Budget-Friendly Spring Break Staycation Tips

boggle letters spelling out vacation with the 'VA' turning to reveal 'stay'

Written by Susan Helmick, Graduate Assistant for the Graduate College

Spring break is here, but if jetting off somewhere is off the table, don’t sweat it. Opting for a staycation can still make for a great getaway. If you're working with a tight budget but craving a change of scenery, making the most of a spring break staycation is all about tapping into creativity and exploration. Whether you prefer unwinding with mini-adventures or indulging in some much-needed self-care, there are endless opportunities to ensure your staycation leaves you feeling revitalized and ready to tackle whatever challenges lie ahead. Here's eight ways to curate a staycation spring break experience that won’t break the bank.

  1. Scenic Hiking Trails: Embrace nature by exploring the Tristate’s many hiking trails. From the tranquil paths of Mt. Airy Forest to Convington, Kentucky’s Devou Park, there's a trail suited for every skill level. Pack a picnic, lace up your hiking boots, and immerse yourself in the natural wonders just a stone's throw away.
  2. Visit Local Museums: Delve into Cincinnati's rich history and vibrant culture by visiting local museums and art galleries. Many offer discounted or free admission days, making it an affordable choice for Spring Break. Explore the Cincinnati Art Museum's extensive collection or delve into the history of firefighting in Cincinnati at the Cincinnati Fire Museum, housed in the city's first professional firehouse.
  3. Brewery and Distillery Tours: Cincinnati's craft beer and spirits scene is thriving, and what better way to experience it than with a brewery or distillery tour? Many establishments offer guided tours where you can learn about the brewing process while sampling a variety of locally crafted beverages. 
  4. Outdoor Recreation: Take advantage of Cincinnati's outdoor recreational opportunities by renting kayaks or paddleboards for a day of exploration along the Ohio River or one of its tributaries soaking up scenic views and fresh air.
  5. DIY Food Tours: Experience the diverse culinary scene of Cincinnati with a self-guided food tour. Explore different neighborhoods and sample local delicacies from food trucks, hole-in-the-wall eateries, and ethnic restaurants. From Cincinnati-style chili to artisanal ice cream, there's no shortage of options to satisfy your cravings.
  6. Explore Underground Wonders: Embark on an underground adventure by exploring the fascinating caverns and caves near Cincinnati. Take a guided tour of the Ohio Caverns or venture into the depths of the Louisville Mega Cavern for a unique and memorable experience.
  7. Take a Riverboat Cruise: Experience the beauty of the Ohio River from a unique perspective by taking a riverboat cruise. Enjoy breathtaking views of the city skyline and surrounding landscapes while relaxing aboard a historic paddlewheel boat. Many cruises offer affordable ticket prices and themed excursions for added entertainment.
  8. Virtual Travel: If you're craving a change of scenery but unable to travel, consider embarking on a virtual travel adventure from the comfort of your home. Use online resources to explore virtual tours of famous landmarks, museums, and cultural attractions around the world. You can virtually visit destinations like the Louvre in Paris, the Great Wall of China, or the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City without ever leaving your couch.

You don’t need a far-flung destination for a memorable spring break experience, there's no shortage of opportunities to create lasting memories close to home. With these thrifty tips, you're well on your way to curating a spring break staycation experience that's both memorable and budget friendly. Make this spring break one to remember, right in your own backyard.