Budget-Friendly Adventures for This Summer

Maybe you’ve got cabin fever and are wishing you’d planned a vacation for this summer, or Summer Fridays at the office just aren’t cutting it anymore. Whatever your deal is, here are some ideas for getting yourself out of town this summer.

Your last-minute summer vacation


Let’s face it, with the average “economy” ticket currently standing at around $1,000 round-trip, you’re probably not going to Europe this summer. Fare-alert junkies like myself (currently on the wishlist: São Paulo, Madrid, Hanoi, Dakar, and Mexico City) know where to check — obsessively? — for fare sales, but in case you have actual things to do besides plan several alternate vacation scenarios at once, here’s an easy shortcut for the next time you’re shopping around: Airfarewatchdog specializes in digging up low and hidden fares on the web and displaying them to you — including fares that are unadvertised, lower than a historical average, or attached to a promo code. It will also tell you which days of the week to search and how many seats are available at that price. Along with other flight-search staples like JetBlue Cheeps, Hipmunk, and STA Travel (no, you don’t have to be a student!), this is one of your best bets to score a cheap, last-minute flight.

Plan a weekend getaway


If you just can’t afford to fly somewhere this summer, don’t worry. Chances are, wherever you live, there are unexplored destinations just waiting for you to find them. (Case in point: I’ve lived in the Bay Area for almost eight years, and I’ve still never been to Santa Cruz.) Services like Zipcar, City CarShare, and Getaround are making it easier for people without cars to get out of town on a moment’s notice. On the other hand, when was the last time you took a bus — or train — across county lines? Can’t rent a car, bus won’t work, Amtrak too pricey? Bike there. (It’s totally worth it!) And once you’re there, if all of the area’s hotels and B&Bs are booked up, Hipcamp can help you find a campground nearby; most likely, someone you know will have all the gear you need to rough it for a weekend.

Take more day trips


If all else fails, you can bet there’s lots you can do close to home to make you feel like you’re somewhere else. Go on an urban hike. Find some awesome Meetup groups in your area. Have a picnic in an unexpected place. Sleep outside on a friend’s deck. If you live near any kind of body of water, go swimming or rent a kayak. The possibilities are endless — remember to ask your friends for ideas, too!

Have you taken any budget-friendly adventures of your own this summer? Let us know on Facebook!

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