recent years, the state of the economy has had a large impact on our
vacation plans. Many of us now have a limited budget, or depleted our
savings, so that vacation plans are now “non-existent”. At this point,
the most difficult decision for most of us is choosing where to go on
such limited funds.
In the past, many families took a week- long
trip to a resort, took a cruise or flew somewhere, together. Today,
however, because of rising fuel costs, hotel expense, and a large food
bill away from home, “staycations” are quite popular.
staycation is a common option, now. When you do choose to stay home, you
still want to make it memorable for your children, and you want the
experience to be fun. Here are a few ideas to make your staycation more
Ideas for Staycations:
Take a Trip to the Big City. How many times have you visited the capital of your state? Take an educational and free trip to the capital. Whether it is your state, or a neighboring state, if it’s new to you it can be a fun experience.
you call ahead (at your local government office), you may can even get a
tour set up too. Look at all your city has to offer and plan the day’s
If you aren’t too far away from Washington, D.C., then
take a trip to the nation’s capital. In Washington, all of the federal
museums are free, and they are among the best in the world. Our family
trip to D.C. was one of our best-ever vacations.
Switch Homes with Someone You Know.
Do you have a friend on that lives near the beach? Maybe they would
want to visit the big city where you live, and you can switch homes for a
week. Consider someone who lives in the country too, and see what life
is like in their town. Think about who you know that lives near an
amusement park, close to the mountains, the ocean or a large city. Even a
farm could be exciting to someone who has never lived that way. Switch
homes for a week, and experience life the way they live it.
Kids love to go camping! Sleeping outdoors under the stars is thrilling
for younger children. For adults, it allows you to collect your
thoughts away from all of the digital distractions we have come to rely
You can buy a tent for around $50.00 now, or even borrow one
from a friend and save the money. You don’t really even have to have
sleeping bags, as long as you have plenty of blankets. Check out the
camping areas within a few hours of your home and save gas.
will need to book it in advance if it is a state campground, and only go
to those with private showers and bathrooms. Search from Reserve America and
select what amenities you want. Look for campgrounds with a lake,
fishing, swimming, hiking, and a playground, so that everyone will be
Plan to roast marshmallows, tell stories around the fire,
grill out and look at the stars. Camping really can be fun! Just check
the weather forecast before you go, and plan accordingly.
Take a day trip.
By taking a short trip of 2-3 hours away, you can still enjoy the
benefits of the get-away, but not have to book a hotel. Just plan to eat
breakfast before you leave, pack a picnic for lunch, and you are all
set for a low-cost quick trip!
Do a radius search from Free Map Tools or Google Maps and
see what’s around you that you have never done. You will find things
you have never done if you search this way. Search the city of your
destination, and see what’s new.
Whenever our family does this, we
take pictures and save the trip brochures so that the kids have
something to talk about when they get back, and the memory never fades.
Create a Themed Week of Events.
Plan a day of culture, where you go to the art museum, you paint
together, or even take photographs together around the city. You can
give prizes to the “winner” for the best artwork, the best photograph or
the best video or homemade movie.
Plan to have a week of games
for the family to play together, and even allow the kids to make one up,
and play it together. For your themed week, you can “visit” other
countries by sharing a new food from that culture, talking about how
they live, and dressing up. Learn a few words that reflect the language
of the country. Do a little exploration on the internet and find
interesting things to share over dinner, and make it a learning
Give Back to Your Community. Find
some local charities that will allow your family to help out, and give
back to local residents. You can help at a local food bank, do some
clean-up in a city square, or assist at the animal shelter. Call your
county information line and see where to start. Your children may not be
thrilled at the idea in the beginning, but they will come away with a
memorable experience that will change their world view, and open their
Build a New Swing Set to Enjoy All Year.
If you save the money from your typical vacation, and purchase a swing
set for your home instead, you can enjoy it year-round. Swing sets are
very affordable now, and you can choose what amount you want to spend.
They are sized small to large, based on your budget and yard size.
websites sell the swing set hardware kits by themselves, which cuts
down on the price. SwingWorks.com allows you to design your own swing
set and choose what parts you want.
Other swing set companies,
like PlayNation.com, will ship a complete set to your door in a
ready-to-build kit, with all the pieces included in the box.
Have a Party.
If you aren’t going anywhere, then why not bring the fun to your house?
Host a Summer Bash in your back yard, or even at the local park, where
lots of kids can have fun together. Plan some games like sack races,
kick ball, water balloons (or water guns) the 3 legged race, or a
Be sure to take pictures of every game that you
played, so that they never forget the “Summer Bash”. Staying home can be
fun; you just have to make it different.
If you choose to have a
staycation this year, just think of all the money you saved on a hotel
concierge service. Now, you can be the resident activity director, and
plan out all the fun things your family can do together.
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