Can’t Afford a Vacation? You Can Still Get Away – Here’s How

Amsterdam museumpleinYou paid the fall tuition bill. The a/c compressor conked out. And your lab ate the bedspread, again, requiring emergency surgery. Your vacation plans? Better luck next year.

Don’t put away the suitcase yet. It’s still possible to take a day (or two) away and recharge before the leaves start falling and the Subaru needs new tires.

Oompah Band

Need that vacation feeling? Find a nearby Oktoberfest and spend the day with an oompah band. Cheaper than heading to Munich.

  • Pick your date wisely. Weekends are easy but you can avoid traffic and crowds and increase the relaxability factor if you travel mid-week.
  • Choose a destination within 2 hours of home. A quick drive helps you shed the stress.
  • What you do is up to you. Museum? Beach? Hike? Choose an activity to anchor your day away.
  • Make the arrangements in advance. Book entry tickets and secure reservations for tours. It’s too easy to cancel at the last-minute. But if you’ve paid for it? That’s a commitment.
  • Check the tourism guide for your destination area and pick out a fun restaurant and some shops to visit to flesh out your itinerary.
  • Head out early. Sleeping in is great, but it’s a luxury you can’t afford on your mini getaway. If you want to have fun, get moving!
  • Be prepared. Make sure you have the right gear for the weather, comfortable shoes, and sunscreen.
  • Take lots of pictures and share on social media. Once you’re away, you’re on vacation, whatever the destination. You may be headed to the Catskills while your friends are dancing in Ibiza, but it doesn’t matter. You’re still AWAY.
  • If your budget won’t stretch to accommodate 3 restaurant meals, eat breakfast at home before you leave, pack lunch, and splurge on dinner.
  • Buy a souvenir. It’s corny and fun.

The simplest trips are often the best. Just be enthusiastic and curious. You’ll discover that vacation isn’t a destination – it’s a state of mind.

Amsterdam hotel view

Sometimes you need a room with a view but getting there feels like an impossible dream.


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