7 Staycation Ideas: Travel on a Budget

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When planning a staycation make sure that you treat that week just as if you were really on vacation and not at home to do your everyday tasks. Bills should be paid the week before, don’t answer the house phone, stop the mail at the post office, etc. This way you and your family will feel as if you are really on a vacation, even if you are staying home. Camp in the back yard if you have to, just make sure that they daily grind does not interfere with your staycation. Also charge your camera and make sure to take plenty of pictures and videos.

Here are a few ideas that our family will use this summer during our staycations!!

Take a Tour– Contact your local fire department, police department, post office or even a local large company to see if they offer tours of their facilities. This is a great way for your family to see the inside of local government offices or business’ and see how they run things. The added plus, most of these are FREE, but you will need to plan in advance. Most of these places only have tours certain times of the month, so you will need to call or visit their website to find out dates and times of their tours.

Night In– Plan one night of your staycation as a night in. You can make it a movie night, family cooking night, play board games, craft night, any themed night will be fun for the whole family. Just make sure that you make that night jammed packed with activities. You are staying home but you want the family to stay interested in that evenings activities, so plan for food, decorations and many activities. Craft nights can be alot of fun as well and you can use items that you already have laying around the house. We have made toothbrush bracelets, scrapbook pages, herb can planters and so much more. Be creative or even check websites to get ideas. The kids will love whatever you decide to make, they will enjoy spending time together making fun stuff!!

Field Day- Plan a day of obstacle courses, water balloon tosses, pie eating contests or anything that your whole family can do outside as if they were in a field day event. You can do as much or as little as you want. Ask your kids what type of games they want to play at your field day. Hit up your local dollar store and get all the items you need for your event. You can even invite neighbors to join in on the fun and split the cost on supplies. Make sure to have a few prizes or ribbons so the little ones can have a souvenir from the day.

Use Your Passes– Do you have passes to your local YMCA, amusement parks or zoo? Spend the day at each of them. Our local YMCA has a indoor pool but if we drive to the YMCA that is about 15 minutes away they have a huge outdoor pool with slides. We are going to take one day and go to the “beach”. We do not go to this YMCA that much so they love using the slides and being outside. Bring a lunch and plan to spend the whole day.

Eat Out– Plan a few nights to eat out at your favorite local restaurants, just as if you would if you were on vacation. I know this can get expensive, especially if you have more than 1 child. So make sure you go out to eat the nights that restaurants offer Kids Eat FREE nights. Also check out places like Restaurant.com, Groupons.com or just do a search online for B1G1 coupons for local restaurants. We are a family of 5 and without coupons or Kids Eat FREE nights, our budget would not allow us to eat out as much as we get to. So plan ahead and find the deals before your leave the house.

Catch a Movie at the Theater As a family of 5, we do not get to see too many movies at the theater. Not just because of the cost for all of us to go but we still have one that is almost 2. So sitting still and being quiet are not things that she quite gets just yet. So we normally just rent movies. But one of our local movie theaters offers FREE family movies every Tuesday and Wednesday morning during the summer. With the theater being filled with other families that most likely have 2 year old that scream as well, I won’t feel as bad if she starts talking during the middle of the movie. Plus it is FREE, so if we have to get up and leave a little early, we are not out anything.

Tour Your City for FREE– There are so many things to do in your local city that are FREE. If you live in a smaller city and have a larger city near you, take a trip and visit all the great things they have to offer. We live near Cincinnati which has just about everything. We can stop by the Eden Park and check out the great scenery of Cincinnati. We can check out Fountain Square, The Cincinnati Art Museum, Krohns Conservatory and much more. There are a few other things that may cost a few dollars per person to get in but are so worth it. Things like the Reds Hall of Fame ($5-$8 per person), SummerFair at Coney Island ($10 adults, kids 12 and under FREE) or The Cincinnati Museum Center ($6-$12 per person). Learn about your city and site see!!

So there are a few ideas of things to do for your staycation. I can go on and on forever with ideas to make your staycation a big hit. Don’t forget to check when your local fairs and carnivals as well. They are something that the whole family can do and they are usually pretty inexpensive. The best thing to do when planning your staycation is to find things that you know your family will enjoy and have fun with. Keeping them interested the whole week and making them feel as if they are on a real vacation is the key to having a successful staycation. Whether you visit your local sports team, library, your local farm or your local parks; just have fun and spend time with your family!!

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  1. This is great timing for me to see this post because just yesterday my husband said that in the future he wants to take a full week off work and not travel anywhere – just stay local. Thanks for the great tips!
    Chrysa recently posted..Recipe: Make Your Own Homemade Healthy Potato Chips in the MicrowaveMy Profile

  2. I love finding free things to do around our city, especially when they are on our side of town!
    Mariah recently posted..DIY Bathroom Ideas to Spruce Up the Guest Bathroom #CleanHands #CGCMy Profile

  3. It is amazing how many people never do the touristy thing close to home. These are really great ideas.
    Belinda Revercomb recently posted..Oasap.com reviewMy Profile

  4. Great suggestions. Thank you! We’ll be staying at home too!

  5. I love your tips especially the one about planning a day of obstacle courses. Fun!
    Caryn B recently posted..DIY: How to Make Any Surface Magnetic and Dry EraseMy Profile


  1. […] out of the question! So we planned our summer with FREE movies at the theater, FREE bowling days, park visits, swimming at grandma’s and craft activities at home. We threw in a few days that we thought […]

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