Satisfy Your Wanderlust with a Quick Camping Getaway

Tent, trailer, yurt, or teepee, there are so many ways to make a fun weekend out of a camping, or if you prefer, glamping adventure.

I love to travel, but I don’t always have the time and money to go on a big trip. A camping getaway can be a cheap, easy way to satisfy your weekend wanderlust. Here are five ways you can make the most of a few days away on a shoestring budget.

camping getaway

1. Near or Far
Travel doesn’t have to be a big adventure. Look at the world just outside your door to find quick a quick camping getaway. If you play your cards right, you’ll find a handful of places within a 1 or 2 hour radius around your hometown where you can hang your hat for a few days. There’s a sleepy little town about a 45-minute drive from my house where I escape to every few weeks in the warmer months. Nestled in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, it makes me feel like I’m miles from home even though I could almost see my doorstep with a good pair of binoculars. At $20 a night and a few bucks for fuel, it’s a quick, easy getaway when I don’t have the time or money to go someplace more glamorous.

camping getaway

2. Do Cool Stuff
There is so much cool stuff to do in our own backyards, yet we always look to other parts of the world for interesting activities. Check out the tourism websites for nearby cities and towns for fun things to do on your camping getaway. What do they have to offer? Harness the adventure of a white-water raft tour, ride in a hot-air balloon, or take a train trip through the prairies. I bet you’ll find dozens of ideas for day trips, including many that are free or cheap, such as a self-guided hike or relaxing on a beach. I know one place in the middle of nowhere that you can see a world-class dinosaur collection at a state-of the-art museum, for example.

camping getaway

3. Boutique Shopping
Did you know that many quaint towns have adorable boutique shopping? There is usually a main street lined with a handful of one-of-a-kind stores. Some feature local artists, while others bring in designers that you might not find in the big city. Sometimes, they are outrageously overpriced due to their limited purchasing power, but other times, you can find deals you simply wouldn’t get in the city. I know one little place I hit up often carries one of my favorite designers at rates as much as 15 percent lower than in the city.

camping getaway

4. Peace and Quiet
There are times when you just need to get away from it all. A few days offline or away from the ambient buzz of the big city can work wonders for the mind. Camping is one of the few remaining ways you can escape reality and enjoy the silence, as Depeche Mode would say. Find a place that’s out of the way—you may even be able to find a little backcountry hideaway—where it’s just you, the fresh air, and nature. Kick back by a campfire and settle into your little slice of heaven.

camping getaway

5. Fast and Easy
A camping getaway is one of those rare things you can easily make happen at the last-minute. With very little thought and effort, you can put together a nice little weekend away. All you need to do is load up the gear, grab a few groceries, and you’re on your way. No flights to coordinate, hotels to research, or tours to book. Simply get in the car and drive.

camping getaway

Since I only have the time and money for a few big adventures each year, I rely on camping to satisfy a lot of my thirst for travel. I spend at least 15 weekends camping each year, including many in the cooler, winter months. It’s not a penichette in Paris, but at least it gets me out of town for a few days. Share your camping photos at #wanderlustwayfarer on Instagram.

Things to do on a Cruise: A Fun Day at Sea

If you’re like me, you’re worried about being stuck on a ship for days with nothing to do. Fear not, there’s plenty of things to do on a cruise.

 

I remember the first time I stepped foot on a cruise ship. I was so concerned about being bored once we set sail. The thought of being trapped on a floating island terrified me. When I realized we would be spending an entire day at sea, I was sure I would die of boredom. Those of you who have been on a cruise are likely laughing hysterically right now because you know how ridiculous this is. There are so many things to do on a cruise that it’s virtually impossible to fit them all in.

Lounging

things to do on a cruise

If you’ve been following my blog, you know I like to cram as much as I can into every vacation day. I have one exception to this rule. I like to spend at least one day lounging around when I’m cruising. In fact, I’ve mastered the art of doing absolutely nothing on a “fun day at sea.” But it’s not as easy as it sounds. To relax well, you need to follow these simple tips.

