Cheap Getaway Ideas

Everyone loves a vacation, and it can be said that we all genuinely need to get away from the stresses of everyday life from time to time. Still, in today's economy, it is hard to justify spending hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars on a week's (or less) worth of fun. Does this mean you can't have a vacation this year? Don't throw in the beach towel just yet. There are many ways to have a quick getaway on a budget. All it takes is a little planning and research, and you can enjoy a cheap getaway right in your own backyard.

Many couples and families are planning to enjoy a "staycation" instead of a vacation this year. A staycation is a getaway that is taken within one tank of gas of your home. This saves a lot of traveling money that you would normally spend on gas, food or possibly airfare. Get out a map of your area, and take a look. Are there any interesting landmarks, national parks, beaches or other tourist attractions near your home? Perhaps you have never really explored them. Choose one or more of the locations, and plan a short one- or two-day trip.

Take a Class

Check out your local ranger station if you live near a national forest or park. Most offer day- or even week-long classes and educational tours of nearby natural areas, such as lectures on flora and fauna, hikes to landmarks, wildlife viewing, and even fishing lessons. This is a very inexpensive (usually free) getaway that is educational as well as relaxing. Finish off the class with a weekend stay at a nearby campground. Many offer cabins or yurts for rent at low prices if you don't like to camp in a tent. If you do not live near a national park, check out your local community college for workshops or classes.

Be a Kid Again

Many people don't ever consider getting away to a zoo, science center or other activity that may be geared toward children. This is too bad, because such places have a lot to offer adults. For a quick, day-long getaway, pack up a picnic lunch and spend the day at a local zoo or aquarium. For the price of admission, you can take your time wandering around the usually beautifully landscaped grounds, see exotic animals and have lunch outdoors. Many zoos and aquariums are built near the water, allowing you to take a walk on the beach as an added bonus to your day.

April Sanders has been a professional writer since 1998. She has worked as an educator and now writes academic research content for EBSCO Publishing and elementary reading curriculum for Compass Publishing. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in social psychology from the University of Washington and a master's degree in information sciences and technology in education from Mansfield University.