Summer Staycation Guide: Making the Most of Your Summer Vacation on a Budget

Summertime is designed for relaxing. The hot weather makes us want to slow down, have an icy drink, and lounge by the pool. The only problem? Gasoline, airfare, hotels and other vacation necessities can be costly. Sometimes our budgets aren’t designed to give us the summer vacation of our dreams, but we still find ourselves needing a break.

Enter the staycation, the vacation budget-conscious folks can get behind! What is a staycation? It’s taking time off to spend with family or friends doing fun things in your local area. How can you make the most of what’s nearby?

  1. Unplug

    As difficult as it might be to silence your phone and shut down your laptop, it’s a key part of having a great staycation. When we travel far away, the distance (or our data plan) makes it difficult to check in with work or social media. This is definitely not a problem when we plan to stay local. Do yourself the favor of limiting electronics and communications to emergencies only. Part of the benefit of a vacation is leaving the stress of your job and commitments behind. So do everything you can to make this a reality for your staycation.

  2. Check out local options

    Whether it’s a local park, beach, zoo or sporting event, there is likely something interesting to do within an hour of your home. See your local scenery, relax on your local beach, learn something new about the place you live, or celebrate at an event you wouldn’t normally attend. Whatever you choose to do, you’ll benefit from the lovely amenities and people in your community. Here’s one idea to help you plan your next big adventure: At the National Park Service’s website, you can search to find a park near you.

  3. Stay inside

    You don’t have to venture out far to benefit from a staycation. If the weather doesn’t cooperate or you’re more of a homebody, staying indoors can be fun too. Plan a family board game tournament or some fun art projects at home. If you do venture out, think about taking the family to play laser tag, go bowling, see a local museum, or participate in a cooking class. Whatever you choose to do, remember that spending time together is the most valuable thing.

  4. Even one day can make a difference

    If you have limited time off, taking one day to unwind can be beneficial. Book yourself a spa day, take a mid-day yoga or exercise class, find a free workout or yoga routine online or anything to get you into a relaxing headspace.

  5. Don’t stress
    This is easier said than done, but it’s hard not to let your daily work and obligations flood your staycation. It can be challenging to resist the siren song of your phone and you might think about cutting your staycation short, but don’t. Take the time for yourself and use your staycation to create meaningful memories and experiences.

Whatever your plans are this summer, taking some time to explore your local options will benefit you and your family. You’ll probably be surprised by all the cool and interesting finds in your town or city. With a little advanced planning and an open mind, your staycation can be just as relaxing, fun, and rewarding as an expensive getaway, so start planning!