As soon as you wake up on the morning of your day at sea, grab a lounge chair in your favorite part of the ship. Do this even before you have breakfast. In fact, you may even want to set an alarm for 8 a.m. to be sure you get the spot you want. You can nap later…poolside. I love, love, love lounging in the adult-only area. No children are allowed here, so it’s much quieter, and you don’t have to worry about being splashed by a kid doing a cannonball. But spaces fill up fast in the adult-only section because it’s smaller than areas dedicated to family fun.

Save Your Space

All you need to do to save a lounger is toss a towel on each chair, along with a personal item, such as a sweater or book. This will ward off others and ensure you have a place to lay your head for the rest of the day. Once you’ve saved your spot, you can dash back to your room to finish getting ready. And don’t worry about your stuff. No one is going to take it.

Pack everything you need for the day in a tote bag. This includes a book, games, a laptop, a phone, a hat, sunscreen, and anything else your heart desires. Wear your swimsuit and a pair of flip-flops or whatever you’re most comfortable in. I love a good muumuu as a cover-up. The goal is not to have to worry about going back to your cabin if you don’t need to. Once you’re comfy on deck, all you need to do is kick back, relax, and enjoy. Aside from a dip in the pool, the most exercise you’ll get is waving your hand for drink service or a quick walk to the buffet for a bite to eat.

Food and Drink

things to do on a cruise

They say the average person gains 5 to 10 pounds on a cruise. It’s easy to see why. Almost every cruise ship boasts multiple restaurants, even older, smaller ones. Let’s see, there’s the buffet and at least two main dining rooms. These are free of charge, and you can have as much food as you want. Even in the sit-down restaurants you can ask for seconds. They won’t say no. It’s gluttonous in the best possible way.

In addition to “free” food options, most ships also have a number of specialty restaurants. For an additional fee, you can dine in style at one of these upscale establishments. You can find a gourmet steakhouse or sushi station on just about every ship. Other options include Teppanyaki or French fare, for example.

Most cruise ships offer room service and 24-hour snack stations where you can get pizza, fries, and other finger foods. There is also free ice cream and a café where, for a few bucks, you can get a made-to-order cappuccino or espresso.

Drink and Be Merry

And I would be completely remiss not to mention that drinks are free-flowing all day and all night in every corner of every cruise ship. From poolside service to wine with your meal, the cruise staff are more than happy to bring you any type of beverage you desire. If you can think it, you can drink it.

Pro tip: Before boarding the boat, be sure to purchase an all-inclusive beverage package if you plan on having more than one or two alcohol-infused drinks each day. With one of these packages, you can order all you can drink at no extra charge. Without a drink package, you’ll pay $9 to $15 per drink, which adds up fast.

Entertainment

things to do on a cruiseDay or night, there is no shortage of entertainment onboard a cruise ship. When your cabin steward turns down your bed each night, you’ll get a copy of the itinerary for the next day on your pillow (or next to your towel animal). Be sure to pop it in your tote so you don’t miss out on any of the fun. It’s likely the cruise director will announce major events over the intercom throughout the day, too.

On a day at sea, you’ll find tons of things to do on a cruise. Often, there’s an entertaining cooking class with cruise staff, ice or fruit sculpting displays, silly competitions, dance classes, and more. And of course, every night at sea, you can dance the night away in one of the clubs, listen to live music at various venues, see a theatrical presentation, catch a movie on a big screen, or more.

Some ships offer Broadway caliber performances. Others have a circus at sea or even an ice rink. Acrobatics, fireworks, themed parties, and other events occur every night on cruise ships. After your relaxing day at sea, you’ll be ready to let loose with a night of fun and shenanigans.

Activities

things to do on a cruiseWaterslides, spas, bowling, and mini golf. These are just a few of the things to do on a cruise ship. You’ll find everything from bingo and chess to rock-wall climbing and video arcades on your cruise vacation.

Of course, the bigger the ship, the more outrageous the options. But even the smaller ships pack in plenty of fun. If you get tired of lounging around, just leave a sweater on your chair and wander off for a while. You’ll likely stumble upon a shopping extravaganza, a name that tune game, an art auction, or even a wine tasting. There’s something for everyone.

What’s your favorite way to spend a day at sea? Share your ideas for things to do on a cruise on our Facebook page.