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Getting Unstuck

5-minute Escapes That Don’t Cost a Dime

By: Anne-Sophie Reinhardt

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Imagine: You’re on a private beach, cocktail in hand, with a gentle breeze blowing your hair.

Sounds devilishly good, doesn’t it?

But budgets are tight, especially this time of the year. There’s Christmas shopping, bills, end of year expenses and more. Spending a few hundred to fly to an exotic island is just not an option.

No worries -- here are some easy ways you can get in the vacation groove without even leaving your home. Try one -- or all – and watch your dreams seemingly come true.

1. Create a vacation playlist.

We all have songs that remind us of our favorite summers, our best vacations and our greatest adventures. Download Spotify, make up a song list, and you’ll be able to reminisce about those precious moments whenever you need a quick vacation fix.

2. Make a collage of vacations past.

Putting together a collage of your favorite holiday pictures is not only a great way to let your creative juices flow, but it’ll remind you of the excitement you felt when you saw the Grand Canyon for the first time or the fun you had with your best friends on that road trip through the MidWest. You’ll be daydreaming for days.

3. Go on a literary adventure.

Why travel when we have the internet, right? Looking at beautiful photos, reading adventure stories, and dreaming of those places that you’ll see with your own eyes is a great way of distracting yourself from the day-to-day. There are many fantastic travel sites out there, but here are two of my favorites: Camels and Chocolate and Legal Nomads.

4. Cook an exotic meal.

Exotic food is part of every vacation, but the taste of Spanish paella or Greek souvlaki doesn’t have to remain a distant memory. You can enjoy these delicious local foods anytime. Here’s a great list  to get started on your search for recipes.

Bonus tip: Make yourself a summery cocktail like a mai tai or a caipirinha to go along with whatever you’re eating—it’s guaranteed to put you in a better frame of mind.

5. Hang out on Google Earth or Google MapsGL.

Download Google Earth or use the new Google MapsGL to fly around the world and experience sights like the Arch of Constantine, the Taj Mahal and so much more. Taking a virtual journey is my favorite way to get new ideas for places to see. And take it from me, you’ll feel as if you’re really there.

Read more about: Lifestyle, Health, Food

Anne-Sophie Reinhardt is Completely You’s Need to Know blogger. An anorexia survivor and body image expert, she also blogs at aMindmedia, The Change Blog and Positively Positive.

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