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Cheap travel: 3 budget-friendly weekend retreats

Lauren Fairbanks is a Brooklyn-based writer and editor who has penned for AOL, Young Money, and Eating Well Magazine, among others. She's also the founder and editor of LifeStyler, a NYC centric guide to budget living.

Cheap weekend getaways

High-end spa vacations are a luxury that not everyone can afford. While it would be nice to be able to hop on a plane and skip out to Arizona for a week of massages, meditation and expensive tofu dinners, that's clearly out of reach for a lot of us. Instead of obessing over the fact that these pricey getaways are designed for the rich and famous, rejoice that you can opt for the following budget-friendly weekend retreats designed to relax and rejuvenate affordably.

Woman on hiking vacation

1Spa Weekend in Hot Springs, Arkansas

Once a huge tourist draw, Hot Springs, Arkansas, hasn't been the big destination in recent years. It may not qualify as the be-all and end-all of spa destinations, but it's got two things going for it: a fairly central location, and affordability.

The Ouachita mountain range has been revered for its apparent healing waters since the early 1500s. Hot Springs' downtown area has a number of bath houses and spas that are great for a weekend getaway. The Austin Hotel offers a special for $335 that includes a three-day/two-night stay, two thermal mineral baths and two 30-minute Swedish massages.

For a more traditional experience, guests can check out the famed Buckstaff Baths for a traditional bathing package ($55), which includes a thermal mineral bath, whirlpool, Swedish massage and loofah mitt.

2Yoga Retreat in Middletown, California

Yoga retreats are notoriously expensive, and while the idea is nice, the typical $2,500-plus price tag usually isn't. But there are a few escapes yogis can traipse off to for less than their mortgage. Budget-conscious yoga fans can take a weekend at the Harbin Hot Springs retreat in Middletown, California. Nestled in the Napa Valley wine region north of San Francisco, the Harbin Hot Springs retreat is a beautiful escape. While the resort itself offers retreats and package deals, Clarity Breathwork offers weekend retreats at the California resort for $425.

3Outdoorsy Retreat in the Appalachians

Sometimes a weekend retreat is better when the great outdoors is involved. Appalachian Trail Adventures is a resort-type accommodation that offers hiking and kayaking vacations in a serene and beautiful environment in the Green Mountains of Vermont. Rates are $198/per night, per person and include lodging, meals, activities, taxes and gratuities. On top of hiking and kayaking, they also offer spa services (at an additional charge), yoga classes and other day activities like tennis, horseback riding and rock climbing.

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