15/11/2012 05:55 GMT | Updated 13/01/2013 05:12 GMT

Tips for a Last Minute Weekend Getaway

Whether it's a birthday, anniversary or a dirty weekend away, we all need a weekend break from time to time. I share my tips on how to make the most of a last minute mini break.

Save Time and be a VIP

Save time at the airport by arranging a VIP transfer who will meet and greet you, take your bags, whisk you past the check-in lines and security queues, depositing you safely by the gate or in the airport lounge. One-way prices can cost under £100 and you can even be flying on a low cost airline to use it.

Stay Close to Home

Sometimes you just want to get away from it all without really getting that far away at all - pick somewhere within an hour or two from home so you can jump in the car after work on a Friday night and be settled in by dinner time. (Coworth Park below is an excellent example).

Coworth Park Mansion House

You Don't Always Need to Plan

Gasp! A concierge telling you now to plan! While we would normally always recommend pre-planning and booking in advance, there are great offers to be had at very short notice. The best hotels get booked out far ahead, but there might well be a cancellation and you may be lucky to get a reduced rate.

Blag an Upgrade

Everyone loves an upgrade, especially at hotels - checking-in later in the day will help when the hotel will know about the day's cancellations and no-shows, and don't book the cheapest room category as that will decrease your chances.

If you have any connections at the hotel, get in touch, and it doesn't hurt to ask outright or mention that it's a special occasion.

Eat at the Latest Hotspot

If you want a table at the hottest restaurant that has been fully booked for weeks, try calling up just after lunch on the day before you want to dine, as restaurants call up all existing reservation to re-confirm the day before, so you may be lucky enough to grab a cancellation.

Secure the Best Table

Once you've made it inside, you're going to want the best table. The best advice is to be polite and well mannered (first impressions do count!) and mention that it's a special occasion - restaurants will want to make it special for you too. If you've spotted a table you like, ask for it - you don't get if you don't ask.