Desperate financial times call for desperate frugal measures.
But, you’ll be happy to know there are quite a number of things to do when you realise you can’t afford that epic overseas holiday you were planning with your BFF or SO. And, we promise there’s way more to do than just cry (though that’s definitely a big part).
We’d say pack your bags but that’s not happening… So instead, we’ll say read on Sunshine Coast—here are 50 things to do on the Sunshine Coast when you can’t afford a holiday.
1. First up, cry. Go on, there’s no shame in letting it all out.
2. And what’s the second thing you do when you realise overseas flights are expensive AF? Book an awesome staycation instead. Obvs.
3. Treat yourself to an Asian food trip right here on the Sunshine Coast. This epic Asian eats bucket list should do the trick!
4. Hit up Sunshine Coast’s best beaches, we’ve basically got some of the world’s best, right here in our very backyard. No expensive plane ticket required.
5. Been to all of those? Seek out one of these secret swimming spots. (With views easily mistaken for some long-lost exotic island).
6. No doubt you’re just craving a good dose of adventure. Check out these amazing camping spots on the Sunshine Coast.
7. #Treatyourself, we’re a talking major pamper sesh. The indulgent Day Spa Sampler at Spa Anise in Maleny includes 30 minutes in the stunning Hydrotherapy Room, a signature foot treatment, and a one-hour massage. Bliss.
8. When you can’t afford to eat sashimi on the streets of Japan, it’s time for the next best thing. Start ticking these bad boys off.
9. Spoiling yourself is totally necessary right now. So we propose, the ultimate dining experience at a fancy restaurant. Who needs a holiday anyway?
10. Bar hop through Noosa—those chillaxing vibes will kick in instantly.
11. Stuff yourself silly with the Sunshine Coast’s best bucket list desserts (let’s be real, you’d be packing on the kilos on your vaycay anyway).
12. Eat pasta, just like Nona would make at these epic Italian restaurants.
13. Work off said pasta, with some of the prettiest walks on the Sunshine Coast. See, you don’t need to travel OS to see real beauty?
14. Cry some more (naturally).
15. Culture yourself with a bit of courtyard day-drinking at La Canteena.
16. Who needs Whistler? Stay local and rent a cute cabin when the temps fall. It’s cosy, secluded, and there’s wine. Lots of it.
17. Borrow a friend’s four-wheel drive and finally make that mission to Fraser Island. Mind-blowing beauty and it’s right under your nose.
18. Get amongst these cheap eats (you know, so you can actually save for a holiday later down the track).
19. You might not be able to actually go on a holiday, but at least you can look like you have, which is why a spa day is definitely on the cards.
20. SUP your way around the Sunshine Coast’s spider web of rivers and have fun trying to find the route back.
21. Drown your travel sorrows and drink all the wine and eat all the cheese, right here.
22. Start a blog. Maybe about all the awesome things you’ve done in your life. Or maybe about how sad you are that you’re stuck on the Sunshine Coast. Get creative.
23. Take yourself to the nearest cheap store and grab a snorkel set. Then, dive in at these local spots.
24. Take your pick from these epic outdoor eating spots. They’re as close as we’re going to get to an open balcony sunset drinks in Uluwatu.
25. Road trip to Brunswick Heads. Think hippie-loving markets, cafe hopping, and crystalline saltwater creeks to float around in (that look just like the Caribbean… or close enough).
26. Too tight for Airbnb? Well folks, air camping exists and it has your name all over it.
27. Shop it out. Sunshine Plaza should just about do it.
28. Or if your bank balance won’t take you that far, we’ve uncovered the best op shops on the Sunshine Coast.
29. Take a yoga class and as you stretch, reflect on all the reasons why you didn’t need to go on a holiday anyway (you’re right, there are none).
30. Take yourself on a luxe road trip and rent a fancy set of wheels to get you there.
31. Continue crying (can’t stop, won’t stop).
32. But while you’re busy drying your eyes with the dollar bills you don’t have, try watching all of these killer TV series.
33. Win some serious eye-candy with these restaurants that are packing insane water views. Budget won’t stretch the far? Trusty surf clubs with stunning views will suffice, for now.
34. Let’s be real. Planning a holiday (with virtually no money) is stressful. Ditch the trip and get yourself to Float Noosa or The Float Space. And yes, you’ll feel like you’re floating mid-air but without that annoying guy reclining his seat.
35. Dying for an espresso martini but ain’t got enough play money to take yourself out? Jump on this easy peasy recipe, dim the lights, and invite all your friends over to your makeshift bar.
36. Throw caution to the wind and go for a sunrise nudie swim at A-Bay. You’ve gotta do it at least once in your life.
37. Learn to fly. It’s well worth the dosh and so much better than your standard passenger flight.
38. Revamp your entire room. Because you know what they say—a change is as good as a holiday!
39. Keep an eye out for food festivals or even a good ol’ food truck round-up. Yes, we all had the dream of eating Nepalese food specifically in Kathmandu, but sometimes that’s not an option.
40. Spend a day on Noosa River—not next to, ON! For a floating Sunday sesh, you can’t go past the beauty that is Catalina. Want to a more no-frills approach? A BBQ boat (AKA party pontoon) will still get you amongst the action.
41. Tell all your friends not about the countless bar-tops you danced on in Ibiza, but of the crazy mountain hikes you conquered in your very own backyard.
42. And then, when they’re sucked in to your awesome storytelling, tell ‘em about the ones you conquered a little further afield.
43. Get a new hairdo at one of the Sunshine Coast’s favourite salons.
44. So you’ve always talked about skydiving… now is your time.
45. A trip to Tuscany would have been nice buuuuut there are plenty of intimate wineries on and around the Sunshine Coast. Required, one (unlucky) designated driver.
46. Get yourself to all of the best markets on the Sunshine Coast. Cheap food and cheap shopping equals some very happy, non-holidaying people.
47. Decide that the Sunshine Coast really is the best place on earth and tick your way through this bucket list.
48. Fiiinally learn to surf! You’ll thank us when you eventually get to Morocco or Indo.
49. Stop feeling sorry for yourself and do what proper adults do. Photoshop yourself jumping into the refreshing waters of the Maldives. Easy.
50. Just admit it; there’s no place like home. Here are 31 reasons you’ll never be able to leave.
Looking for more things to do on the Sunshine Coast when you can’t afford a holiday? These day trips might help the pain.
Image Credit: Hayley Williamson