Be Frugal and Have Freedom

Allison Wheeler, Copy Editor

As the end of the semester is within reach, students may be considering what to do with their summer and how they can plan a getaway or vacation without breaking the bank. However, there are many ways students can afford to relax while getting away from home. The key is to search for close area events  happening that offer free or cheap admission. These will allow short travel time and expenses. A getaway should be relaxing, not strictly planned or constantly moving; people do that enough on a regular basis. It is all about what people love to do. Some people love nature while others love the city. Others love crowds while some like being alone. Everyone is different and should plan it accordingly. Here are a few ways to have fun this summer while keeping the budget in check.

  1. Like to Be Spontaneous?
    A fun way to make it an interesting getaway is pick a city, plan a place to stay and then go exploring and discover a brand new place without looking it up beforehand. Just plan spending money based on what is affordable and go.
  2. Like to Be Luxurious?
    Plan a weekend at a hotel and take at-home spa treatment products, a nail kit/polish, and favorite foods, snacks and drinks. Just spend the weekend taking care of number one and relaxing.
  3. Love Nature?
    Plan a weekend camping trip at a state park or other camping sites. Usually there is an entrance fee for a state park or campsite, but other than the upfront cost, the weekend could just be spent enjoying nature, fishing, hiking and relaxing next to a warm bonfire. (Assuming camping gear is already owned)
  4. Like Nature?
    There are sites that offer cabins allowing people to be close to nature but not in it wholly. KOA Campgrounds are a very popular option for this. They offer simple cabins with electricity, beds and tables; this option is cheaper and people walk to a bathroom facility. There are also deluxe cabins with additional features such as televisions, private bathrooms, some have kitchenettes and some are even handicap accessible. People can find the various campgrounds and view the different cabins that site offers by visiting and searching in the nearby area. These sites are very family friendly and often have family days, movie nights and a local KOA store full of different items people might need. No need to drive off the site.
  5. Like Culture and Exploring New Things?
    Check out different festivals and fairs happening around the area or even a state away. To see different Illinois festivals, visit to see the different festivals and dates. There are hundreds of festivals listed for art, music, food, film, cultures, and more! Find one that sparks interest and go enjoy it!
  6. Don’t Like to Travel?
    Plan a Staycation! There are many different ways to stay at home and still have a relaxing weekend. Do any of the things listed above because travel is not necessary to have a relaxing weekend. Have a camp-out in the backyard. Do a spa treatment at home. Rent a stack of movies and don’t plan to do anything at all! Have a family at home that won’t let that happen? Rent a local hotel instead of one that is far away. There are endless possibilities to what kind of staycation works for a weekend getaway.
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