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10 Cheap Vacation Ideas that Won’t Cost You a Fortune

10 Cheap Vacation Ideas that Won’t Cost You a Fortune

You need and want a vacation, but you don’t have an unlimited budget.  Here are 10 cheap vacation ideas that are wallet-friendly while still giving you a great adventure.

1. Go Camping At the Beach 

Those vacation rental houses can add to the cost of a beach trip really quickly, so why not consider going camping?  You can often find campgrounds within walking distance of the beach for $20-$30 per night. State campgrounds usually provide cold showers and grills. You can step it up and head to a private campground that has hot showers, wi-fi, recreational facilities, and even a swimming pool in some cases.  Campgrounds often have space for tents or RVs, you can reserve in advance, and this is one vacation that won’t cost a fortune.

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2. Go On a “Staycation”

Going on vacation doesn’t have to take you far—you can stay right in your own home. Taking a week off to work in the garden, complete a project, work on your hobby, watch your favorite movies, eat your favorite foods, have a cookout, go on long hikes, or any number of possibilities, can be just what the doctor ordered!

3. Head to Your Nearest Resort Hotel

You know that hotel you’ve always wanted to stay at, right in your own city? Whether you live in the country, the outskirts of town or right downtown, you can head to the four-star hotel for a night or two and spoil yourself with a local vacation. Treat yourself to the hot tub and spa, play a game of tennis, drink some wine, get a manicure, do some window shopping, walk around the premises, or have a nice dinner. The possibilities for entertainment abound.

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4. Stay with family

Do you have in-laws that live in Orlando? And have you been to Disney World? If you really do have family in Orlando and haven’t been to Disney World, this might be a great way to take a vacation. Spend a day or two visiting Mickey Mouse and exploring Space Mountain, then arrange for a nice dinner with the in-laws.

5. Visit a National Park

There’s Mesa Verde, Yosemite, Yellowstone, Great Smoky Mountains, and Big Bend. From California to North Carolina, national parks offer opportunities to see incredible vistas, see rich cultural history, landmarks, and points of interest. Many have activities for children, campgrounds, visitor’s centers, hiking or biking trails, and much more.  These make for great summer vacation destinations.

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6. Consider a Housing Swap

If you’re flexible about places and times, head to Craigslist and check out the “housing swap” section or the “vacation rentals” links. Try the links out for different cities that you like, and you might just find an incredible deal for a place you’ve never been. This is a great way to do a fun family vacation.

7. Go Off-season

You can find some of the best deals around if you’re willing to wait until the tourist season is over, when rates are a fraction of the normal cost. Stay in a posh hotel for $99/night (normally $500/night) because it’s at the very end of ski season and the ski resort is shutting down for the summer, or, spend a winter vacation where most people would go to in the summer.

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8. Stay In a Hostel

Consider staying in a hostel: you can find high-quality hostels that rival a nice hotel stay in just about any sizable town in the US or around the world. Some hostels might have marble floors, free breakfast and courteous staff, for a fraction of what neighboring hotels cost, but make sure to research ahead of time: you don’t want to find yourself in a place that seemed like a deal, but turned out to be a nightmare.

9. Look for Places “Off the Beaten Path” 

Discovering hidden gems can be a wonderful adventure—you get a unique experience and you don’t have to pay premium prices that tourists typically pay. Have you ever been to the “Home of the Throwed Rolls”? Then you need to visit Sikeston, Missouri. Or how about the hot springs in the mountains of Colorado? That requires a visit to the collegiate peaks on Colorado’s western slope.

10. Rent a Cabin in the Woods

If you’re looking for a getaway that is a step up from camping and still situated in a natural setting, why not go for a remote cabin?  You can often find weekend bulk rates, so be sure to take your significant other along, or more people to share in the cost and adventure.

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Last Updated on January 17, 2019

8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

In life, we all need to be conscientious of what we are doing. You don’t need to live a life of stress if you don’t want to. You can achieve peace and happiness in life by carefully building mindfulness exercises into your life’s routine.

Exercising mindfulness isn’t rocket science and as importantly, you can do it. It will, however, take a few tries to get into the groove of things but once you get it, it is like riding a bike, you will never lose it.

Trust me. It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. In this article, I will share with you 8 mindfulness exercises that will help you to boost your energy, vitality and live a more peaceful and happier life.

Why Is It Hard to Live A Peaceful And Happy Life?

Our Habitat Has Become Too Technological

The world has accepted the idea that technology is often the cure for all evil. We have accepted, as a society, that everything technological will make us live a better life without fully investigating the many side effects that modernity brings.

There are a number of technological side effects that have a tremendous impact on your life that the media rarely tells you about.[1] Some of them include self-harm, economic inequality, having less sex, and even suicide. The global community is becoming less happy because of technology.

How can anybody live a peaceful and happy life when they are depressed? Technology advancements, ladies and gents, is a major reason for why we are living a poor life because it has infiltrated our lives too much.

According to my research, Americans spend an average of 8 hours a day looking at the computer screen — The average screen time spent on smartphones alone is about 20 hours per week. That’s a lot! No wonder why living a happy and peaceful life is so difficult these days.

Too Many People Don’t Want to Unplug

Americans check their phones an average of 80 times during vacation.[2] Some admit to checking their smartphones 300 times every single day. In countries like Brazil, India and China, the situation is no different.

The reality is that people are constantly plugged into technological devices and this behavior is literally making people all over the globe fight an inner war with themselves, which consequently makes them very sad. As we know, war is the enemy of peace which won’t make anybody happy.

