I like to travel, but sometimes a vacation just isn’t practical. After all, a vacation can require quite a bit of planning — and expense. You have to plan airfare (or pay for gas when you take a road trip), pay for hotel stays, and arrange for food. All of this can become overwhelming as well as costly. If you want to go on a trip, but know that a full-on vacation isn’t practical, you can plan a staycation.
Here are some ideas for frugal staycations:
This is one of my favorite things to do. Every year I join my siblings and their families, and my parents, on a camping trip. We meet in out in nature for two days and two nights of fun and adventure. And it doesn’t cost very much. For the longest time, my son and I brought our inexpensive two-person tent and surplus sleeping bags. Everyone chips in to help with food — much of which is fairly inexpensive. If you are looking for a getaway, camping can be a great choice.
You can also look for outdoor activities around your town. We have fishing a little ways up the canyon, and plenty of hiking and biking trails. A rather beautiful lake is only an hour away. We can spend the day and sleep in our own beds, while saving money.
Local Historical Sites
You don’t need to go far to find an interesting outing. Instead of traveling to famous sites on the other side of the country, find out more about your own local historical flavor. You might be surprised at what you find. Take a couple of days to tour around the area. Most historical sites are free, or have a low entrance fee. You can even poke around a local museum. Fun and educational, and you don’t have to bust your budget on a vacation.
Next Town Over
Perhaps you want to stay in a hotel. If you want to get away, you can go to the next town over — or any town within three or four hours. Find out what activities might be available in the town. Then, book a hotel for a night or two. If you have the budget for it, it can be fun. One of my neighbors takes her family to the town an hour and a half away. They stay one night in a budget hotel outfitted with a pool. They have a great time swimming in the pool, and visiting some of the local attractions. They hit a low-cost restaurant for dinner. The hotel’s free continental breakfast takes care of the morning meal. Lunch is a picnic in the park, thanks to a cooler stocked with drinks, fruit and sandwich stuff. Then, it’s a short ride home. It’s a fun, and frugal, trip.
Make Your Home a Staycation Destination
Sometimes, all you and your family need is a break from routine. Turn your home into a staycation destination. Pack a picnic lunch in a backpack and take a bike ride to the park to eat and play. Spread blankets out on the family room floor, and cook s’mores in the microwave. Watch movies and sleep on the floor. I remember setting up a tent in my backyard and sleeping outside with my siblings while I was growing up. We thought it was great fun to pretend expeditions, stargaze, and then wake with the sun in our tent.
With some thoughtful creativity, you can take mini-trips, and plan two or three first-rate staycations over the summer. It will keep you and your kids entertained, and save you money.
What other ideas do you have for a staycation?
Photo by: kennymatic