We tend to think of vacations as leaving home or your home town, but what if you took a look at your own town or city as if you were a tourist? If you had never been here before, what would you do for some fun?
Make a list of some of the things that are near to your home that you could do. Here is a short list of some great staycation ideas that can make your summer vacation this year fun and affordable for the whole family.
Camping – Check out your local parks and see if there is any camping. Even close to home, camping is fun and a change of pace. The good news is that when you do pack up to leave you won’t have to go far. Camping locally is a great way to see your town from a different point of view. There are activities and things going on, that you may not have noticed before.
Backyard Camping – If things are really tight this year, then why not set up camp in your backyard. Set up the tent and small camp fire (if your local town allows) and roast marsh mellows, and hotdogs and sleep in the tents. It is fun to see the world from your own backyard.
Museums – Check out your local history at a local museum. Spend the day. Many museums will have family package rates. You may think you know your local history but heading to a local museum is a great way to find out even more. Many museums will have summer programs on, and activities for family or the kids.
Hotel – If you can swing it financially, book your family into a nice local hotel. Find one that has a pool and all the amenities and feel pampered. You can get package rates for a weekend or a couple of nights. Look online at such sites as hotels.com and see if your hotel is listed. You can get some good deals this way. This will feel like you have headed out of town, and yet be close by.
Chances are, you would never have stayed at a local hotel, since most people tend to head out of town to stay in a hotel. Remember you are acting like a tourist to your own town, another great staycation idea.
Amusement parks – If you have any within driving distance of your home, then consider getting a package deal price by checking out your local AAA or CAA offices, as they quite often sell packages for a good price. Or check the park site out online and see if you can purchase tickets ahead of time.
Rent a Pool – If you can get a few neighbours and friends together, you could check to see if you can rent your local pool for an afternoon of swimming with your friends, family and neighbours. Many pools will do this for birthday parties, but you could do it just for a great staycation day of swimming. You can split the cost amongst all the families to make this an affordable way to spend time with everyone and have fun.
Family Picnic – Whether it is just your own family or whether you would like to have a “reunion” with other family members, then check out a local state or provincial park or even a local town park and see if you can rent a picnic area.
Many of these parks have large picnic areas, shelters and barbeques to make a fun day with family and friends. You can co-ordinate food and games with others and have a great staycation day.
Bikes – Get out the bikes, and pack a picnic and split it amongst everyone with backpacks and water bottles and head out on some local trails, such as old rail lines and park trails, or just head through a quiet neighbourhood in town and really check out your town. You could then stop at a town park and eat your picnic, and maybe splurge on some ice cream for an added treat.
Hiking – Take a day and plan a hike through local parks or your town. You can usually get maps and hiking trails from your local park on their website. Pack lots of snacks and water, and head out. If you normally hike on your holidays further away, then you may be pleasantly surprised to find hiking trails closer to home that you can check out.
Matinee Movies – Since you are off work and looking for some staycation ideas, then why not head to an afternoon matinee movie? These are usually cheaper during the week, and you can get family package prices too.
Walking – Find a part of town you have never really noticed, or check out all those quaint little stores in your downtown area that you usually just drive by, and take your time and browse through them.
Local festivals – Check in your local paper for any festivals or fairs going on in your area or close by that you could spend a day at with your family. Many of these are free to attend and will close off part of a town so that you can walk around. Things like the strawberry festival or jazz festivals or local outdoor arts and crafts shows are just some examples. Many times you may not notice these as you normally head out of time at this time of year. So, this can be fun too.
Walk a Dog – Head to your local animal shelter and see if you can help out by taking a dog for a walk with your family. Depending on how old your kids are, they could walk one too. This is a great way to get a dog out for a nice long walk and for you and the family to take it easy and connect and notice your town.
The best way to come up with staycation ideas is to plan some ahead of time if you can, then each day can still be a vacation.
If you find this is an affordable way to spend the week or your summer holidays, then you could even consider hiring someone to clean the house and take care of the yard for you too while you are enjoying your staycation. This way everyone gets to enjoy their time off.