If you’re anything like the rest of us, you’re probably still recovering from Coac—Beychella (either literally, emotionally, or both). Festival season is upon us, and while it signals great music, cute festival fashion looks, and all-around good vibes, it’s also an indicator that summer is just around the bend.
It’s nearly time to bring your denim cutoffs and favorite rompers out of their seasonal retirement and back into your outfit rotation. And while summer may sometimes seem like it should be a season-long vacation, we all know too well that that’s not always the case. Whether you’re staring out at the shining summer sun from the other side of an office window come June, or just looking for a break from your routine, we’ve rounded up some of the best low-cost summer weekend getaway ideas for the perfect (and budget-friendly) sunny escape.
Keep it Low-key
As a New York native, one of my favorite things to do once it starts to get warm is to hit one of the city’s many rooftop bars. They’re great for a spring afternoon, and a perfect spot for weekend brunch. But, once summer hits, sweating your way through a rooftop boozy brunch becomes way less appealing.
If you want to take advantage of your city’s skyline and cool down, without breaking the bank (in NYC or elsewhere), the secret to a refreshing “escape” is to find yourself a rooftop pool. This is perfect for anyone with a busy schedule, or those of you who don’t actually enjoy the traveling portion of vacations. Squeeze a quick pool trip into an afternoon (or a few in a row) and you can get the advantage of a swim (or float!) and a great view, without ever having to go very far.
Okay so, maybe finding a pool in the city isn’t exactly your idea of a summer weekend getaway. If you’re more of a get-outside kind of girl, you may need a little distance from your city or town to really feel like you’re getting the summer escape you want and/or need.
While camping is all the rage with many of my Brooklyn-hipster neighbors, I’d personally recommend “roughing it” with a little flair (and some decent access to a hairdryer). That’s right: I’m talking about glamping.
Find somewhere nearby that will let you get in touch with nature and get away from the hustle and bustle of city life, but do it in style. This means something along the lines of a spa experience, in the forest, at nowhere-near spa prices. When you feel like you just need a breath of fresh air this summer, check out one (or a few) of these locations around the country for the (affordable) luxury nature experience of your dreams.
Catch Some Waves
Admittedly, this tip may be more accessible to coastal states and beach towns. It may not even qualify as a summer getaway for Californians (and we’re totally jealous). But on the East Coast, or anywhere in between, you can find access to a beach or lake during the summer and turn it into a full weekend extravaganza.
One of the best ways to escape without really escaping? Water sports.
Being on the water puts you in a different headspace and can help hit the reset button when you just need a break. Plus, breaking a sweat while being refreshed by the cool water around you gives you the perfect balance of endorphins and relaxation. Anything from surfing to waterskiing will do — just get out there, have fun, and make a splash (instead of a dent in your wallet).
Ditch the Room Service
Sometimes, there’s truly nothing that compares to vegging out in your hotel room, sitting in bed surrounded by your friends — err, room service trays — and watching the best movie available on your hotel television. To quote legendary pop icon Gwen Stefani, it’s a sweet escape. But between the astronomical costs of hotel rooms (especially in places like LA and New York) and the hiked up food prices on room service menus, it’s not exactly cost efficient.
Next time you need to get away, think more outside the box than room service and a do not disturb sign. Try a motel (we promise it’s not as creepy as every horror movie ever makes them seem). Split an Airbnb with friends (and while you’re at it, read our recent post about traveling on a budget for more tips on planning your weekend getaway and saving a few bucks.) Bon, voyage!