Skip to main content

You need to get away, and you need to get away fast. There’s only one catch: You don’t have much room in the budget for a weekend vacation.

Don’t put your suitcase away just yet. There are plenty of ways to get out of town without going too far or spending too much green. The advent of the staycation has made it easy and fun to check out the local sites. You can plan a day trip or even stay overnight, but you won’t shell out as much for transportation, lodging or food. You’ll also get to know your hometown and its surrounding areas better, and you might even develop a greater appreciation for the place where you live. Below, you’ll find four ways to plan your next outdoor-centric staycation.

Set Up Camp

Obviously, a great way to save money on your next getaway is to go camping. This is an especially budget-friendly option if you already have the supplies; if not, ask an outdoorsy friend if you can borrow a tent, sleeping bag and other supplies.

Next, do a little research into the natural areas that surround your community. You’re sure to find a nearby campsite, and even if you have to drive for a few hours, it’s cheaper and more eco-friendly than flying to another city. There’s usually plenty to do to keep you and your fellow campers entertained. Fill your weekend with hiking, campfire stories, flower-picking, bird-watching … whatever will make you feel as though you’ve escaped from the city for a few days.

Find Water

If your hometown is relatively close to a body of water – think lake, river or ocean – you might be able to try out a new water sport this weekend. Slower, smoother lakes and bays will probably have a paddle-boarding class. You can canoe and kayak on most bodies of water, even rapids. When it’s warm out, you can grab a tube and float down a slow-moving stream or river. No matter what you choose, you’ll be active and enjoying nature. What’s better than that?

X Marks the Spot

Have you ever heard of geocaching? It’s an outdoor treasure hunt of sorts, and anyone can take part so long as he or she has a GPS on hand. You can search for hidden geocaches near your location and choose one to find. Following the information provided by your GPS, you’ll spend the day outside trying to find your treasure. Once you do, you can sign the log inside and join ranks with other geocachers who have found it, too.

When the Weather Outside Is Frightful

You can’t predict the weather. No matter what you’ve planned, Mother Nature might have something else in mind. Don’t worry, though: There are plenty of ways to enjoy nature even if you have to stay indoors. A simple Web search will show you if there are local greenhouses or botanical conservatories that you can visit. You’ll be inside but among tropical plants cultivated by local university staffers and students, for example.

You and your family can also spend a rainy weekend planting seeds to grow your own herb or vegetable garden. Sure, you aren’t getting outside and tilling ground, but filling pots with earth, sowing seeds and setting them up will have you feeling productive. Once those seeds start growing, you’ll be proud of your weekend pursuits.

Now, get out there and explore your own backyard.

Ali Lawrence

Ali Lawrence

Ali is a kombucha tea-sipping writer who focuses on healthy and sustainable living via her family blog Homey Improvements. She was born and raised in Alaska and loves to travel. Find Ali on Twitter @DIYfolks.