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It’s another mundane day at the work, the weekend couldn’t have whizzed by faster and now you’re sitting trying to make heads or tails out of the many tasks that lay ahead. On such days, even the strongest caffeine dose ceases to wake up all our senses. W

It’s another mundane day at the work, the weekend couldn’t have whizzed by faster and now you’re sitting trying to make heads or tails out of the many tasks that lay ahead. On such days, even the strongest caffeine dose ceases to wake up all our senses. With a dreary long week ahead, you wish your next holiday was sooner but unfortunately, your boss won’t let you out of their sight, your annuals have been used up and let’s admit your many guilty pleasures leave little money in the bank for an exotic holiday in the Bahamas!

What if we told you that you could take a short holiday to recharge and rejuvenate your tired soul? A holiday that won’t break the bank and won’t require any queuing up for visas! Tough week at work be gone! Make the most out of your weekend with these destinations under 50k with us having done all the homework for you – all you have to do is pick one option from the 5 amazing low budget weekend destinations we’ve rounded up!

With these tailor-made itineraries, a trip to the beautiful Astola Island and Nathiagali will get you as excited as an international getaway would. So get started, learn the art of smart vacationing (we just invented the term) and say bye to your Monday blues!

Astola Island, Balochistan

(image from: https://i.dawn.com/primary/2016/12/5865156a31475.jpg)

A hidden gem tucked away in on the shores of the Arabian sea on Balochistan’s less explored coastal belt, Astola Island is astoundingly beautiful and serene! Its waters are crystal clear and the shoreline, a mix of cliffs and white sandy terrain.
How to get there: For the adventurous souls amongst us, the journey to Astola is an exciting one, starting first with a 7-hour car ride from Karachi to Pasni in Balochistan and then about a 2-hour boat ride to the Island itself.
The locals are beyond friendly and help you camp out, a must if you’d like to experience the exquisite solitude and peace this island offers.
Watch out for: Sunrise and sunset views are a must capture even if you’re a rookie iphone photographer. And local seafood!
Activities to do: Gather seashells, meditate, practice some yoga asanas, go scuba diving, snorkeling and fishing, or grab a book and sit by the sea to enjoy the spectacular view!
Recommended months: February, March, April
Remember to take: Water bottles, sun block, travel snacks, bug spray and a great ethnic Balochi Coke Studio playlist!
Total Expenditure per person: 25,000 rupees


Sharan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

(image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/asifcae/4742750907)

If you’re based in Islamabad, this is amongst one of the few existing forest reserves in the country, and high up in the mountains is the small reserve of Sharan. Its dense lush green walnut trees and its small streams make it a peaceful spot for a weekend getaway.
How to get there: A 10 hour ride from Islamabad to a town called Paras, and then a thrilling one hour, nail biting ride in open jeeps to Sharan! The summer sun is mild and the breeze pleasant, night time is cold which makes it the perfect retreat from the sweltering Isloo summer months.
Watch out for: The star filled nights, shooting stars, white monkeys and many exotic birds!
Activities to do: Hiking, trekking, waterfall repelling, and bird watching!
Recommended months: May, June, July, August
Remember to take: Camping gear, binoculars (for an awe inspiring view of the Himalayas!), waterproof jacket, trekking shoes!
Off the beaten track tip: On the top of the mountain is a plateau called Manshi Meadows, a 40 minute hike from the base camp of Sharan. Once you reach this and stand on the top, it is like a dream, take a while, lie in the grass and soak in all the beauty in – the Himalayas on one side and vast grass land covered for miles with shepherds and their flocks at distances, one feels nothing but ultimate peace and happiness here!
Total expenditure per person: 15,000 – 20,000 rupees


Sehwan, Sindh

(image source: https://tribune.com.pk/story/569756/lal-shahbaz-qalandars-761st-urs-when-sehwan-calls-thousands-of-devotees-answer/¬)

This historic city is better known for its mystique, Sufi charm, unique peace and healing! it is home to the shrine of one of the most important Sufi Saints, Lal Shahbaz Qalandar, also known as Jhule Lal, the God of the Indus. Here you will find people from all walks of life: gypsy wanderers, devoted worshippers, tourists, curious bystanders and music aficionados – regardless of their religion, race and language, thousands of people flock to this shrine.
How to get there: A three and a half hour car journey from Karachi, Sehwan is an easily doable weekend trip!
Watch out for: The Dhamaal at Maghrib is a truly unique experience for the soul, some find their reason of being within the entrancing drum beat, some are mesmerized by the atmosphere and dance to it while some stay silent taking it in all its glory – whichever way you choose, the beat stays with you for a long time.
Activities to do: Fishing at Manchar Lake, visit shrines in the area such as Shah Sadar and Bodla Bahar.
Recommended months: October, November, December, January & Monsoon season!
Remember to take: A scarf/chaadar and some small change to pay alms to the homeless at the shrine.
Total expenditure per person: 10,000 rupees


