3 Inexpensive Staycation Ideas for New Yorkers

Posted July 18, 2014 by in Lifestyle

If you’re like me, this year you’ve decided to pass on the tropical cruises, island adventures, and summer getaways to stay in the city and maybe get some extra work done. Now that summer is upon us and all your “Instabuddies” and Facebook pals are bombarding your social media with virtual “wish you were here’s,” the dull ache of regret is slowly creeping up on you and you’re craving a vacation. Am I right?

A couple of weeks ago I almost broke and began looking for flights to Antigua to visit my family and enjoy the tropics. My search quickly came to an end when I saw how expensive the airfare was this time of year!

I decided to find creative ways to relax and enjoy my summer in the city without breaking the bank. Besides, I’ve got so much work to do and, well, Antigua will be there next year.

Below are three staycation ideas if you’re stuck at home for the summer:

1. Visit a Russian Bath House

New York City is filled with traditional Russian bath houses in which you can experience relaxation and rejuvenation. Now, Russian Banyas aren’t for everyone. They’re very self-serve and though very similar to a spa, don’t expect any doting customer service besides clean towels and robes.

Basically, the art of banya involves going between different temperature saunas (hot and cold) and detoxing by opening and closing the pores. There’s usually a Russian sauna, a steam room, an aroma therapy room, a cold room, a pool, a Jacuzzi, a restaurant, and lounge area.

And for about $40, you can spend as much time as you want enjoying the amenities. For a little extra, you can renew your skin with a full body scrub or relieve tension with a massage.

My boyfriend and I recently took a trip to Spa 88, located in the Financial District. We absolutely loved it! My favorite was the eucalyptus steam room which helped relax my tight muscles. We did a circuit of saunas for an hour or so before breaking for a beer and fries in the lounge area. We then headed back out for another round and ended up in the Jacuzzi. We left feeling super refreshed and ready to take on another week of work!

Tip: Make it a girl’s day! Since banyas typically attract burly male patrons, many offer women only hours, which can make for a more comfortable experience and an awesome opportunity for a ladies’ outing!

*For a full list of New York’s Russian baths, click here.


2. Go to an Outdoor Movie

One of my favorite things to do in the summer is to see outdoor movies in NYC parks. It’s so romantic and since there’s usually something playing every night, you’ll never be stumped for outing ideas! Just pack a picnic basket, bring a blanket, and you’re all set. It’s so much fun and it won’t break the bank since it’s totally free! For added comfort, bring some outdoor gear like thick blankets and low chairs.

*Click this link for a list of all the dates and movies playing in NYC parks this summer.


3. Go on a Day Cruise

You can still get that “out on the waters” vibe without ever leaving the city by going on a day cruise along the Hudson or East River. They’re extremely fun and will run you from $20-80 a person.

At the start of Spring I tried out a brunch cruise aboard World Yacht Cruises’ Princess ship, and I must say it was oh so fabulous! The music was awesome, and the food was delicious. The cruise lasted about two and a half hours and featured a dance floor, a bar, a deck and an all you can eat breakfast and lunch buffet. It’s an awesome weekend activity that gives you that “getaway” feeling right in your own back yard.

Tip: Ask if your cruise line offers themed cruises. I’ve heard of beer cruises, wine tasting cruises, dinner cruises, and club cruises, which can make for a fun date night or night out with the girls.

*Click here to check out World Yacht Cruises.


So don’t let the fact that you’re in town this season discourage you from having an epic summer! There are tons of things to do that’ll make this a summer to remember without post vacation guilt syndrome.

How is your summer going so far? Let us know in the comments below!