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Millionaire Money Habits

September 10th, 2009 at 7:37 am

Cheap Weekend Getaways

Two weeks of vacation just isn’t enough; you either get one shot at a long vacation (and come back to an insanely large pile of work) or break it up into small pieces to spread throughout the year (and 10-14 days spread over 52 weeks doesn’t cut it).  The remedy?  Weekend getaways.  Sometimes simply getting away from your usual surroundings for those couple days can be exactly the refreshment your mind and body need.  Here are a few ideas to get you started and keep some money in your pocket:

  • “Staycations.”  You might hate the made-up word, and you were probably expecting this suggestion, but it’s true: vacationing in your own local area can be an easy and cheap idea.  I’ve found through personal experience that many people know more about far away cities than they do about their own backyard.  Do an internet search to find any local festivals or small towns you may never have heard of.  Pack like you’re traveling across the country—in other words, leave home and don’t look back!
  • Go camping.  Rates are usually better than hotels anyway!  This can be a great idea for families.  Pitch a tent, start a fire, make s’mores, and tell stories.  Most camping sites will also have many sporting activities available such as swimming or volleyball or trails to go hiking, bike-riding, or rollerblading on.  And you can turn your trip into either a fun party or a relaxing experience.
  • Go on a cruise!  Yes, a cruise.  You may need to take an extra day or two on this one, but airfare and cruise rates are extremely low right this very minute.  Some cruises will cost just around $200 right now, and your round-trip airfare could be even less.  If you’ve never been on a cruise (or you have and would love to go again), now is a perfect time to go.

Are you looking for a specific destination idea?  Again, with airfare low, you have many options available for your weekend trips.  Try a few of these:

  • Lake Geneva, WI.  If you’re looking for a quaint little town with a bit of a city flair, this is the place for you.  You’ll find bed and breakfasts and cozy hotels, great restaurants (especially for pizza!), fun little shops, and of course, the lake, which offers a few different beach options.
  • Washington, D.C.  If your favorite price is “free,” visit our nation’s capitol.  Of course, you’ll have to pay for your hotel and food, but many of the attractions are free.  This includes the national monuments, the many Smithsonian museums, the White House, etc.  Get a big piece of history for absolutely nothing.
  • Los Angeles, CA.  Particularly with fall coming up, you might be looking for a warmer destination.  Just like Washington, D.C., LA offers many free attractions as well, including the Hollywood Walk of Fame, the California Science Center, the Getty Museum, and a free tour of the original LA area.  Maybe you’ll even come away with an autograph from a celebrity!

The Travel Channel also features a program called “Samantha Brown’s Great Weekends.”  She goes everywhere for just a weekend, including Europe.  She does a number of different activities that you might not know existed, many of them on the cheap.  If you’re looking for more ideas, this can be a good stop on your getaway search.  Happy relaxing!

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