Ideas for Cheap Vacations In Your Home Town

How To Relax On A Budget? Try These Cheap 'Vacations'

One way to truly relax and enjoy a day off is to indulge in a good book. Paul Bradbury/Getty Images

Vacations carry important benefits for stress management, productivity, and health. Unfortunately, many people don’t take vacations -- even cheap vacations -- because of time or money constraints. Luckily, there are ways you can enjoy many of the benefits a vacation would bring, but without spending as much time or money as you would on a "formal vacation." So, for those who don’t have weeks to take or thousands to spend, I have these creative ideas for cheap vacations at home.

Cheap Vacation Idea #1: Take A Quiet Day:

Take a full day without answering your phone or connecting to the internet. This will help you disconnect from the stresses and demands from your daily life, allowing you to really relax. Tell the people in your life that you’re leaving for the day (or the weekend!), and have a vacation at home. You may want to take this time to start a good book, a new stress relief practice, or set up a home spa.

Cheap Vacation Idea #2: Play "Hometown Tourist:"

You may be surprised at how much fun it is to be a tourist in your own town. Plan a fun time as though you were new to your city or area. Try to avoid chain restaurants and anything you normally do and try unique things that you’ve been meaning to try, or perhaps that you’d never heard of before.

Cheap Vacation Idea #3: Be A Hotel Guest:

It can also be surprisingly relaxing to stay in a nearby hotel. I have friends who do this, and I used to think they were nuts.

(Why spend money to stay in a hotel when you live nearby and can sleep in your own bed for free, right?) Then they told me about all the fun things that most of us don’t have in our own homes: room service, brand-new little soaps, whirlpool bathtubs, pools, and saunas, fun attractions in walking distance, maid service, etc.

Basically, you get to immerse yourself in clean, nicely decorated surroundings that don’t have piles of laundry and clutter lying around (reminding us of the work that needs to be done), where you can turn off your cell phone and become unreachable, where you can close the thick drapes and sleep in as late as you want to and then roll out of bed to a breakfast someone else prepares, or even order it delivered to your room! Suddenly, the idea didn’t sound so crazy after all.

Cheap Vacation Idea #4: Visit a Day Spa:

If you can’t afford the time or money it would cost to go on a traditional vacation, you can spend a fraction of the money and a mere few hours at a day spa getting yourself a heavenly massage that will leave your body relaxed and your mind clear. For a real treat, spend an entire afternoon there, lolling in a plush bathrobe while getting facials and other skin treatments as well as body work done. Then go home and watch a movie or curl up in bed with a good book. You’ll feel like you had a great vacation, but it will have cost you much less, which may reduce even more stress! 

Cheap Vacation Idea #5: Stay In Your Jammies:

Cameron Fry, the character in the movie Ferris Bueller’s Day Off would finally rest once he got sick, preferring to stay in bed all day to recover from the stresses of his life.

In some ways, he had the right idea, but you don’t have to wait for stress to make you sick before you take a pajama day. Yes, here’s another one that sounds silly, but can really make you feel like you’ve had a refreshing break. It works just how it sounds: Stay in your pajamas all day, relaxing and doing only what you feel like. Want to surf the ‘net for hours, then watch “The Twilight Zone” on the Sci Fi channel? Want to do a crossword puzzle from the newspaper (or play games from this site), then eat a big bowl of Jell-o? Watch three Star Wars movies in a row, or a whole season of Entourage?

You get the idea. The pajamas are only to set the tone; the pajama day involves a whole attitude, a worldview of relaxation and proud laziness that lasts for an entire day. Sometimes that’s just what you need.

If you really don’t have the money or resources to take a vacation of any type, it’s important for you to do something that relieves stress regularly. This article can help those who want to feel relaxed and refreshed, but can’t spend even a weekend or full day away.

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