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While I was a student I spent several semesters abroad. I lived in Egypt, India, and Jamaica, and traveled to other countries in between. Once I graduated, I found myself traveling much less, even though my income had increased. I had many excuses; there was just not enough time, I didn’t have anyone to watch dog, I didn’t have enough money, etc. Part of the reason I didn’t take my dream trips after college was that travel can be expensive when you no longer have the energy to deal with being a backpacker and staying in hostels and roughing it.

Part of the reason I didn’t take my dream trips after college was because I was getting older, and travel can be expensive when you no longer have the energy to deal with being a backpacker and staying in hostels and roughing it.

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But it isn’t easy for me to be in one place for too long. The travel bug bites me and I get antsy and need to explore someplace new.

So I started looking for ways I could take mini-trips. I live in NYC, and there are plenty of places I can go when that travel bug hits. But no matter where you live, don’t keep putting off travel with a long list of reasons why you can’t. Buy a travel guidebook from a used bookstore, cut out the pics, make a “vision collage” to inspire you. Using the Law of Attraction, you can manifest trips. and just do it. Become a “weekend warrior” and go someplace to get recharged. Here are some of the ways I get to travel when I think I can’t travel.

Become a “weekend warrior” and go someplace to get recharged!

 

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1. I check to see where Megabus is going for $1. They frequently offer tickets for a buck, but even when they don’t have sales, you can buy tickets for $20. Last year for my birthday I wanted to go to Florida. I’d had an accident a few months earlier, so I hadn’t been able to save up for a trip to a sunny beach. But I desperately needed to get away because “celebrating” yet another birthday when you’re no longer in your twenties, and you’re single, and it’s damn cold really sucks.

So I found a round trip ticket to Atlantic City on Megbus for $5. Once I arrived in AC the casino gave me a $25 comp ticket for slot play and $5 toward food. I chose to stay in a hotel a bit away from the boardwalk because it had a huge indoor swimming pool and spa. I stayed Sunday and Monday nights since it was cheaper than the weekend rates so it cost me $60 for both nights. I got free drinks, two buffet coupons, and more slot play tickets from the hotel as well. When I checked in at the desk and subtly mentioned I was celebrating my birthday, the woman gave me another buffet coupon. Google “cheap Atlantic City hotels” to find weekend spa packages, food comps, and various incentives. Oh, and I won the money back for the entire trip. I cashed in my chips and went home after having a lovely spa weekend.

2. Take a day trip. I’m lucky because I can go to Philly, DC, Connecticut or Boston for a day or weekend, and usually get Megbus, Chinatown, or Bolt Bus tickets. Check your area to see if these companies are near you. Don’t be discouraged if these bus companies aren’t near you yet. Megabus has expanded exponentially in the past few years, so be patient and look for alternatives and keep checking their websites. I have gone to all of these places for $1.00.

3. Host a couchsurfer. I’ve hosted people from all over the world. When I forget how amazing my city is, I’m reminded when backpackers beg me to take them on the Staten Island Ferry and other touristy spots. When I’m with them and we take pictures of the Statue of Liberty or in Times Square, their excitement rubs off on me. We swap travel stories and I get to see my city with fresh eyes.

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4. Go to a local day spa. I have been to quite a few in NYC, but my favorite is Spa Castle. The Premier Spa Castle in Manhattan is a bit more expensive than the $40 day pass in Queens, but it’s nicer. I look for coupons for both on Groupon and Living Social. Spa Castle in Queens is five floors of saunas, massage rooms, salt scrub and other services, and there is a heated, rooftop pool and jacuzzis that are open year-round. You can go early in the morning and stay until 11:00 pm. It’s not quite a resort in Jamaica, but it feels like you’ve been on vacation for a week after going there. They have recently expanded and their new spas in other states are supposedly even better and bigger than the ones in NY.

5. Spend the night in a hotel. My mother loves going to hotels where she lives in Rhode Island for mini vacations, so a few times I check on Priceline or other sites for last minute hotel deals. If you’re not too picky about which hotel you stay at you can gt great deals. Many hotels have 3 or 4 stars, some have a pool or gym, others are pet-friendly. Whatever your preferences are you can easily find something affordable, especially if it’s for the same night.

6. Go to a tourist spot off season. Another time for my birthday my ex-boyfriend and I drove a few states away to Myrtle Beach. I chose three different hotels online for the long weekend to be able to experience different hotels. It would have been even cheaper if we’d chosen to stay at just one hotel for more than one night, but I love comparing different places. We were given the most incredible hotel suites at each of the hotels (which were almost empty in January), and we paid just $29 for each place. We were also given 2 free buffets and free admission to their indoor water parks. It was cold as hell outside, but we stood on our balcony overlooking the ocean and felt like wealthy jet-setters.

7. Go to a naturist resort. Sometimes they have campgrounds with cottages and tents, and often they try to get you to become a member but if you’re cool with walking around with your junk exposed it can be really cheap to stay once you join. And no, they aren’t really places to go to hook up so guys don’t expect to pick up girls there. There’s a big difference between naturists and swingers. Many naturist resorts have tennis courts, pools, and fun parties. I even saw a nude 5k race at a resort I visited. I was laughing my ass off watching like an 8th grader as penises flopped around as runners of all ages passed me, but they were a whole lot more in shape than my butt was.

Do you have any secrets about recharging or taking mini-vacations? How are you a weekend warrior?