Vacationing on a Budget: How to Have a Great Vacation at Home without Spending a Fortune
How often have you found yourself in the position of having an upcoming week off with nothing to do, nowhere to go? A lack of funds doesn’t have to be a vacation dampener. There are plenty of fun and exciting things you can do without having to spend a lot of money.
Become a tourist in your own hometown. Spend a day exploring your hometown or the nearest sizeable city from the viewpoint of a tourist. Visit websites, the chamber of commerce, or your local travel club for tips and help planning your day. Visiting a rest stop along an interstate road can allow you access to all sorts of informational brochures and money-saving coupons. What do people do when they come to your area from out of town? Is there a local museum or tourist attraction you’ve never visited, or haven’t visited in several years? What about local historic points of interest? Are there tours offered in your area? A bus, trolley, Segway, or riverboat tour might lead you to learn things about your own hometown that you never knew.
Take a short day trip or two. Look at a map and pinpoint areas that are two hours or less from your home. Is there somewhere nearby that you’ve always heard about but never gotten around to visiting? A state or national park or historic site? A restaurant you’ve never tried that people come from miles around to patronize? A shopping mecca? Taking a quick day trip can make you feel like you are getting away, plus you don’t have to pack a suitcase!
Make a day of shopping. Even if you don’t buy much, a day of shopping or just browsing can be fun. Call a close friend or two, grab the Yellow Pages, and plan out a route to visit some of the smaller, specialty, or boutique shops in your area. You may end up discovering a new favorite store you never knew existed. Consignment, salvage, and thrift stores can often be some of the most interesting. Their merchandise changes constantly, and you never know what type of items you will find. Plus, the prices are usually extremely affordable.
Have a movie marathon. Call up some friends and watch some of your favorite movies. Have a theme if you like. Watch the entire series of Harry Potter, Star Wars, Lethal Weapon… whatever strikes you! Or, watch entire seasons of your favorite television shows on DVD. Pop popcorn, order pizza, make nachos, eat M&M’s from the bag, and have a blast!
You can have a great time without the hassle of expensive hotel stays, long airport lines, horrendous traffic, or packing and unpacking suitcases. Tailor these ideas to suit your own needs, interests, and situation. Enjoy your vacation!