July may seem like the perfect time for a break, but what if your budget doesn't agree? No worries. You can get the rejuvenating effects of a vacation and create plenty of memories even if you stick close to home. Here are a few wallet-friendly "trips" to take in July without breaking the bank.
Summer is nearly here, which means we're beginning to daydream about vacation destinations and quick escapes from the daily grind. Now is the time to create new vacation memories to last us through the colder seasons to come. It's healthy and necessary for us to take a few days away from the office to rejuvenate and refocus, even if you choose a location close to home. Here's a roundup of money conscious travel tips to keep in mind as you plan those Summer getaways.
If you're thinking of forgoing your usual Summer travel plans due to high prices, you should consider these frugal trip ideas from Wise Bread.
The sky is brighter, the air is warming up, and the layers of clothes are getting peeled off. That can only mean one thing — summer is near.
One of the things that I love most about going on vacation is the chance to break out of my everyday routine, eat crappy foods guilt-free, and stay up blissfully late watching as much trashy reality TV as I please. Setting aside daily responsibilities, trying new things, being in a different space, and having carefree fun is refreshing. But while it’d be nice to go to Fiji or another distant tropical paradise, that just isn't reality for a lot of us.
So what do you do when money is tight, you don’t want to get further into debt, and you really need a vacation? You still take a vacation, but just a frugal one. One that your budget will love. Here are eight frugal summer vacation ideas to get you going.
1. The All-American, Almighty Road-Trip Vacation
About 10 years ago, my husband was able to travel through 30 different states in the span of a month and a half with a friend in a $400 1982 Chevy Sprint. It’s an experience he’ll never forget, and while gas prices do get high in the summer, the road trip is still one of the cheapest options for frugal vacations. Grab a map, pack a large cooler, stop at grocery stores along the way, sing cheesy songs, tell stories you’ve never told before, watch the sun rise and set, and make yourself some memories. (This can be combined with the “I Had No Idea There Were Over 400 National Parks” vacation below, if you’re feeling adventurous.)
2. The Infamous Staycation Vacation
Set a time frame. If you can only get two to three days off from work (or less), that’s OK! This is how you do it — turn off the phones, put an auto reply on your email, turn off the computer (and really keep it off), don’t check your usual social media feeds, and really allow yourself a break from everyday life and the technology that comes along with it. Then go to the grocery store and get sundae supplies: ice cream, candy toppings, hot fudge, caramel, and whipped cream, and why not throw in some cherries too? You are on vacation after all! Rent those guilty-pleasure movies you’ve been wanting to see, and settle in for a movie marathon. Those books and magazines that have been stacking up? This is the time to read them! Those museum exhibits you’ve been dying to see but just don’t have the time for? Go check ‘em out! Hanging with friends on a patio on a random Tuesday night? Go for it! The point is to have fun, indulge in some pleasures you normally don’t get to, and get out of your normal routine.
Traveling is a great way of relaxing, and you don't always have to hop on the plane to go on a trip. If you want to save some bucks, try embarking on an adventure in your part of the woods. Read on for some ideas and suggestions on the touristy things you can do where you live.
Summer is prime time for putting those banked vacation days to use. The warm weather lures you to be anywhere but the office, but perhaps this year you can't afford to pay for plane tickets and several nights of hotel stays. Take a cost-conscious staycation instead — check out my tips on how to plan the best at-home getaway possible.
There's one thing that storms can't affect, and that's a family's level of fun. If Hurricane Earl or bad weather has you amending Labor Day plans, use a bit of imagination to staycation at home. Whether your children are interested in a sand and sea getaway, boarding a cruise ship, or exploring America's big cities, we've got tips and tricks for how you can give them any and all of those experiences while making memories. Skip packing bags or printing out itineraries and check out our choices!
The Great Outdoors: Pitch a tent for a backyard adventure without having to worry about any campground regulations!
Cruise With the Kids: Leave the ocean sickness at bay and participate in some of these shiptastic activities!
Life's a Beach: Plan a coastal getaway tailored to your kiddos. Bring home the surf, sand, and sea.
Rev It Up For the Ranch: Giddyup lil doggies! It's time to get the wee ones fired up for some time on mama's kickin' dude ranch!
I'll miss my beloved Summer tomatoes, but there's a plethora of Fall produce to scoop up at the store. Better yet, celebrate Autumn by taking day trips to pick-your-own orchards where you can spend the day outside selecting your own goodies. Apple orchards and pumpkin patches are easiest to come by, but depending on where you live, there may be corn mazes that allow you to wander among the corn rows.
