It’s December, and a definite chill is in the air. Winter break is just around the corner and your campus is awash in glossy posters advertising student travel packages.
An exotic vacation is a good cure for the wintertime blues, but it’s a luxury that many cash-strapped students can’t afford. If a vacation isn’t in your budget, don’t worry! You can still have an amazing winter break. By turning your time off into a ‘staycation’ you can enjoy all of the benefits of a vacation while remaining close to home.
Enjoy the great outdoors
It might be tempting to stay indoors all break, but try to enjoy the great outdoors at least once. Get fit and boost your health with seasonal activities.
Cross-country skiing is a great activity to build endurance and core muscles, while skating builds balance. Physical activity is also a natural mood-booster and a great way to fight the wintertime blues.
Though winter activities can be expensive, there are ways to enjoy the outdoors without spending a lot. Many towns have outdoor public skating rinks that are either free to use, or cost only a few dollars.
Keep your costs down at the ski slopes by asking if they offer student discounts, or discounted rates for off-hours such as weekday evenings. Equipment such as skates, skis and snowboards can be bought at used sporting goods store for a fraction of their original price – go ASAP to get the best selection of gently used equipment.
Enjoy the great indoors
Do you wish the cold weather would let up already?
It might be tempting to cocoon yourself at home, but that gets boring pretty quickly. Instead, use your time to visit local indoor attractions. Keep yourself in the student mindset by choosing learning-based activities.
Instead of watching the History Channel, visit a local museum or art gallery. Forgo the Food Network and attend a cooking class. Instead of watching National Geographic Channel, immerse yourself in a new culture by visiting a cultural heritage centre.
Check out your local tourism board for indoor entertainment ideas. Many attractions offer student discounts and off-hours discounts. Consider visiting lesser-known attractions to learn something unique to and enjoy low entry fees. While large cities are filled with indoor attractions, even small towns have options. Consider taking a day trip to a neighbouring town if you can’t find anything new to do in your town.
Get a hotel room for the night
Nothing will make you feel more like a real tourist than packing your bags and spending a night in a hotel.
After a tiring day spent visiting attractions, you’ll enjoy relaxing in the comfort of a luxurious hotel room. Pick a hotel within walking distance of attractions, and you won’t need to worry about transportation at the end of the day.
If you split expenses with a friend, the cost can be quite reasonable. To find affordable hotel rooms, try looking for special deals online and find out if you’re eligible for a student rate. Also, many hotels in major tourist centres offer money-saving hotel and activity packages. Check out your local tourism board and contact hotels directly to find out about special offers.