Budget and Time-Friendly Tips for Enjoying Your Labor Day Weekend

It may be called “Labor Day,” a day to celebrate American workers and their achievements, but for many the holiday has come to be tantamount to summer’s last hurrah—one last break before regular work and school schedules resume.

What are you doing this year to celebrate Labor Day?

Here are a half-dozen ways to make the most out of summer’s last official holiday without busting your budget or wasting precious time:

1. Take a quick trip to get away overnight or for the weekend. This is a great way to put an extra charge into your mental batteries before a return to school or work. Go with a friend, spouse, or partner. Or if you prefer travelling solo, go it alone. And try to keep your travel time one way under three hours either by plane or car. You don’t want to end up spending an entire day travelling to and fro. Think: cabin on the beach; a fancy suite in a nearby major city, close to restaurants, watering holes, and activities galore; or crashing with a good friend in a neighboring state for the weekend.

2. Family outings and BBQs are almost as synonymous with Labor Day as they are with the Fourth of July. What better way to spend one last long weekend than with family and friends at an outing at your place or theirs? Get some steaks, salads, pasta, adult beverages, and soda pop and you’ve got a party in the making. And if BBQs aren’t your style or preference, pile the family and friends in a few cars and trek to the beach, amusement park, or some other family friendly venue to celebrate the “summer that was.”

3. Go to a movie (or two) with your besties. There must be at least one or two summer blockbusters you missed. Make an event out of catching up on one or more flicks you meant to get to but never did. Grab a matinee, get dinner, and then cap it off with an evening show. You could even have a sleep-in movie marathon at home. Start by making some popcorn and then queuing up parts 1, 2, and 3 of your favorite movie franchise on DVD or stream it to your Smart TV.

4. Take a hike—literally. Many active individuals and families seem to always have plans to go hiking in the summer, but weather, high temps, and busy vacation schedules get in the way. For most, the long Labor Day weekend means cooler temperatures and less hectic schedules, which is a perfect recipe for finally taking that hike (or hikes) to the nearby mountains, valleys, or the desert.

5. Labor Day doesn’t have to be all play; you can do some work at home, too, and feel good about it. Three days might be just what the DIY repairman ordered for you to finally wrap up that summer yard work, repaint the living room, clean out the garage, or complete some other household project that’s been nagging at you.

6. Last, but not least, enjoy a staycation at home. When is the last time you woke up in your own bed with no schedule and no lengthy to-do list? It’s probably been a while. Staycations help you avoid crowds, traffic, and the stresses and expense of travelling to “get away from it all.” Of course, if you’re the type who needs to get away from home to truly disconnect, then a staycation might not be for you. However, if you can unwind at home and bask in familiar, comfortable surroundings without feeling compelled to do anything too strenuous, then a staycation might be just what you need to put your mind and body at ease this Labor Day weekend.

How do you celebrate Labor Day? What ideas do you have for busy individuals, families, and students looking for a little late summer relaxation?

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