With summer just around the corner, you may be in the mood to take a vacation. But what happens when you can’t afford a proper trip away?
Many people choose to have a staycation, but they’re not always thrilled with the prospect of staying home. Of course, going overseas, to the mountains, or to the beach might sound more enticing. However, if you’re trying to stretch your dollars, a staycation is your best bet, and they don’t have to be boring!
Okay, you might be wondering how to make it possible to enjoy your time off at home. Being able to save a ton on transportation and lodging is nice, but you don’t want to be bored!
Well, even though staycation has the word “stay” in it, you don’t have to stay cooped up in your house the entire time. You just need to take a different approach to a traditional vacation. Here are 4 ways to do that.
Play Tourist In Your City
If you live in or near a big city, act like a tourist (without buying the silly souvenirs). There’s probably tons of places in your own backyard that you haven’t explored yet. This is especially true if you’ve recently moved to a new town.
Take the opportunity to explore what your city has to offer, whether it’s some delicious food, a tour with some history lessons, or free activities in a park.
If you really know your city like the back of your hand, try playing tourist with friends or family instead! Invite them to stay with you, and show them around. They’ll appreciate the inside knowledge, and you’ll appreciate getting to spend time with them while sharing all the amazing things you love about your city.
Make Plans With Friends
Have you been super busy with work lately? Too busy to hang out with friends or family? If you’ve been meaning to catch up with people, why not try scheduling some time to meet up with them?
This works really well if your friends can take off around the same time as you, or if they work later on in the day. Things tend to be cheaper in the morning and afternoon, so you can save money by going to a matinee or having breakfast or lunch together.
This might sound a little silly in theory, but planning out an entire week with friends can be pretty fun, especially if you couple this with playing tourist in your city. You can go hiking one day, to the beach another day, tackle trivia one night, play board games after that, and finish off with a potluck BBQ.
If you’re feeling bummed about not being able to afford a “luxury” vacation, laughing and making memories with friends will take the sting out of it.
Have Fun With Your Kids
Summer means school is out, and that also means entertaining your children on a budget. You might not actually want to stay inside during your staycation, and you shouldn’t! There’s no reason not to enjoy the beautiful weather when you have the chance.
Maybe you’re a little bored of the routine things you do with your kids. If all of you are tired of reading, baking, or playing games, try throwing some other things into the mix.
Can you take your children and a few friends to a local park where they can play sports and run around? Are there any free museum days happening when you’re off? Do you live near where you grew up? Take them around places you remember and reminisce.
Geocaching is another fun, family-friendly activity that will lead you all over your city, and it incorporates a sense of adventure – for free.
If you love the outdoors, take your kids on a nature walk and pass on your knowledge of the terrain, rocks, or rivers. Just because school’s out doesn’t mean you can’t take time to educate them!
Get Caught Up
This idea might not sound attractive to some people, but for those who can’t stand not being productive, time off may mean a chance to get caught up.
Maybe you’ve been running behind on cleaning, marketing your side hustle, laundry, reading, watching shows/movies, home improvement projects, or playing video games. Time to change that!
Make a game plan for the week that allows you to get caught up on things so you can feel good about making great use of your time.
If there’s anything that’s been nagging at you that you can cross off your to-do list, make time for it.
Yes, vacations are supposed to be for relaxing, but who said feeling accomplished can’t translate to relaxation? You might find you feel better (and actually relieved) once you get certain tasks taken care of.
For example, if you’ve been sitting on painting a room for ages, but it keeps getting pushed back, then prioritize it. Especially if you can’t stand looking at it in its current state. You’ll be glad you did after you can spend time in the room without 1) being reminded you need to paint, and 2) hating the way it looks.
Or maybe there’s a pile of books you ordered a while ago that you’ve been meaning to get through, and you feel guilty for spending so much on them when you can’t find the time to read.
Sounds trivial, but these little things can add up to be huge stressors without you realizing it. Take care of them.
Staycations Don’t Have To Be Boring
The point is, staycations shouldn’t be taken for granted. It’s easy to think your time off doesn’t mean as much because you can’t have a fancy getaway. Get out of that mindset and use your time to your advantage instead. (After all, not having to be at work is good enough, right?)
Figure out what you can afford to spend, and use that as a guideline while you’re planning activities to do on your staycation.
You don’t have to go on a spending freeze simply because you’re staying home. As always, be conscious of how you’re choosing to spend your money, and do it in a way that makes you happy.
Try to focus your spending on experiences, as those can still be had even during a staycation.
Lastly, use this as motivation to start saving up for a vacation next year!
Do you enjoy staycations? How do you make them awesome?