Planning a Self Care Weekend on a Budget

Last week I shared the highlights of my experimental weekend of self care in New York City.  And this week, I am offering up 7 tips for planning your own self care weekend on a budget.

Decide where you are going for your self care weekend, if anywhere.

The first step in planning your self care weekend is to decide whether you will stay home or go away. While not necessary, getting away does create a nice opportunity to reset.

To avoid breaking the bank, consider staying with a friend or family member (one that isn’t particularly needy). If not, renting a room on Airbnb is usually reasonable or you could try the Couchsurfing app.

Find green space near your destination.

Are there any parks, beaches, gardens, riverfronts or lakes close to your destination? If so, make a list of your options and their admission fees. You can even take it a step further and see if they have any days with free admission. For example, some places are free or "donation only" on Saturday mornings, Sundays or Friday nights.

Getting outside and taking time to enjoy nature is a really easy way to practice self care. Studies show the benefits of spending time in green space include lowering blood pressure, fighting depression, and increasing memory.

Protestant Cemetery and Garden in Rome - Self Care Weekend - Her Bags Were Packed

Use Facebook Events to find affordable things to do during your self care weekend.

When traveling, we often stick to the typical overpriced tourist zones but Facebook Event's "discover" feature helps me find local (and more affordable) experiences while traveling. Here you can search by location, category, and date to find things to do in the area you are visiting.  

For example, you may find a free yoga class, hike, wine tasting, or more.

Check out Groupon for self care related activities.

You can also often find good deals on Groupon for spa access, massages, boat rides and mani/pedis. Just be sure to check the reviews (both on and off Groupon) and confirm they have appointments available during your travel dates before purchasing.

Plan your meals, in advanced.

One of the best ways to practice self care is to make sure you are taking good care of your body and this means filling it with nutrients. That being said, you may want to have an indulgent self care weekend that includes chocolates and comfort food. Whatever you have in mind, just make sure to have a plan in place so you aren’t making spur of the moment decisions based out of hunger.

To save money, consider having some of your meals “at home” (wherever you are staying).


In today’s world where so much is dependent on our phones, like directions, ticket stubs, and cameras, it’s hard to expect anyone to disconnect from their devices but I am still going to challenge you to put it away for a couple hours every day.

Maybe you decide not to use your phone during meals and to read instead or to turn it off for an hour while you walk through the park. These small moments of disconnecting are valuable for many reasons ranging from improving your sleep and mental health to increasing your creativity and attention span.

Finally, to get the most out of your self care weekend, don’t do too much.

It’s easy while traveling to feel like you have to make the most of it and go, go, go…. But this is a sure fire way to make sure you go home even more exhausted than when you started. To get the most out of your time, make sure you intentionally plan time in your schedule to do nothing, whether it’s sitting in the park with a book for a few hours or heading back to your room early to relax and watch television.

I hope these 7 tips will help you get started with planning your own amazing self care weekend. If you have any questions or want to share your own tip, please feel free to share in the comments below or send me an email.