Everyone deserves a vacation, right? The problem is that not everyone has the time or money to travel far. Throw Covid into the mix and a staycation is the perfect solution. Just because you can’t go far this summer, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t enjoy a vacation. These staycation ideas will help you save money on a vacation while still making memories.
Americans are notorious for not taking vacations
Even before we could blame coronavirus for not taking a vacation, our society was notorious for not taking vacation. Don’t let money be the reason you aren’t relaxing this year. Sure, you may not be able to afford to travel far, but that shouldn’t keep you from exploring the world around you right where you live.
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Save money on a vacation with these staycation ideas
Having 3 kids has taught me that just because you can’t travel far, doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy traveling. Sometimes you can get the best experiences traveling around your hometown or venturing to neighboring cities. A staycation not only helps you save money on a vacation, it can give you the opportunity to see your town from a new perspective.
Personally, my favorite part of traveling is trying new things. Lucky for me, it’s pretty easy to try new things within a few miles from our home.
What is a staycation?
A staycation is a combination of vacationing and staying at home. There are a few different definitions ranging from “a vacation in your home country” to “a vacation where you don’t leave your house”.
Seeing as how America is a rather large country, I like to define a staycation as a vacation where you make your home the base of your vacation. This doesn’t mean you have to sleep at home every night. Camping, visiting a local hotel, or taking a weekend getaway to a neighboring city all still make for great staycations.
Staycationing Tips During the Covid Crisis
I know that everyone is doing things a little differently during this time. Some people are out and about like nothing ever happened, and others are still staying home.
Here are a few tips we are following to stay healthy during our own staycation:
- Follow the local news closely for outbreaks
- Check the latest cases by county here– personally, we will be staying in our county just to play it safe
- Stick to outdoor activities
- Wear a mask if you venture indoors
- Instead of dining out, do takeout and picnic outside in a park
The Ultimate List of Staycation Ideas
The best part about vacation is unplugging.
Do just that. Feel free to use your camera phone to document the journey, but refrain from checking in on social media every 5 minutes. Do the same with email. Shut it down and shut it out during your staycation.
Explore your own city
Stop by the visitor center or search for your convention and visitors bureau (CVB) online. Many offer coupons and deals to visitors. Email or call to let them know that you want to do a staycation and ask them to send you the standard information they send to tourists planning a trip to your city.
Go ahead and contact the CVB for neighboring cities too.
Due to the current Covid climate, you may find it helpful to contact your CVB to see what is open and what is closed.
Here are some easy ways to explore your city:
- head to the closest museum
- visit the parks and recreation website for your city to see what cool parks are nearby
- check out the closest zoo
- visit the closest children’s museum
- go to the nearest aquarium
- download the Geocaching app and start geocaching
Find small adventures in your own town
Go to the closest state or national park or explore the closest tourist trap. Hike a trail that is nearby or take advantage of water sports if you are close to water.
Take a day trip to neighboring cities
Pick a city that is no further than an hour away and explore for the day. Wake up early, get a cup of coffee on the road and get to your neighboring city in time for breakfast. Spend the whole day acting like a tourist in a new city.
All day pool day
Go to your neighborhood pool or city pool and spend all day there. Or take a trip to your closest waterpark.
Either set up a tent in your backyard or pick a camping site in your county. Both are fun and require very little money.
Transform your backyard into a waterpark
Amazon has a ton of really fun and affordable water games, kiddie pools, and inflatables. Check out my favorite below.
Turn your house into a spa
Instead of going to a fancy spa during a hotel vacation, bring the spa to you. Go to the drug store to pick up some essentials, turn on some classical music, pour a glass of cheap champagne and relax.
Go a step further and set up a hammock, a lounge chair and a fire pit to replicate the outdoor spa experience.
Do a culinary trip of your town
My favorite part about traveling is getting to try new foods. Do that, but in your own city. Pick a new restaurant to try every day during your staycation. Yes, it is more expensive than cooking at home, but it’s still way cheaper than driving or flying somewhere and staying in a hotel during vacation.
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Book a hotel room in your city
Book a hotel room during a weekday out of the busy season and save a ton of money. Check out the DOSH app to find a good deal on a hotel room near you.
DIY film festival
Put together a movie marathon and veg on the couch all day with popcorn and your favorite drinks.
Enjoy 13 free activities with the kids
If you have kids, make sure to look for free activities for them to do in your hometown. You probably already know of a lot of them, but go all out during your staycation. Get a list of my favorite free summer activities here.