Nathiagali, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

(image source: http://www.retreathotels.pk/nathiagali/Natural-Beauti-of-Nathiagali%20/44)

Nathia is the ultimate getaway for a short, low budget trip from Islamabad – one which allows you to transcend into nature and bliss in no time! The summer time is pleasant and one can truly enjoy the tranquility this place offers, whether it’s a long overdue break from your job or wedding preparations, this town will have you calm and refreshed!
How to get there: Nathiagali is a 3 hour car ride from Islamabad!
Watch out for: Foggy morning views of the hills and mountains, purple-pink hued sunsets!
Activities to do: Trekking, camping, hiking, visits to the local bazaar to buy ethnic stone jewelry and carved wooden ornaments, or curl up on a lawn chair in the evenings by a bonfire and a nice book!
Recommended Months: May, June, July, August
Remember to take: Warm clothes for the chilly evenings, hiking gear and good durable shoes!
Total Expenditure per person: 15,000 rupees


Nagarparkar, Sindh

(image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/khalidakhtar/8452727000)

One of the lesser known destinations in our list, Nagarparkar situated right at the border with Gujarat in India is a sensory treat and an altogether unique cultural experience. The best time to go is in the monsoon season, when the desert truly magically comes to live! Sand dunes transform into rolling green hills and the highway is laced with locals selling wild mushrooms – one of the many delicacies that the monsoon brings in Thar!
How to get there: 8 hour car journey, stop on the way at Shahjahan Mosque and Makli for a real historic experience!
Watch out for: Local folk singers, post monsoon unique vegetarian dishes, Karoonjar mountain range, Churio and Kasbo temples only a few kilometers away from the Indian border, border lights and beautiful winding roads with sand dunes!
Things to do: Home to some of the oldest Jain temples in all of Asia, Nagarparkar is rich in history and culture, connect with the locals in their homes, buy local handicrafts and herbs for various ailments at the foot of the Karoonjhar range and visit all the local temples
Recommended months: July, August (if it rains) or December, January or during Hindu festivals like Holi and Diwali
Remember to: Pack lots of snacks, a wifi device and sturdy covered shoes!
Off the beaten track tip: Buy mushrooms that the locals sell on the road if you happen to visit during or after the monsoon season. Do not miss the Gori temple in Gori village, where there are ceiling frescos dating as far back as 500 AD – now occupied only by musicians and bats!
Total Expenditure per person: 10,000 rupees



(image source: http://www.karachiglidingclub.com/my-family-vacation-to-ormara/)

The port city of Ormara is another perfect weekend trip, its refreshing scenery will give you a sense of peace and solitude!
How to get there: only a 5 hour car journey from Karachi!
Watch out for: Dazzling turquoise waters, princess of hope and Hinlaj temple on the way!
Things to do: Swimming in the sea (during low tide), midnight strolls across the shore and eat a Balochi delicacy called Sajji!
Remember to bring: Camping gear, wind protecting jacket, rash cream/anti allergy and some snacks!
Total Expenditure per person: 10,000 Rupees


Leepa Valley

(image source: http://photomonde.fr/vallee-de-leepa-azad-cachemire-pakistan/)

Like a painting, its green peaks and rolling grassy hills are a treat to the eyes, situated in the heart of Kashmir, it is a must visit for those living in Islamabad or Lahore!
How to get there: 3 hours drive from Islamabad, only 45 kms from Muzaffarabad
Watch out for: Valley views, fresh fruits, honey, unique wooden architecture and intricate hand embroidered fabrics!
Things to do: Walk through the interesting landscape of Chananian village and hiking
Remember to pack: Torch, snacks, warm clothing for the evenings and sturdy shoes
Total Expenditure per person: 20,000 rupees

Related ItemsAstolaAstola IslandBalochistanBodla BaharHolidayJhule LalKhyber PakhtunkhwaLal Shahbaz QalandarLeepa ValleyLocal GetawaysManchar LakeManshi MeadowsNagarparkarNathiagaliOrmaraPakistanSehwanShah SadarShahjahan MosqueSharanSindhSufiSufi ShrineTravelVacation

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