Stay Local Get Away Cheap tips for an Affordable weekend trip
Stay Local, Get Away Cheap: Tips for an Affordable Weekend Trip
Without a change of scenery, it doesn’t take long for your weekly routine to become depressingly familiar. Get the kids to school, get to work, sit in a lot of traffic, keep the house clean and the lawn mowed — it never seems to vary, and it can take a heavy toll on your psyche and blunt your motivation. Just getting away for a few days can make an enormous mental and emotional difference. A weekend getaway is a sort-of vacation on the cheap, a chance to go have some fun without the time and planning involved in a full-blown vacation. So, check out these budget-conscious travel tips and consider the value of returning to work feeling renewed.
See the (Local) Sights
Have you ever seen tourists wandering around your town and wondered what they were looking at? It’s easy to overlook the cool stuff in your own backyard when you’re busy seven days a week, but it can make for a very affordable stay-at-home “getaway.” Spend the weekend at a local hotel or bed and breakfast and explore some of your city’s hidden treasures, those sights you’ve always heard about but didn’t think were worth your time.
Or, consider a short trip within your region that can take you to all-new destinations within a day’s drive of your front door. Sometimes, a short drive and a brief stay can leave you with a whole new perspective, all without venturing far from home. Always keep an eye out for online discounts and deals on accommodations through sites like Hotels.com. If you need a car for you short journey, check out Enterprise for weekend specials and cash back.
An Untapped Resource
The United States is chock full of great state and national parks, which are natural resources that many people never take advantage of. They offer camping opportunities or accommodations in the midst of breathtaking natural beauty. Camping is a great budget-friendly activity that the whole family can enjoy. National park fees are as low as $15, and the bulk of your expenditure will likely be your grocery bill for the weekend (don’t worry, campfire hot dogs and s’mores are well within most everyone’s budget). However, if you need camping gear for the excursion, check out sites like RetailMeNot or Honey to save some money.
Set a Budget
Budgeting is one of the best ways to ensure an enjoyable weekend getaway. The nice thing about a brief trip is that it doesn’t require as much intense, long-term budgeting and preparation as a summer family vacation. Sometimes half the fun is taking off on a whim and deciding where to go at the last minute. However, you need the resources to be able to get away and planning ahead financially makes it a lot easier. Set up a spreadsheet, or use a personal financial software tool such as Mint (it’s free), which makes travel/vacation budgeting simple: Once you’ve accumulated an amount of available funds, budget a certain amount of spending money for your trip. That’ll prevent overspending and help keep your weekend getaway manageable and within budgetary limits. Also, companies like Priceline can help you stay within your budget through vacation packages and special offers that can save you money.
Focus on activities that are enjoyable and relaxing without being expensive. You can save money just spending an afternoon in a sidewalk cafe watching the locals drift by. Or, you can browse for a couple hours in a local market rather than hitting the high-end commercial district with your credit card at the ready. You can also mitigate some of the high cost of dining out by preparing a cozy meal in your hotel room or ordering in.
Sometimes, you just need to get away and unwind for a couple of days. While it may not be in your budget to fly to Paris, London, or Rome for the weekend, there are plenty of opportunities in your own area code that can give you a weekend getaway you’ll always remember.
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com