Motivational Monday: 5 Affordable, Creative Vacation Ideas

Realistic alternatives to traditional two-week vacations. Book it now!

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Do you remember when you were in school and adults would say, “This is the best time of your life”? I do. In fact, I recall getting looks of envy and hearing tales of yesteryear from a few loved ones as they reminisced about the freedom childhood and young adulthood. The most notable boon during that time? Summers off.

The reality is simply that most adults don’t have the luxury of taking two-month vacations. Between bills, spearheading families and corporate quotas, it’s easy to see why more people are starting to consistently ditch taking days off. According to Forbes.com, only about 65 percent of Americans are even putting in for vacation— and many don’t actually use the days. And we all know the result of not taking time to rejuvenate: stress, and eventually illness.

Now, gone are the days when one should blindly apply the “Just Do It” mantra to spending money— too many Americans are underemployed and over indebted for that to make sense. But there are alternatives to getting the space you need to breathe. It’s time to invest in the corporation called Y.O.U. If you haven’t taken a vacation, or worse, took time off but didn’t relax (due to family, finances or tomfoolery) now is the time to take advantage of the last four weeks of summer. Here are four vacation and staycation ideas you can plan this week— credit cards not included.

1. House Swap — Eliminate the hotel expense by asking a friend— or looking online— for official house swaps. The agreement should be clear: You stay at their place and they’ll stay at your spot. (Note: Vet your swap mate and respect the house rules!)

2. House Sitting — You may know someone who’s heading out of town and has a posh pad that needs monitoring. It’s your chance to escape the same scenery at your place and unwind. Take it!

3. Last Minute Deals — The Internet is a great resource for travel opportunities on the cheap. If you have the cash and flexibility, make the commitment.

4. Go College Style — Come on, you remember those trips with 4-6 people in a room. Now you don’t have to go full undergrad, but 2-3 additional folks splitting the hotel bill will lighten your load. Another plus? You can upgrade the choice hotel for a better vacation experience.

5. One-Day Stay — Do you like amusement parks? Is there a winery in driving distance? Many of these places have hotels nearby that offer packages. Make it an overnight trip, so you won’t have the stress of driving back the same day— and ordering room service always makes things a bit sweeter in the morning.

Have you ever gone on a creative, affordable vacation or staycation? Tell us about it in the comments!

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