who prefer the personal touch, as well as high-end and boutique accommodation if you want more luxurious surroundings.

Taking the stress out of travelling can make your weekend break even more relaxing. With an Avios Credit Card from American Express, travel and shopping protection is included as part of the package, and you’ll have access to the company’s Global Assist service if you run into any difficulties. American Express travel rewards cards offer a range of benefits, including rewards points on all your holiday spending and access to airport VIP lounges, so you can start to relax before your flight leaves.