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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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Cyndi Calhoun

Cyndi is a passionate writer who writes about lifestyle tips on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on November 19, 2019

20 Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity

20 Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity

Are you usually punctual or late? Do you finish things within the time you stipulate? Do you hand in your reports/work on time? Are you able to accomplish what you want to do before deadlines? Are you a good time manager?

If your answer is “no” to any of the questions above, that means you’re not managing your time as well as you want. Here are 20 time management tips to help you manage time better:

1. Create a Daily Plan

Plan your day before it unfolds. Do it in the morning or even better, the night before you sleep. The plan gives you a good overview of how the day will pan out. That way, you don’t get caught off guard. Your job for the day is to stick to the plan as best as possible.

2. Peg a Time Limit to Each Task

Be clear that you need to finish X task by 10am, Y task by 3pm, and Z item by 5:30pm. This prevents your work from dragging on and eating into time reserved for other activities.

3. Use a Calendar

Having a calendar is the most fundamental step to managing your daily activities. If you use outlook or lotus notes, calendar come as part of your mailing software.

I use it. It’s even better if you can sync your calendar to your mobile phone and other hardwares you use – that way, you can access your schedule no matter where you are. Here’re the 10 Best Calendar Apps to Stay on Track .

Find out more tips about how to use calendar for better time management here: How to Use a Calendar to Create Time and Space

4. Use an Organizer

An organizer helps you to be on top of everything in your life. It’s your central tool to organize information, to-do lists, projects, and other miscellaneous items.

These Top 15 Time Management Apps and Tools can help you organize better, pick one that fits your needs.

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5. Know Your Deadlines

When do you need to finish your tasks? Mark the deadlines out clearly in your calendar and organizer so you know when you need to finish them.

But make sure you don’t make these 10 Common Mistakes When Setting Deadlines.

6. Learn to Say “No”

Don’t take on more than you can handle. For the distractions that come in when you’re doing other things, give a firm no. Or defer it to a later period.

Leo Babauta, the founder of Zen Habits has some great insights on how to say no: The Gentle Art of Saying No

7. Target to Be Early

When you target to be on time, you’ll either be on time or late. Most of the times you’ll be late. However, if you target to be early, you’ll most likely be on time.

For appointments, strive to be early. For your deadlines, submit them earlier than required.

Learn from these tips about how to prepare yourself to be early, instead of just in time.

8. Time Box Your Activities

This means restricting your work to X amount of time. Why time boxing is good for you? Here’re 10 reasons why you should start time-boxing.

You can also read more about how to do time boxing here: #5 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity.

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9. Have a Clock Visibly Placed Before You

Sometimes we are so engrossed in our work that we lose track of time. Having a huge clock in front of you will keep you aware of the time at the moment.

10. Set Reminders 15 Minutes Before

Most calendars have a reminder function. If you have an important meeting to attend, set that alarm 15 minutes before.

You can learn more about how reminders help you remember everything in this article: The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder That Works)

11. Focus

Are you multi-tasking so much that you’re just not getting anything done? If so, focus on just one key task at one time. Multitasking is bad for you.

Close off all the applications you aren’t using. Close off the tabs in your browser that are taking away your attention. Focus solely on what you’re doing. You’ll be more efficient that way.

Lifehack’s CEO has written a definitive guide on how to focus, learn the tips: How to Focus and Maximize Your Productivity (the Definitive Guide)

12. Block out Distractions

What’s distracting you in your work? Instant messages? Phone ringing? Text messages popping in?

I hardly ever use chat nowadays. The only times when I log on is when I’m not intending to do any work. Otherwise it gets very distracting.

When I’m doing important work, I also switch off my phone. Calls during this time are recorded and I contact them afterward if it’s something important. This helps me concentrate better.

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Find more tips on how to minimize distractions to achieve more in How to Minimize Distraction to Get Things Done

13. Track Your Time Spent

When you start to track your time, you’re more aware of how you spend your time. For example, you can set a simple countdown timer to make sure that you finish a task within a period of time, say 30 minutes or 1 hour. The time pressure can push you to stay focused and work more efficiently.

You can find more time tracking apps here and pick one that works for you.

14. Don’t Fuss About Unimportant Details

You’re never get everything done in exactly the way you want. Trying to do so is being ineffective.

Trying to be perfect does you more harm than good, learn here about how perfectionism kills your productivity and how to ditch the perfectionism mindset.

15. Prioritize

Since you can’t do everything, learn to prioritize the important and let go of the rest.

Apply the 80/20 principle which is a key principle in prioritization. You can also take up this technique to prioritize everything on your plate: How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster

16. Delegate

If there are things that can be better done by others or things that are not so important, consider delegating. This takes a load off and you can focus on the important tasks.

When you delegate some of your work, you free up your time and achieve more. Learn about how to effectively delegate works in this guide: How to Delegate Work (the Definitive Guide for Successful Leaders)

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17. Batch Similar Tasks Together

For related work, batch them together.

For example, my work can be categorized into these core groups:

  1. writing (articles, my upcoming book)
  2. coaching
  3. workshop development
  4. business development
  5. administrative

I batch all the related tasks together so there’s synergy. If I need to make calls, I allocate a time slot to make all my calls. It really streamlines the process.

18. Eliminate Your Time Wasters

What takes your time away your work? Facebook? Twitter? Email checking? Stop checking them so often.

One thing you can do is make it hard to check them – remove them from your browser quick links / bookmarks and stuff them in a hard to access bookmarks folder. Replace your browser bookmarks with important work-related sites.

While you’ll still checking FB/Twitter no doubt, you’ll find it’s a lower frequency than before.

19. Cut off When You Need To

The number one reason why things overrun is because you don’t cut off when you have to.

Don’t be afraid to intercept in meetings or draw a line to cut-off. Otherwise, there’s never going to be an end and you’ll just eat into the time for later.

20. Leave Buffer Time In-Between

Don’t pack everything closely together. Leave a 5-10 minute buffer time in between each tasks. This helps you wrap up the previous task and start off on the next one.

More Time Management Techniques

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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