These days, it’s impossible to take an extravagant vacation with so many responsibilities piling up. Saving up to do so can take years, even with budgeting, and you might simply not have the time.
Nevertheless, there are still options for you to get some sweet, sweet alone time. Whether you’ve got a few hours, an entire day, or longer, consider these six ideas to conveniently and affordably get away.
One option for a personal vacation day is to spend the time paddleboarding out on the open water. While it is considered a sport, you’re free to glide over the waves independently and at your own pace. Going out on a paddle board is an easy way to be truly alone when land doesn’t offer that same solitude. The board is a bigger surface than you might think, and you can stand, sit, or lie down and relax.
Paddle boards can get expensive and unwieldy, but there are plenty of affordable and convenient options for a casual user. There are inflatable stand up paddle boards, for example, which are soft and can be deflated and condensed for easy transport. There are also types designed and dedicated to those with specific interests, such as racing, fishing, and yoga. A paddle board offers many opportunities for relaxation and fun on the water.
2. Day Hiking
Even if you live in the city, good hiking trails are never too far away. They can be a great solace if you need time to be alone and can also offer a robust workout. Wear a sturdy pair of shoes and bring a large water bottle to stay comfortable and hydrated. Remember, however long a trail is, a hike’s length is up to you; you can turn back at any point.
During this time in the wilderness, walking isn’t even the only way to occupy yourself. Any trail you choose will offer plenty of secrets to find and sights that are worth seeing. This is also a good time to work on hobbies that are well-suited to this environment, like drawing or writing. If you need space to stimulate your creativity, hiking is the perfect chance to tease it out. Just make sure you stay on the marked trail so you don’t get lost.
3. A Trip to the Waterfront
Odds are, wherever you live, you have some sort of access to a public waterfront. An ocean beach is ideal for relaxing and sun-tanning, but depending on your location, lakes and rivers can provide similar opportunities. These different areas also boast other pros and cons depending on your desires for activity and time. Before deciding on where to go, ask yourself the simple question of what you’d like to do upon arrival.
Swimming, for example, is possible in any supervised body of water, but different types can serve different purposes. It is easier to swim laps in calm lake waters than in the ocean, which is better for water sports. Rivers are good for a fishing trip or tubing, but a lake is perfect for the motorized excitement of jet skiing. Activities will vary depending on what is available to you, but, ultimately, it shouldn’t be hard to find your optimal aquatic location.
4. Self-Care Day
After a long work week, outdoor physical activity may not be the first choice that pops into your mind. In that case, let the self-care begin. Take some time to indulge in affordable beauty or spa treatments around your area. A comforting massage or manicure can make a marked difference in your calmness and clarity. The effect can ripple out into the week as well, making the subsequent workdays less taxing on bodily and mental health.
Clothes shopping on your own allows a more authentic and introspective style experience. This activity feels different when alone versus with a partner or friend, because of the lack of an audience. Treat yourself to some solo time, and you’ll be grateful for having given yourself that break. You’ll be surprised how different it is not to feel even nominal outside social pressure.
5. A Hotel Stay
Normally you’d only stay in a hotel when traveling far from your home; the expense seems frivolous otherwise. You might find, however, that a new setting, even as ordinary as a nearby hotel, is relaxing because of this. The novelty, the excitement, the feeling of anonymity — hotel rooms are perfect for disconnecting from home for a moment. It’s a surefire way to give yourself that quick sense of traveling excitement regardless of where you stay.
Don’t be afraid to take advantage of included amenities to spice up your time there, either. At a hotel, you might have access to a pool you don’t have at home or an empty gym. You can also indulge in the complimentary breakfast while reading pamphlets about (and even considering visiting) local tourist attractions. All it takes to make a hotel stay worthwhile is a little bit of imagination and curiosity.
6. Being a Tourist in Your Own City
Whether you couple it with a hotel stay or not, indulge your curiosity by exploring your city. While you might be familiar with the area, there are surely sites you’ve missed or never gotten around to. Do some research on attractions nearby, grab your car keys, and drive around like it’s all new to you. Regardless of how well acquainted you might be with your city, you’ll be surprised what you might come across.
Is there a museum you are curious about or a shopping area you’ve always seen but never visited? How about a kitschy restaurant, antique store, or roadside attraction on the outskirts of town? Try acting as if you’ve never been in your city before, and the possibilities will quickly become clear to you. If you feel you’ve truly seen everything, find a nearby city or town to explore.
Taking a lavish vacation is often not feasible when there are other important things in life to focus on. This doesn’t mean, however, that taking any kind of time off is impossible. There are always inexpensive options for getting away, even if “away” is a nearby beach. You always deserve to take the time you need for yourself, so with these ideas, don’t hesitate to do so.