I have a saying: A trip around the block is as much fun as a journey around the world - it’s all in your perspective. Point being, you don’t have to go far and you don’t need a lot of money to go on a trip. We’re all crunched for time and/or money from time to time and there are plenty of things to do in our own back yards that don’t require selling grandma’s jewelry to pay for it. I’ve suggested a few “itineraries” from some of my “trips around the block”. There are probably many more, so use your imagination and take your own little excursion!
1. Go for a walk –
Your local tourist office may have maps to do a walking/cycling tour of one of your city’s neighborhoods. Chances are, there is some place of interest in your town that you haven't discovered. If you live at the beach – go for a walk on the beach or the boardwalk, regardless of the season. Around the holidays take a walk around the neighborhood to admire decorations. When I was a kid, I used to love doing that. It was free and it kept me out of trouble… for a little while.
2. Go for a bicycle ride –
If you have a bicycle and live near rail trails, or a state or national park, taking a bicycle ride on one of these trails is a great way to enjoy the outdoors. Even if you don’t live close to one of these, cycle to a nearby playground and get on the swings!
3. Go for a paddle –
Live near any body of water and you’ll likely find someplace that rents human powered water craft - kayaks, canoes, stand up paddleboards, etc. You might even find a deal on Groupon, Living Social, etc. Pack a picnic, paddle to a romantic spot with your sweetie and make it a date!
4. Go to a festival or fair –
Every year, our area hosts a Greek festival. For years, I've met up there with friends for great Greek food and retsina wine! While it may not replace an actual trip to Greece, it sure beats standing in that TSA line…..
• Some other festivals in our region include: festivals for movies, wine, food, food trucks, expos for hunting and fishing, and holiday markets. Think about what’s in your area that might interest you.
5. The greatest untapped resource –
THE LIBRARY! You never know what your local branch might offer - movies in the park or on the beach, a speaker series, music concerts, etc. I am a HUUUGE fan of the library and take advantage of it every chance I can.
6. Free Museums days –
Bank of America offers free museum entrance to its card holders on the first full weekend of every month through its Museums on Us program. Check the BoA website for a list of participating museums.
• Other examples of free museum days - The Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia is free the first Sunday of each month (with some restrictions) and the Museum of Modern Art in New York City is free on Fridays from 4pm-8pm. Even if you don’t live near either of these two cities, maybe an area college or a neighborhood gallery offers something similar.
7. Cheap movie theater nights –
Our area movie theaters have discount movies and popcorn one night during the week. For a total of $15 for two people, we can see a first run movie AND get a medium popcorn with butter – what’s better than a movie and popcorn?!
8. Minor league sporting events-
I love going to minor league or farm team games. Tickets are way cheaper, the crowds more intimate, and in my experience, the players, teams and fans get to interact more.
9. Remember –
Bankrolling three weeks in Fiji, while awesome, is not in most of our budgets. We’re all just looking for is a bit of an escape from the grind and a way to make lasting memories. I’m happy taking my little trips around the block. You comin’?