It would feel great to take a vacation, but not when it means spending money you don’t have. Take a break from your routine with these five staycation ideas that won’t break your budget. You don’t need to leave town to get away for a while. Gather your family and get creative to have a great time at home.
1. Enjoy an Outdoor Afternoon
Think about the local parks or trails in your town or close by. Sometimes the restless feeling that makes you crave a vacation is really your body asking to go outside. Strap on your walking shoes and load everyone up in the car to enjoy an outdoor afternoon at nearby trails.
You can point out birds and plants on a nature walk, rent a canoe for only a few dollars or play frisbee at a local park. Consider what your family or friends would like to do and try to make it happen outside, where you can do most things for free.
2. Host a Game Tournament
If you don’t have time to leave home during the week, don’t sweat it. Head to your backyard and host a game tournament with your family, friends or neighbors. Before beginning, pick a variety of outdoor games everyone will love. Whether you play basketball, cornhole or badminton, everyone will have fun competing at home.
3. Start a Movie Marathon
Going to the theater is an expensive treat for the family, so why not have a movie marathon at home? After you pick a few family films, create the perfect atmosphere for relaxing. Turn off the lights, whip up some fresh popcorn and throw pillows on the floor to make creative seating arrangements.
4. Travel for Dinner
After just one meal, your family will feel like they’ve traveled around the world. Skip your usual recipes and make a kid-friendly international dinner for your next staycation. Make sure you play music from your culinary destination so everyone can imagine themselves being in another country until it’s time to wash the dishes. Even splurging a bit on takeout will help everyone travel through their food and break their routine for a night.
5. Recreate the Beach
When you find yourself daydreaming about sandy beaches, recreate it at home. Catch rays in the backyard and play ocean sounds from a nearby speaker. The kids can enjoy a homemade sandbox or run through the sprinkler for budget-friendly fun. Take advantage of at-home afternoon beach vacations during as many sunny days as possible, until the weather drives you indoors.
Start a Weekly Drawing
You may not be able to decide on a staycation plan or have kids fighting over what you’ll do next. Make everyone happy by writing each idea on a slip of paper and letting one person do a weekly drawing. Whatever they choose can be your staycation of the week. That way, you’ll always have a fresh way to travel without breaking the budget.