Listen carefully:

We have a global anxiety epidemic because people don’t want to unplug from their smartphones and most people aren’t doing anything to fix it. It is a sad state of affairs but very real. This obsession with technology is turning us into perishable robots who live terrible lives.

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The era of anxiety is here to stay. There is little doubt about it. We can, however, fight back with the best remedy of all — We call it mindfulness!

Thank God there is an antidote to this whole technological madness. Without further ado, let’s go straight to the mindful exercises.

8 Mindfulness Exercises to Start Practicing

There are tons of mindfulness exercises available for you to engage with out there.[3] In the paragraphs below, I will include the best ones I’ve personally tried or have seen my close friends and family members try.

Are you ready for it? Let’s go!

1. Pray Daily

You should pray on a daily basis. Why is that you may ask — Well, because science has told us to do so.

When people pray, they feel peaceful, almost eliminating anxiety. Worries become secondary, and often gives people energy and hope to cope with the difficulties of life.

Prayer can make you more confident and focused. Prayer also helps you with self-control, helps to control pain, and can protect you against illnesses and disorders like cancer and high blood pressure. At least, this is what researchers from Harvard Medical School have said.[4]

Pray. You won’t regret it.[5]

2. Pay Attention to Your Inner Thoughts

A lot of people allow themselves to be influenced by their negative thoughts. Be different and resist believing in them. It is a bad habit that can lead to unhappiness.

By the way, if you do feel this way, chances are high that somebody other than you put these thoughts into your head.

Here is my secret to combat this cancer — look at things objectively. I bet that if you look at things as they are, you will realize that most if not all of your negative thoughts are only inside of your head.

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If you pay close attention, you will quickly realize that these voices aren’t worth your time. Believe me — Ignoring them and looking at things with objectivity is often the best course of action.

This article can guide you to beat negative thoughts:

How to Stop Automatic Negative Thoughts When You’re Overwhelmed

3. Smile Often

Smiling will slow down your heart. It will also relax your body because when you smile, your body releases endorphins which in itself has a number of positive benefits for you as a person.

Smile often! You may want to smile early in the morning, during the day, and late in the evening. It is amazing what happens to you when you decide to smile instead of being grumpy.

Surrender your problems to a nice smile. You will notice two things. First, most people just don’t which makes them live a miserable life. Second, if you decide to smile often, you will eventually smile unconsciously which is the ideal.

The moment that you smile unconsciously, you then know that you are truly happy.

4. Organize Your Working Desk

A messy desk will make you less productive and can agitate and overstimulate you. You don’t want that.

When you clear your desk, you engage in deep inner-thinking and your systematic decision making ends up becoming therapeutic.

Most people realize that they are most creative when their creative space is clean and organized. The former often makes people more aware of what they are doing which lends to less stress and more productivity.

Organizing your desk will also make you more energetic and focused because order often decreases chaos which is a condition that often slows down daily progress.

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5. Celebrate Your Friend’s Victories

I love this mindful exercise. One of the best ways to live a happy and peaceful life is to celebrate the victories of others. When you do that, you automatically make your friends in a better mood which makes you in a better mood, as well.

Happiness is contagious! We might as well celebrate others as much as we can. If you find out that your peer has won an award, celebrate with him! If your friend is the recipient of a local charity award, celebrate with her!

What is also awesome is that when you celebrate with others, they often celebrate with you in return. This, ladies and gentleman, will make you feel fantastic. You can’t go wrong with this one, period.

6. Listen to Your Spouse/Partner

God put someone in your life for a reason. You might as well listen to him or her.

I listen to my wife everyday. In fact, I often ask the following question to her, “Amanda, what are your thoughts about…” or “What am I missing about…” It is shocking what I hear back from her. Without her having much context and perspective, by the art of observation in my own nonverbal behavior and the behavior of others, she accurately gives me incredible insights which helps me out with living my life to the fullest.

I’m a firm believer that spouses are supposed to engage in interpersonal communication every day. I most definitely do and will continue doing it. You should do the same.

7. Give Yourself a Break from Technology

You can’t be in total equilibrium if your computerized devices control your life. You must get away from technology on a daily basis.[6]

How do you do that? This is my formula:

First, take this smartphone control test. It is only ten questions but this test will place you somewhere in the human robot cycle continuum.

If your score is between 25-30, take a break from the computer (or smartphone, pad, laptop/desktop) every twenty minutes and stop being on a computerized device after 8:00pm.

If you score between 30-35, still take a break every 20 minutes but stop being on these devices at 5:00pm.

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If you score more than 35, you need to take action immediately.

Limit computer use as much as possible throughout the day. Give yourself as many breaks from the computer as possible. Are you ready for the challenge?

8. Go Exercise

Go exercise at least three times a week. I don’t care if you need to workout early in the morning, late in the evening, on the weekends or during work days. Working out is absolutely imperative for you to live happy and peaceful life.

The stresses of the modern world are too much for you to neglect this important mindfulness exercise. When you go to the gym, you burn calories, focus on activities one step at a time, your mind relaxes, anxiety decreases, you sweat and often think about topics unrelated to your work place among many other benefits.

You must exercise at least three hours each week for optimum results. Why? Just take a look at all the benefits of regular exercising:

12 Benefits of Regular Exercise You Should Know

The Bottom Line

It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. Now that our habitat has become too technological and many people just don’t want to unplug, engaging in daily prayer, celebrate your friends’ victories, and listening to your spouse are among the best ways to be mindful about what you are doing and how you are living.

It is possible to live a happy and peaceful life. It only depends on you.

Go exercise! Take a break from technology and invest in you! Life is too short for distractions.

More Resources About Mindfulness

Featured photo credit: Lesly Juarez via unsplash.com

Reference

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