Weekend Getaway: The Hamptons

For those of us who work Monday – Friday, it can be difficult to find time to relax, especially when our weekends are filled with chores, errands and social obligations. That’s why I find it VERY important to take “mini vacations” on the weekends.

Mini vacations don’t have to be fancy or expensive. In fact, most of mine are cheaper than staying and going out in the city. Usually they happen when a friend offers for me to come visit a family member with them. When New York City is hot, humid and almost unbearable, I jump at every chance I get. Every time, I leave happier, nicer and full of appreciation for my friends, their families and the relationships I’ve been lucky enough to build.

This past weekend I went to West Hampton and almost refused to come back. Not only was I able to spend time with a close friend, but I was able to go somewhere new and enjoy the company of family (even though they weren’t mine).

Your mini vacation to the Hamptons may be under different circumstances than mine; nevertheless, here are tips for taking the perfect mini vacation to the Hamptons on a budget.

  1. Take the Hampton Jitney.

The train may be cheaper, but that’s only by five dollars. And trust me, that extra five dollars goes a long way. The Hampton Jitney can pick you up at multiple locations, it offers food and beverages on board, there is no chance that you might have to stand, you don’t have to transfer, and you get a peaceful ride out toward paradise. The Jitney is adamantly against obnoxious passengers, and they even limit phone use to three minutes per person. Trust me when I tell you to pay the extra five dollars, forego the Long Island Rail Road and all it’s hassle, and take the Hampton Jitney.

  1. Try to stay with a friend or relative.

If you have the option, stay with a friend, relative or friend’s relative; that’s what I did! You get the benefit of staying in a much cozier location with people you enjoy being around, and they know the best beaches to go to, the best sights to see and the best places to eat. If you’re lucky, like I was, you will also get a delicious home-cooked meal accompanied by great wine and conversation! Be sure to take the time to get to know your host, and ask plenty of questions! More often than not, you will gain a deeper appreciation for where you’re visiting.

  1. Pack light.

Learn from my mistakes; you definitely don’t need to pack a lot. You don’t need your makeup, you don’t need your computer and you definitely don’t need a lot of clothes. Do yourself a favor and pack the bare essentials. If you’re only gone for the weekend, then really all you need is two changes in clothes a swimsuit and a towel.

  1. Hit the beach.

You don’t have to spend money in the Hamptons in order to have fun; the beach is 100 percent free. Bring a towel or a chair, some snacks and water for a full day of relaxing in the sunshine. I also recommend you bring a book, but that’s just my opinion.

  1. Skip the bar, and take a walk instead.

Sure, going out to bars is fun, but you can do that any weekend. What you CAN’T do every weekend is walk through a cute, quaint town with trees on one side and the ocean breeze on another. If you’re in the Hamptons, you’re there to relax and enjoy the peace and quiet not available in the city. Relish in the moment, have some peace and quiet, save some money and go for a walk.

You don’t have to spend a ton of money to enjoy yourself for the weekend. Usually all you have to do is say, “Yes” when an opportunity arises. So, be adventurous. Go visit a friend or a relative. If you can, go to the Hamptons. Mini vacations are the perfect way to reboot after a long, hot, summer week at work.

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