Find apple orchards in your area that invite you to pick your own by scouring the list on PickYourOwn.org and pick a pumpkin patch by checking out Pumpkinpatchesandmore.org. Be aware: this season might be busier than most. Kathy McKay, spokeswoman for the North American Farmers' Direct Marketing Association explained, "Because of the whole staycation-daycation thing, a lot of our members are saying business has been good."
Have you ever visited a place where you could pick your own?
Jetting to the best city in the world may require months of planning and savings, but there are plenty of breathtaking bargain vacation spots you can visit on a budget. Step one: assess how much you can pay to get away. Step two: cruise the best travel websites for a good end-of-Summer deal. Step three: book it! Step four: hit the beach, street, or wild outdoors. Here are some tips and inspiration for exploring a whole new world — or your own backyard — before the season comes to an end.
How-To: Plan an Awesome Staycation
5 Ways Flexibility Can Cut Travel Costs
Get a Taste of Wine Country For Less in Calistoga
The Best Sexy Beaches For Budget Travelers
15 More Affordable Honeymoon Destinations
How I Cut $600 From My Weekend Getaway
The twenty four hour news cycle is filled with constant and consistent regurgitation. Americans peep and peck at the beak of the all American newscaster, preferring to have information gathered and digested for them. We consume in tiny little bits at regular intervals like a baby bird being nurtured in the nest of international news without ever bothering to spread our wings. Just as with actual digestion, a little bit of bile is often the result of this process. One of our favorite by products of this process this summer? The constant obsession with the economy and/or the recession.
Now of course defining a recession is pretty cut and dried, but that doesn't leave much to fill the gaping maw of America's desires. Because if we can't consume things we must consume content. We often wonder that if in attempting to keep up appearances, as the beloved Simon Doonan points out in his piece on dressing during a recession, we as the fashion content industry has gone completely overboard in our efforts to sate the appetites of our constituency. We know you aren't buying as much, we aren't buying as much either.
Thus we continue to supply useful pieces on consuming no matter how large our debt to China grows. Instead of consuming products you consume ever more useful pieces of content on fashion. We show you how to shop online, or how to avoid sample sale madness. We are complicit in the ever growing obsession with constantly consuming, no matter what the product. And you know what? We are going to keep doing it.
In the rat race of online publishing we must constantly polish the rhetoric of consumption such that you are always wondering what new and digested manner of shopping we will provide to you next. In fact, we already have a new series in mind that makes use of the kitschy buzzwords of the recession content watch (we are going on staycation folks), but we just wanted to let you know that we are aware. Even our hyper vigilant efforts to remain aloof from the other yammering folks churning out content online (no boring ogling of persons of non-note for us) are not immune from the process of constant product. So we have to at least admit that we know we are doing it too.
The nostalgia and yearning of city life has been an inspiration since antiquity. While pastoral idealism has certainly had its impact on many creative processes, fashion has always sat squarely in the camp of urbanism.
While Atonin Dvorak's Symphony No. 9, in E Minor "From the New World" is our favorite for a certain kind of longing and aspiration that speaks to the hard scrabble world of American immigrant urbanism that built our textile industry, there is another kind of urban symphony that speaks to American dreams.
They are dreams are not of longing, but of completion and success. Naturally we are referring to George Gershwin who is our go to guy when it comes to a certain era of cosmopolitan creation. It is inspiration for those that have already made it. He plays on a kind of perky insouciance that says there is no hoping only being as the kind of cocky optimism that plays out across the American cultural heritage. He gave us An American in Paris which practically defined the genre of American cross cultural ownership of the urban landscape. Strangely nothing is more American than a pretty lady and her beau swanning about Paris claiming French haute couture for a certain quirky American constituency.
But with the Euro beating the dollar the kind of naive ownership that American style have long had over modern cities even beyond our borders is crumbling. We cannot borrow and reinvent against other's cosmopolitan culture anymore. We simply can't afford it. We say however to let go of Dvorak and go again for Gershwin when dressing in our American Not Quite in Paris staycation attire.
Let us hope that these style inspirations help us remember more of the Gershwin and less of the Dvorak in our urban landscape. This kind of confident ownership is sure to turn our currency around and annoy the crap out of the Parisians as we again claim rights their crown jewel. Even if we have to do it from a café next door on our staycation we say emulate the Parisians. After all, we are a nation of comeback kids and second chances. We say be dressed to be an American in Paris, since any day now a chic pair of black pants and a black shift might be required as we traipse about humming Gershwin on a wild spending spree at our favorite Right Bank boutiques.