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It’s hard to get far in such a short amount of time, but most people would rather avoid travel hassles like traffic and busy airports anyway. Planning a trip this summer can seem daunting due to inflationary pressures from rising prices for common goods, services and fuel. In fact, according to a survey by GOBankingRates, 17% of readers said they traveled less this year. Fortunately, there are many things you can do close to home and save money in the process. Here are a few affordable ideas for your own accommodation.
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It’s the start of summer, so why not take advantage of a camping trip. You don’t have to go very far, says avid traveler Chaz Wyland, founder of SnowMobileHow. “To turn the camping experience into a home vacation, I highly recommend spending a night under the stars, even in your own backyard. Pitch a tent and some blankets or sleeping bags, cook some morels over the campfire, and look for some meteor.”
While some places require advance reservations, most campgrounds are low cost and you can pack your own food. If you already have your own camping equipment, your costs will be very low, or even free, if it’s your own backyard. According to the American Reserve Association, if you need to buy equipment and reserve a spot, you can get a full range of camping essentials, from tents to coolers to camping chairs, for less than $200.
borrow a friend’s house
If you have friends and family who love to travel and you find their home attractive, serene or inviting, says Cathy Mills, strategy director at Impact Weekly, “Ask them if you can use their garden, their house or their vacation home. By doing this, you will change the environment without having to pay for a quiet and different weekend.”
This can be especially nice if they have a pool or live by a lake or other beautiful places. Even if you offer to pay for some lodging, it’s likely to be cheaper than a hotel, and it doesn’t have any competing guests.
Poll: How much do you expect to spend on travel this summer?
Rent a local hotel
If you want to enjoy the benefits of a vacation, such as a clean room without having to wash or make beds, as well as room service and other amenities, consider renting a local hotel — so you don’t have to travel far — by looking for deals. “Get in touch with hotels and let them know you live nearby and want to learn more about their services,” said David Adler, founder and CEO of The Travel Secret. “You might be able to find a great deal and enjoy a relaxing weekend.”
According to Statista, the average cost of a night in a hotel in the United States is $90.92. While hotels can vary widely, more or less, you can keep costs low if you’re transacting through something like Groupon or a rewards program.
Become a tourist in your own town or region
If you live where there are tourist attractions, you tend to avoid it because, well, tourists, make this weekend your own chance to play tourists. For those who live in big cities, you can even “bundle” attractions with discounts through the likes of CityPass and Go City, according to Travel and Leisure.
Enjoy a local spa
Maybe you don’t want to be too far from home, but that doesn’t mean you have to miss out on some of the pampering your vacation might bring. Visit your local spa in your town and book a massage, manicure/pedicure or facial. According to the University of Minnesota, the average cost of an hour’s massage is about $60 (though it can be closer to $100 or more in some areas). According to Thervo.com, the average cost of a facial can range from $35 to $100, depending on the service you get. According to Cost Helper, you’ll pay $10 to $45 for a manicure and $15 to $50 for a pedicure.
go for a picnic, walk or ride a bike
Even sleeping at home, just going out during the day can make you feel like you’re on vacation. Tanya Peterson, VP of Branding at Freedom Financial Network, recommends picnicking, walking or biking somewhere you’ve never been. “Choose a park or other venue that’s not too far away. You might be surprised how different it can be to visit by bike or on foot rather than by car.” At most, you’ll pay for the picnic lunch you bring.
Turn off all your tech
Peterson also said that you can make any day feel like a vacation by turning off all technology, cell phones, iPads, ignoring emails, etc. “Remind appropriate friends, family and clients of your vacation.” Fortunately, disconnection is completely free.
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