As Sunday night rolls around, many of us begin to experience the Monday blues. As a new week embarks, we find ourselves sitting at our desk Monday morning, guzzling numerous cups of coffee just to get through the day. During some point or another we all start day dreaming about being anywhere but work. Imagining yourself relaxing on a tropical island, far way from the “real world.” With the warm sun beating down on your face and a cold drink in your hand. I mean, what sounds better?
Many people wish they were enjoying a vacation, but never actually take one due to the expenses that comes along with it. According to Kelton Research, the average working American was left with 9.2 unused vacation days this year. This number is up from 6.2 unused vacation days in 2011. Almost half of the respondents said that they don’t use their allotted time because of their lengthy to-do list, job insecurity and tight budget. Taking a vacation should no longer be considered a luxury, but a necessity.
According to Framingham Heart Study, women who take vacations once every six years were almost eight times more likely to suffer from a heart attack or die of cardiac causes, compared to those who vacationed at least twice a year. Likewise, a study of 1,500 women published in the Wisconsin Medical Journal found that those who take vacation once every two years were more likely to become tense, depressed or tired than those who get away twice a year.
Taking a vacation is not only important for your mental health, but you’re physical. Vacations allow employees to relax and relive their everyday stress. This leisure time increases work efficiency and decreases employee burnout. Even if you’re living on a tight budget, it’s possible to take a relaxing vacation without breaking the bank.
As it turns out, there are amazing and affordable alternatives to the pricey, popular vacation destinations. If you’ve been seeking great surf and tropical seclusion, your best budget-friendly vacation destination would be Nicaragua. According to WaterWays Surf Adventures, Nicaragua is your best bet for surf travel from anywhere in the U.S. Plus, flights are cheap, there are tranquil Caribbean beaches, freshwater lakes, verdant hills and even volcanoes.
If you’re seeking a more European experience with Old World charm and gourmet food offerings, travel to the city’s oldest quarter, Vieux-Montréal. It’s full of cobble-stoned streets, museums, restaurants, and a revitalized canal district, which you can explore by boat, foot, or rented bicycles. Their open-air markets are a gourmet paradise; featuring a vast array of locally raised meats, farm-fresh produce, delicious chocolates, and home-made wines. You get the Paris feeling without the cost.
If your a wino, you’ve probably been dreaming of going to Napa for their exquisite winery’s. Well, you don’t need to travel to California to get the same experience. You can cut your cost in half by going to New York’s Finger Lakes region instead. They have enough winery’s with beautiful views, farm-fresh dining and superb sips to keep you busy for days. It turns out the Finger Lakes region is so wine-friendly because the lake favors the cultivation of grapes. You can find endless wine, impeccable views and fresh food all for half the cost of a trip to Napa.
These three budget-friendly destinations are great vacation alternatives that won’t put you in debt when you return to the “real world.” These smart swaps that will satisfy your wanderlust and allow you to have some much needed relaxation. Safe & happy travels! :)