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A Beginners Travel Guide to Short Breaks

Posted on 30 Nov 2023

Short breaks, big adventures. Travelling for long periods of time may not be viable for everyone. Maybe due to limited holiday allotments from work, family commitments, or anything in between, a mini-break may be the happy medium you deserve to recharge your batteries. But how do you make the most of a small break, and where are some of the best mini-trip locations, both in the UK and beyond? Let our guide help solve your questions and get the ball rolling to you planning your next short trip away.

Within this article:

3 Tips to Making the Most of a Short Trip

Short trips shouldn’t mean you miss out on what your chosen destination has to offer. If you know how to plan your trip well, you can make the most out of your time and ensure you visit all the attractions you want to see and experience. Luckily we have been fortunate to experience both long and short breaks around the UK and toured Europe, so have picked up some tips along our adventures, including:

  • Booking a small-group tour
  • Make the most out of your bank holidays / public holidays
  • Take hand luggage only

Book a Small-Group Tour

What better way to experience a new location on a short timeframe than with a small-group tour. Not only is your itinerary already planned for you, you get to meet like-minded travellers to share your adventure with. Who knows, they may even become friends for life.

Allow a group tour to ignite your curiosity and listen to the lesser-known stories shared over a pint in the local watering hole. Seated in a comfortable mini-coach, you gaze upon the scenic landscape from the large windows, no matter the climate outside. Don’t worry, you do get free time to yourself too. Whether you book an added attraction, or simply want to spend time exploring the local area with loved ones, there’s still flexibility to be had on your short break.

friends on holiday

Make the Most out of Bank Holidays / Public Holidays

A useful tip which may get overlooked is utilising your bank holidays and public holidays from work. Often restricted by a set number of days off from work, you can look to book your short break over the weekend of a bank holiday, or book the days either side of these public holidays to bridge a longer break together.

Book Hand Luggage Only

With a short break being considered, it's important to remember to travel light and just take hand luggage. We’re talking to you, who on their last trip packed twenty pairs of spare underwear for a three night stay. Believe us, you won’t need them. Utilise your luggage space better by packing your items in packing cubes, they help keep things organised, which again will help you reduce taking unnecessary items.

Top 3 UK Destinations to Consider for Your Next Mini-Break

If starting a short trip for the first time, staying closer to home may be the best starting point. Here are three staycation destinations to consider booking for your next mini-break.


Ireland. The kind of place where you can walk where giants once battled on your way to visiting a royal castle, before ending your day in a pub with a pint of Guinness. Just over 1.5 hours from London, you could be touring Ireland on a small-group tour in no time. If you manage to time your mini-break in the right season, you may even be able to celebrate St Patrick’s Day the Irish way. Filling the streets with a sea of green to see in the traditional parade, while touring Dublin, or if you’re visiting Belfast be sure to pop your head into McHugh's Bar and Restaurant, where you can soak in the live music.



A tour of Scotland is like being welcomed into a new family of coos, haggis, and whisky. With heritage sights, royal connections, and fairytale landscapes that seem to consume everything around you, there’s plenty to see in this wee bonnie land. Open your eyes to the Scottish Highlands for a scenic escape or maybe you want to reenact your favourite scene on an Outlander tour? Scotland’s vast array of mini-break locations makes it one of the best countries to visit when thinking of somewhere closer to home.

queens view scotland


Shakespeare, Stonehenge, and fog-covered moors, all things synonymous with touring beautiful England. With so much to see on your doorstep, how can you choose just one region to stay in? From walking the beaches of Devon and Cornwall, to stepping back in time while roaming the city of Bath, each county has stories and mysteries waiting for you to uncover. Explore our selection of multi-day tours to help you see more of England within your short timeframe.

hadrians wall england

Top 3 Locations Outside the UK for Your Next Trip

The UK is a great base to start your mini-break in, but if you still want to have an abroad holiday, here are three destinations which are less than a three hour flight away from London.


Located around 2.5 hours away by plane, depending on your final destination, choosing a short break to Spain can be an ideal warmer climate option. Full of tradition and culture, when you tour Spain, even just for a weekend, you can embrace all the rich atmosphere this country has to offer. Blessed with a mixture of countryside retreats or city breaks, there’s a balance of everything for each type of traveller. Whether you’re solo travelling and looking to spend a few nights in the capital or looking for a romantic weekend to enjoy with a loved one, Spain’s got you covered.



Home to moreish food and wine, touring Portugal while on a short break is a foodie’s dream. With fresh seafood, a popular delicacy, guests can wash it down with a glass of the local vino, overlooking the serene blue waters. If stepping back in time is more of your thing, this country's UNESCO sites are certainly worth visiting. Take a guided tour to the World Heritage city of Porto and gain a sense of what life could have been like centuries ago.



Famous for watches, chocolate, and mountains, when you tour Switzerland you’ll appreciate this country has so much to offer its guests. Home to over 7,000 lakes, the scenery in Switzerland is second-to-none, but it's not just the landscape which is captivating, it’s also named as one of the top 10 safest European countries to visit. Having this status in the world of travel helps put visitors’ minds at ease, especially if taking a mini-break over the festive period to experience the Christmas markets.


Short Trips That Last a Lifetime

Short breaks don’t mean short memories. On a Rabbie’s small-group tour, our expert driver-guides ensure you take home more than souvenirs, you capture the stories of tales told of time gone by. If you’re looking for something a little more specific, discover our private tours, where you can design your bespoke trip to suit your taste. Whether you’re looking to uncover your Scottish heritage, or wanting to spend the day admiring renasant art in Spain, it all starts with an inquiry to our team. If you’re still deciding between tours, be sure to sign up to our newsletter, where you will be the first to hear of our new tour departure locations and any seasonal offers.