8 Staycation Ideas That Won't Melt Your Budget
If a vacation isn't in the budget this spring break, how about a staycation? Since you are saving on airfare, gas, and hotel rooms, you can splurge a little in your local area to make your time off special.
Staycations are all of the fun at a fraction of the price...with none of the "are we there yet?"
- Throw an Exotic Party: Theme parties are a fun way to include your friends and celebrate, suggests Dawn Sandomeno, co-author of The Party Bluprints Blog and the book, Plan to Party. Check out their ideas for a Key West Staycation.
- Be a Tourist in Your Own Home Town: Your day to day routine leaves little time to check out the local attractions. Now's your chance to tour the sites right in your own backyard. "When I was a kid,... we'd go to museums to learn about history and science, we’d go to art galleries, follow landmarked and guided trails at state and national parks, and every time we’d take a picnic lunch! My parents wanted to make sure that education didn’t end when school was out," explains Eleanor Evans of Bellesouth.
- Stretch Your Budget with Specials: Bringing a family of four or more to a local theme park or attraction can quickly break the bank. Shana Dieli of Shanamama advises, "Check local attractions for specials during your staycation and plan accordingly--our zoo has way back Wednesdays so you can get in for $1!"
- Go on a Scavenger Hunt: Geocaching and letterboxing are great activities for explorers of all ages "It’s like a treasure hunt," explains Sarah Parisi of Toddling Around Chicagoland. "People all over the country plant letterboxes and post clues on how to find them on websites like letterboxing.org and atlasquest.com"
- Serve Your Community: Volunteer vacations are a trendy way to do good but you will spend big bucks to donate your time. Why not use your break from work and school to contribute in your own community? Look for several-day opportunities that fill a local need. Clean-up a nearby park and plant flowers, put on a talent show at a senior center, build a house with Habitat for Humanity, or get to know the rescued animals at a nature rehabilitation center.
- Set Up a Backyard Campsite: You don't have to go far to have an outdoor adventure, especially if your kids are young. Just pitch a tent in your backyard, "Make a campfire and cook your meal over it. Sing campfire songs and tell scary stories", offers Rebecca E. Parsons of Cre8tive Compass.
- Unplug: Whatever you do, make sure to "unplug", says Parsons. One of the most relaxing aspects of vacation is getting away from it all, including the constant bombardment of work and distractions. If you cannot give-up the gadgets for an entire week, Parsons advises aiming first for a night, or even an hour, to put the "family" back in "family vacation".
- Travel to Europe, Asia, Latin America, or Africa...through your tastebuds: Immerse yourself in the art and traditions of another culture. Set up a mini-museum in your home and transform you space. Listen to new music and watch films that transport you to a distant land. Visit a local cultural center. As a final treat and celebration, go out for a big dinner at a restaurant that serves cuisine from your "vacation" locale.
There are so many free and inexpensive programs at local parks, farms, nature centers, orchestras, museums, planetariums, and other cultural centers, you will find plenty to do on any budget.
Have you ever taken a staycation? How have you turned the ordinary into extraordinary?