Top 10 staycation ideas for college students in need of R&R

Korean tacos from Seoul on Wheels truck in the...

Korean tacos from Seoul on Wheels truck in the San Francisco Bay Area.

You’ve been studying hard all year and now you deserve some time to kick back and play! Oh right, there’s just one problem. A vacation costs money and that, my friend, as we all know, is in short supply. What’s a poor, tired student to do? Staycation! Good times can be had not far from your backyard (or even in your backyard if you prefer). Check out these top 10 staycation ideas for college students in need of some quality R&R.

1. Take a tour

One of the best ways to get to your college town on a more intimate level can be taking a guided walking tour. Get spooked on a ghost tour and find out whether that motel you stayed in during orientation is haunted.

2. Go hotel pooling

You may not have the funds to party like a rock star, but you can act like one. Take your beach towel and sunscreen and head over to your local hotel pool for a day in the sun, sauna or jacuzzi. Some will charge a day-use fee, but that’s minimal compared to staying in a room. Plus, there could be discounts during the off-season. A post to,Vacation in your city: cool staycation ‘getaways’,” lists other ideas for staying put.

3. Daily deals

Living Social, AmazonLocal and Groupon all offer daily and weekly discounts at up to 50% off or more on restaurants, movies, spas and other activities in your area that will save you a bundle and keep you entertained.

4. Meditation

Looking for a more transformative staycation experience? Try taking a meditation workshop at a local Buddhist temple or monastery. While this might not be readily accessible for everyone, if you can find one, this is relaxation in its purest form and yogis especially will find comfort in the tranquility.

In a March 15, 2013, post by Stonehenge to, “Staycation ideas from Stonehenge’s best,” one student’s staycation at the Tibet House in NYC was unforgettable:

“After 20 minutes of deep breathing and breath of fire, I’m flying on an Oxygen High,” said Michael of his experience. “I might as well be on a sandy beach in the Caribbean! The guided meditation turns the moment into an ecstatic journey to Paradise.”

5. Food truck hopping

These days there isn’t a shortage of amazing food trucks yet to explore. So, make a list and follow the tweets of your faves or must-trys and get grubbing. I can already smell the pulled pork Korean tacos from here.

6. Free museum days

For a taste of culture, find out when your free museum days are (most have them) and make the most of it. While these days are usually packed, I’d go for early mornings or an hour before closing to beat the crowds.

7. Botanical garden

Don’t knock it til you’ve tried it. For some this may sound incredibly boring, but for others this is the oasis you’ve been looking for. Take a stroll with your bestie and explore a new world of both native and exotic plants. You might get some great ideas for your own indoor garden.

8. Backyard campout

If you have a grassy backyard at your apartment building (or if a friend does), pitch a tent, set up the barbecue and have an urban outdoor experience. Invite your neighbors and make it a community thing. The more the merrier and make some new friends while you’re at it.

9. Arts and crafts day

We’ve all got that creative side that yearns to express itself. Pottery, painting, nude figure drawing — whatever that itch is, now’s the time to give it a scratch and use your staycation to dedicate to that hobby you’ve always loved, but never seem to have enough time for.

10. A new experience

Still stumped on what do on your staycation? LA Times Travel Writer Christopher Reynolds’ YouTube video, “5 Los Angeles Staycation Ideas from Christopher Reynolds of the LA Times,” has some inspirational tips on finding local fun no matter where you live:

 What’s your favorite staycation? Details, please!

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  1. […] If your budget doesn’t extend to travel and accommodation, don’t worry; you can still have fun without going anywhere. […]

  2. […] Top 10 staycation ideas for college students in need of R&R […]

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