Spring Broke: How to Make the Most of a Staycation

As you read this, your friends are booking their flights and packing their bags for tropical destinations like Puerto Vallarta, golf trips to the Carolinas or North Myrtle Beach resorts. If you’re not going with them, you’ve got a choice to make: be as salty as their ocean air blowing into their waterfront suites, or make a plan to live it up right at home.

First things first: Put down that cellphone. You have one week; don’t spend it in the murky depths of the internet. And while this is the perfect time to binge all of that Netflix you’ve been craving, try to tear yourself away — well, maybe an episode or six won’t hurt.

If you don’t feel like leaving your apartment — hey, no judgement here — think of all the things you can’t do while your roommates are around. Now is the time. Feel like taking a long bubble bath while eating pizza, listening to your old N*Sync CDs, and using up all the hot water? Go for it. Want to nosh pasta for breakfast and put off showering until 2 pm? Seize the day. To sum up: For anything you wouldn’t want your roommates to know that you do, this is your week to go big.

Carve out some time, though, to crack open that front door and look around. Visit your city’s tourism website — have you done any of the things touted on the website as being the “essential” local experience? Local landmarks are easy to overlook, but that’s exactly what a staycation is for. Break out of the normal routine and explore your city! Check out that restaurant you’ve been eyeing or that park you’ve been meaning to visit. Tourist up and take a hike.

Late fall through early spring is prime season for arts and entertainment, so scour the city for museums and take in their newest exhibits. With so many people headed out of town, you might also be able to land a good deal on a ticket for a live theater performance.

If after this week’s worth of exploration, you’re still craving warm sun and beach time, head to the nearest indoor waterpark and live it up on the lazy river.

For far less than the cost of plane tickets and hotel stays, you can vacation right in your city. All you have to do is get in the mood to explore.