Has life —conflicting agendas, family emergencies, changes in schedules, expensive repairs, etc.—put a halt on your summer plans? With determination and a little creative energy, organizing a last minute summer getaway does not have to be difficult, time consuming, or expensive. Here are some unique and creative options for making the end of your summer worthwhile.
Main Expenses: Travel (depending on intended location) and food.
Time Commitment: Moderately Flexible
Save On: Housing Costs
Not enough money to attend a five star resort? Try swapping your home for a few days. Thanks to websites like Homeforexchange, you can easily take a trip to desirable location for a small registration fee. Swapping your home allows you to stay in a large variety of locations without paying to be there. Instead, simply share the generosity by granting other like-minded individuals access to your home. If you are uncomfortable with the thought of allowing a stranger to residence in your house, swap homes with a family member or friend, this way both you and a loved-one can receive a well-deserved vacation and bypass online registration fees.
Extensive In-Home Vacationing
Main Expenses: Decoration and Food
Time Commitment: Extremely Flexible
Save On: Housing and Transportation
Rather than taking an ordinary “staycation” attitude of visiting local theme parks, museums, or famous landmarks, with an imagination you can make it an extraordinary adventure. Try transforming your home into a five-star resort. Decorate each room with a location in mind; either stick to a house-wide theme or decorate multiple rooms as different places: “Mom, I can’t find my black socks,” “Have you checked New Zealand?” Look up common foreign cuisine and cook them for dinner. Watch a foreign film; dress like a native—be creative with it. Ever wanted to take a trip to visit the Holy Roman Empire? Now’s your chance! Perhaps the next time someone at the office asks where you went this summer you’ll answer, “435 A.D.” For lots more great ways to organize a satisfying staycation, download this podcast by Alicia & Sarah & listen to it on your commute. They’ll tell you how to organize a staycation on a dime. One that’s actually memorable and packed full of fun!
Urban Road Trip
Main Expenses: Food and Gas
Time Commitment: Flexible Depending on Location and Goal
Save On: Housing and Relative Transportation.
Thinking of taking a cross country road trip but lack the time or funds? A local urban road trip may not be as picturesque as one across country, but it can be even more rewarding and exciting. Start with a map and draw a route through some major local cities; avoid tedious driving and repetitive scenery. Depending on location of departure and expendable time you can drive through one major city, or a handful. Instead of packing sandwiches and water bottles, find a cheap city restaurant and dine with the locals, seek out famous local cuisine if possible and fully immerse yourself in the city culture. Lack the funds to stay in a hotel? Thanks to the Parks and Recreation Department, there are a host of camp sites on the outskirts of major cities that allow travelers to sleep, shower, and use the restroom for a small parking fee; just bring a tent and grooming products, and you’ll be ready for an inexpensive and unique adventure.
Main Expense: Food and transportation
Time Commitment: Moderately Flexible
Save On: Housing
If you are intent on leaving the urban, suburban, or residential life behind, staying at a local farm may be your best option. Staying on a farm is a way to save money while simultaneously experiencing a unique, unrehearsed stay in a new location. According to Farmstayus.com, there is a farm location for “every budget,” from $10 outdoor camping, to $1000 indoor stay with all the trimmings. A quick, personal search inquiring about the Connecticut area resulted in a goat farm that housed up to 8 people for fewer than 100 dollars with amenities and breakfast provided. If you are looking to simply get away from it all there isn’t a less expensive or more unique option than a stay on a local farm.
In any case, the key to a rewarding last-minute summer vacation lies in a creative will. So think outside the box, and plan a unique and inexpensive getaway.