Staycation Tips & Ideas to Help You Save

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by on May 25, 2012

staycation tips & ideasStaycation Tips & Ideas to Help You Save

Summer is officially here and that means that kids are home, people are time off work, and gas prices are up (yikes!). If affording a vacation just doesn’t seem possible, why not have a “staycation” instead, where you enjoy your own city or state without all the added travel expenses. A staycation is the perfect economical alternative to a conventional vacation.

The trick to a perfect staycation is to remember that you are still vacationing, even if you are staying at home, so try to keep household chores, projects, and business interruptions to a minimum. More than anything, just enjoy yourself!

Tips for a Terrific Staycation

1. Plan your time like a normal vacation with “vacation days”. This will help keep you focused on having fun – and not on other household duties. Limit the temptation to check your email or other work-related activities by having certain “check-in” times, like you normally would. Just because you are at home, doesn’t mean that you should be on call to the office.

2. Create a budget for your staycation. You may not leave home (or travel far), but you’ll want to have some money set aside for tickets, eating out, gas, and possibly a night or two at a hotel. Depending on how much you plan to spend, you’ll be able to judge what activities your family wants enjoy.

3. Act like a tourist and take advantage of local museums, the zoo, parks, and other activities. Just like visiting another city, enjoy taking your time at local attractions and visit those places you haven’t been in a while (or ever!). Other ideas include:

  • exploring local farmers markets
  • enjoy eating out at new restaurants
  • checking out a local winery or brewery
  • visit a water park
  • rent bikes to ride around town
  • go hiking
  • attend a concert, comedy show, art show or theatrical performance
  • take a behind the scenes tour
  • plan a family picnic
  • “camp” in your backyard
  • attend a local sporting event
  • visit a local beach, lake, or river
  • plan a game or movie day with friends
  • make a water day with a pool (plastic pools work, too), sprinklers, balloons, etc

4. Save with coupons and daily deal sites. Don’t forget to check out to find new restaurants and save while dining out.  You can also find great deals daily deal sites like Groupon or Living Social to save on dining out, spas, shopping, hotels, and more. Even if you are staying in your city, you may want to stay a night or two at a local hotel to enjoy the facilities, while getting away from home.

5. Take advantage of summer FREEBIES and events near you. There are many museums with reduced admission, FREE kids’ events, and movie deals around the nation. Check your local library, too, for events they may have throughout the summer. And don’t forget to check out 50 FREE Activities Your Family Can Enjoy this Summer

6. Take plenty of photos and/or videos of your adventures! Capture your fun times from where ever you end up, even if it is your own backyard. Just like on a traditional vacation, keep your camera ready to snap photos of smiles, laughter, and just plain silliness. Afterward, you can create a photo book memory of your travels and all the new sights you found. Not only will you have a fun keepsake, but you’ll also have more cash in your wallet after your Staycation!

Have you taken a staycation? What other activities should I add to this list?


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