Spring is officially underway… and if you’re anything like me, you’ll use every excuse in the book to get outside and enjoy the beautiful weather! The sunshine is a great motivational tool, making it the perfect time to spruce up the yard and take care of household projects. It isn’t until the dust settles and Spring cleaning is finally complete that I start thinking about vacation. For many of us, summer just wouldn’t be the same without a relaxing summer getaway. Unfortunately, if money is tight and you’re on a strict budget, a traditional vacation may not be feasible. Here are six affordable vacation ideas that will add some excitement to your summer – without breaking the bank.
One of the best parts about summer vacation is breaking away from the monotony of everyday life. This doesn’t necessarily require a luxury cruise or a 10-hour plane flight to a tropical island. By thinking outside of the box and being creative, you can have a fun and affordable summer getaway that’s easy on the wallet.
#1 – A Good Old-Fashioned Road Trip
An affordable way get out of the house and change things up is to GET IN THE CAR AND DRIVE! Although many people prefer to have a destination in mind (see below), nothing can be more exciting or liberating than being on the open road and exploring unfamiliar territory. Although gas prices continue to hit record levels, driving is more affordable than most other forms of transportation. Plus, you set the distance and your final destination – giving you full control of your vacation budget.
Grab a map or use GPS, pack a large cooler and stop at grocery stores along the way to keep your costs down. Sing songs, play cheesy games and share personal stories. Don’t forget to stop at road side tourist attractions and take pictures of all the scenic views. A road-trip can be a cost effective way to make fun new memories!
#2 – Roughing It in the Great Outdoors
Who doesn’t love a good camping trip? OK… not everybody appreciates the great outdoors, but camping is an affordable way to get outside and enjoy the fresh air and natural scenery. Add some adventure with a backpacking trip or biking tour. Canoeing is another fun and affordable option. Do a little research online, borrow some gear from a friend and you’ll be on your way to an exciting summer adventure.
#3 – Local Luxury Hotel Vacation
If roughing it in the great outdoors isn’t your style, how about finding a nice hotel closer to home? By eliminating plane flights and avoiding long drives, you’ll reduce your summer vacation costs drastically. Choose an interesting town or hot spot within your area and enjoy a few days free from your everyday worries. Sleep-in, watch a movie, relax by the pool and enjoy great local foods, exhibits, parks and shopping. Don’t forget to turn off that cell phone – this is supposed to be a vacation!
#4 – Stay WIth Friends / House Swap
Do you have family or friends that live out-of-state? Even if they’re not far from home, give them a call and see if they’d enjoy a little company for a few days. A change of scenery may be all that you need to relax and feel rejuvenated. If the living quarters are too cramped, consider a swap or house exchange. It’s simple and easy, it doesn’t cost a thing and it could be beneficial to both of the parties involved.
#5 – Bus or Train Adventure
Air travel is expensive, but bus and train tickets are a relatively affordable alternative. Check out the routes and setup an interesting itinerary. Consider multiple stops or just one destination. Although it may take longer, just sit back and relax while someone else does the driving. If you’re lucky, you’ll meet some interesting people along the way…
#6 – Stay-At-Home Vacation???
Staying at home may not seem like a great summer vacation idea, but if you approach it with an open mind, you’ll save the most money and you’re likely to get the same positive results as traveling. The key for a successful stay-at-home vacation is to GIVE UP YOUR DAILY ROUTINE AND RELAX. Spend some time outside and do all of the things that you normally can’t do during the work week. Consider local activities and other fun events close to home. Spend some time at the park, go downtown and visit the attractions, have some friends over for a BBQ or drive down to a local river or lake. The options are endless if you’re willing to be creative