Celebrate Summer Staycation Style

Father and son campingAlong with sunshine and barbecues, the summer season is often associated with travel. Summer vacations are a tradition for many families. However, the cost of summer travel can be quite high.

Families looking to save money as well as make the most of their summer might want to try a staycation. While it may seem boring at first to not travel far for your vacation, with a little creativity your family could have a wonderful time.

Staycations are a great way to really explore your local community. You might be surprised what you discover. Staycations aren’t limited to simply “staying at home” as day trips to other places around your state can be part of your plans. Here are some low-cost ideas to help you save money as well as make the most of your staycation this summer:

  1. Check out your local scene. While you may reside in/work in an area, chances are you’ve missed some of its “nooks and crannies.” Even if you’ve lived in the same place your entire life, there could still be places or activities that you didn’t know existed. Visit your tourism center to get started. Consider it an adventure!
  2. Many towns both big and small usually have various summer events and festivals. Find a schedule for those occurring in your area. Many of these summer festivals typically offer family activities and even free concerts.
  3. Use your staycation as a time to not only explore but to also work on your fitness. You can do this by visiting your local parks and outdoor walking trails. This can be a great way to relax outside and allow the kids to let loose. To make it a day of fun in the sun bring along a picnic lunch.
  4. For fun that is educational, check out your town and surrounding areas for museums. Many local museums often offer a unique experience. Several museums also typically provide special events and classes.
  5. Speaking of classes, a staycation is the perfect time to take a class in something you’ve always wanted to do. Art classes are popular at many local galleries/museums. Also, several places now offer one night paint lessons, where you not only learn but also get to take home your own artistic creation. This is something fun you could do with friends or your partner. For fitness classes, check out your local gym’s schedule.
  6. Give Geocaching a try. Geocaching is a real-world, outdoor treasure hunting game using GPS-enabled devices. Participants navigate to a specific set of GPS coordinates and then attempt to find the geocache (container) hidden at that location. Your local chamber of commerce, library, or visitors’ bureau is a great place to get started.
  7. If the Geocaching scene in your area isn’t great, plan a scavenger hunt for your family instead. A family scavenger hunt is a great way to get in quality time. Offer fun prizes for winners, such as “choose dinner” or “no chores for a week” certificates.
  8. Visit your local swimming pool or area waterpark.
  9. Take a family camping trip from the comfort of your own backyard. If you have the supplies, set up a tent and spend a fun night under the stars. If you don’t have the items you need, you can easily enjoy other fun parts of camping, such as making s’mores or sharing ghost stories around the fire pit.
  10. If you can handle it, try going unplugged for a week. In today’s technology-driven society, it’s rare to see someone out and about without their cellphone in hand. Turn off your devices, except in the case of an emergency, and enjoy the quiet. Going unplugged can give you plenty of spare time you never knew you had! Not only will you be able to spend more time with family, but going unplugged for a week could leave you feeling rejuvenated and ready to return to work after vacation.
  11. Visit your local library. In addition to having a variety of books and movies to choose from, many libraries offer special events and activities during the summer months. From book clubs to summer reading programs, your library can be fun for the entire family.
  12. Host a family movie night. Allow each member of the family to select a movie of their choice from either your family’s collection or on streaming sites, such as Netflix or Amazon Prime. Grab some microwave popcorn and settle in. You can even theme your living room to be your own private cinema, or if you have the capabilities to do so, set up a screen in your backyard and enjoy movie time under the stars.
  13. If you aren’t in the mood for a family movie night, try a game night instead. Go the classic route with board and card games or go modern style with console/computer games.
  14. Visit your area amusement park and/or zoo. While you may have to travel a few hours to reach your destination, this can be a wonderful day trip for your family.

There certainly are several routes you can go with your summer staycation. Our ideas are just a few of the many activities out there to plan a terrific time for your entire family to enjoy. Remember a summer vacation doesn’t have to be expensive to be fun.

Have a safe and happy summer!