How I miss the days of college, when every few weeks you’d get time off for Fall Break, Winter Break and of course, Spring Break. Even though it’s still a wintry tundra in many parts of the country, ads for bathing suits have made me realize it’ll be Spring Break time soon.
If you can’t afford to hit the beach, here are ways to have a tropical vacation right in your own backyard for spring break or any type of staycation!
Nothing puts me in a more tropical mood than fancy daiquiris and margaritas. If you invite your friends, each of you can bring some ingredients so no one is spending too much money individually.
Fresh fruit, homemade whipped cream and local rum are my favorite ingredients for tropical cocktails. Pair that with a movie like Mean Girls and you’ve got yourself a classic sleepover scenario.
If you can’t afford to travel anywhere, take in the sights where you live. There’s probably at least one tourist attraction you’ve always wanted to try. In the spirit of spring break, make it an amusement park or wacky museum. Bonus points if you have to take a mini-road trip to get there.
Pick somewhere you’d take visiting relatives and friends if they came to town. Read up new local attractions to see what spots have opened up.
Read more: 100 Frugal Date Ideas For Any Season
What’s more relaxing and extravagant than a spa? For a percentage of the cost of a plane ticket to Florida, you can enjoy a full spa day getting pampered to your heart’s delight. While it won’t be as frugal as getting treatments done at home, it will feel more like a vacation and less like doing your nails in your bathroom.
Bring a girlfriend or two, a bottle of champagne and voila! You have the makings of a girls’ day out. You can find an array of options for spas- such as outdoor day spas (where you rent a cabana, sunbathe and hit up a mud pit), or you can stay at a hotel with a good deal for a day away.
Alternatively, pick up a few inexpensive goodies and have yourself a home pampering session. Amazon, my absolute favorite for just about anything, offers a huge selection of items for your hair down to your toes. And if you’re feeling crafty, you can try making some of your own body products!
A local resort can be an adult’s version of Disney World. You can get spa treatments, room service and lounge at the pool. If you can find a place within driving distance, you’ll also save on travel costs compared to a traditional spring break trip.
Often, many resorts will offer discounts if you keep an eye out for a sale. Since you’re local, you often can snatch up their off-season deals to be used anytime.
In Texas, we were browsing local resorts and found around Christmas they were offering 30-50% off certain spa services to be used anytime. You can also take a day of work mid-week to take advantage of some spa “happy hours” for some pretty decent mid-week discounts.
Just because you’re staying home doesn’t mean you’ll automatically save less money. Hotel fees can add up quickly and spa treatments can run $100 or more. Use sites like Groupon, Expedia or Travelocity to find good deals and consider taking a few weekdays off so you can score better deals.
You should also try to budget ahead of time. Do research on what you’d like to see, how much it costs and how much you have set aside for vacation money. It won’t feel like a real vacation if you’re worrying about your credit card bill afterwards.
If you think your friends are also strapped for cash, ask them to join you on your staycation- and have everyone chip in for “feels-luxe-but-not-pricey” snacks and drinks like olives, meat, cheese and a baguette for a charcuterie board and a few bottles of rose for the day- all under $30.
It’ll be more fun saving money if you can do it with your tightest clique. Plus, it’s often more cost effective to split expenses with a group of people than doing it by yourself!
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