As college students across the country are booking beach condos and prepping for week-long parties, you might be jonesing for your own mini-vacation. Sadly, adulthood doesn’t tend to come with built-in breaks, but that doesn’t mean it’s not important to take one from time to time. Even if you don’t have the time or budget to take an extended vacation, you can still enjoy a well-earned spring break. Here are five ways to spend your spring break, even if you don’t have one.
Whether you get an “official” vacation or not, your spring break should be all about positivity – and what better way to spread good vibes than by volunteering your time? For students, organizations like Projects Abroad and United Planet make it easy to find opportunities to work with other students on projects all over the globe. For non-students, sites like Idealist and Do Something make it easy to find opportunities in your community. Your efforts won’t just make a difference to the people you’re helping – volunteering is a great way to meet new friends and spend time with old ones, too.
Take a Day Trip
Maybe Cancun isn’t in the cards for your spring break, but take a look around and you may be pleasantly surprised at what you find closer to home. Even if you live in a small town, chances are you’re within driving distance of a day-trip-worthy destination. Invite a friend or two and head into a nearby city for a day out. Look for seasonal events or traveling shows and exhibits coming to the area. Places like museums often have a free admission day during the week, so treat yourself to a day off from work and enjoy your city of choice during the week when it will be less busy.
Indulge in Hometown Tourism
To cut down on your springtime travel even further, try spending a day re-discovering your hometown. Since you spend every day there, it’s easy for your hometown to feel boring after a while. Why not set aside a little time to reconnect with some underappreciated spots right in your own back yard? Visit a museum to learn about local history, spend a sunny day in the park with a good book, enjoy a nice dinner at that new restaurant you’ve been meaning to check out, take yourself to the movies, or even book a hotel room for the night to get that vacation feeling.
Plan a Staycation
You don’t have to leave your house to treat yourself for spring break — you just need to give yourself permission to relax. If you’re opting for a staycation, make sure you’re spending the time taking a break instead of feeling pressure to be productive. Forget about changing out of those pajamas for the day, leave your phone on the nightstand, and commit to pure relaxation. Ignore chores, throw a party, have a picnic, go camping in your backyard, dive into a Netflix binge, or curl up with a book and a bourbon.
Spending a night sleeping under the stars does wonders for a stressed mind, and spring is the perfect time of year to head out into the wild and rekindle your love of the great outdoors. In place of a resort reservation, look into nearby areas where you and some buddies can set up camp for the night. You likely won’t have to travel too far to find a place to pitch your tent, with KOA sites, national and state parks, and cheap or free off-the-beaten-path sites sprinkled across the United States.
For too long adulthood has been characterized by a depressing lack of vacation time. This year, don’t sell yourself short on spring break. Get out of the office and treat yourself to one of these alternative spring break plans.
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