Hardworking folks like yourselves deserve a vacation now and then, spring break coming up and all, and plane tickets suck. Airplanes suck. Airports suck. Sorry, America, it’s an absolute nightmare to fly here. Nonetheless, you deserve a getaway, for your brain’s sake. So, depending on your proximity to a coast, a mountain range, a national forest, or a good group of friends (hopefully that’s not too hard to find), here are some vacation ideas for the thrifty and adventurous at heart.
Camping No, not glamping. The real, dirty deal. Almost anywhere has a decently manageable proximity to a campground. In Florida I camped at a national park on the beach, no one for miles. It was amazing, and at around $20 a night, we were just fine staying a while. Campgrounds are all over the place price wise, but you can sniff out a good one and have some totally guilt-free relaxation on short notice. Grab some friends and escape to nature for a bit. It’s much more fun right now while it’s still chilly outside.
Staycation sounds boring, but when was the last time you got to enjoy the town you live in as a tourist? I live in Austin, and I know there are tons of museums, restaurants and events I never visit or know about because, well, I live here. Take a few days off and pretend you’re not a resident. Go see some art, try a new lunch place, even stay in a hotel for a night. It’s inexpensive and exciting, and can be a great way to get away for a minute. Or, you can just hang out at home and catch up on stuff on your staycation. What a nice idea that is.
SXSW I do have a personal bias here, but what most people don’t know about Austin’s biggest music festival is that, provided you research the parties you want to attend ahead of time and RSVP to get on their lists, the festival is free. People talking about buying wristbands and passes are hilarious to me. I don’t go to a lot of music festivals because I hate the idea of being held in a place, forced to pay high prices for food and drinks, and the added pressure of “well, I paid for this, so I should stay the whole time,” when sometimes I just don’t want to. South by Southwest is a festival that takes over the whole town (much to the lamentation of its inhabitants sometimes) and the shows are mostly free, the food is often free, and it’s happy hour just about everywhere. No gouging, no captivity. And if you get overwhelmed, just duck in somewhere for a margarita.
A cruise might be “too soon” to talk about since a ship just went Titanic on some unexpected travelers off the coast of Italy last week, but cruises can be a great time with friends, a good way to see some things you’ve never seen and the best part is that they’re all-inclusive. One price and you’re fed, housed, and entertained, free room service and drinks in some cases, the works. They will get you on the alcohol, but to me a glass of wine with dinner is about all I need on a rocking ship, so if you keep the booze to a minimum, you’re looking at a great time for a manageable price.
Roadtrip Duh. Grab some friends, see some sights. Roll the windows down, crank the jams. Maybe have a destination in mind, maybe not. It’s just a matter of deciding to do it. Usually you can find a friend who’s moving, wants to move, wants to visit a friend somewhere else… so many of my friends are sprawled across the country pursuing their dreams, it takes very little effort to find a reason to get in the car and go.
A vacation isn’t always about how far away you go, or even for how long, it’s just the very idea that you set aside the time to focus on you. Mental health is more important than we make it these days, and vacations aren’t just a luxury, they’re vital to survival. So cut yourself some slack and get away.
Do any of these pique your interest? What are you doing for vacation this spring?