Whether you daydream of relaxing on the beach or jetting off to a different country, you probably think about leaving town when you think about going on vacation. However, taking a break from the “real world” doesn’t require going somewhere new. In fact, with a little creativity and planning, you can plan a fun vacation without going anywhere – a staycation in your own hometown.
Staycations are great because they not only help you appreciate the opportunities for adventure or learning in your own town, but they also help you create a vacation that’s both fulfilling and budget-friendly. Read on for eight tips to make the most of your staycation.
1. Choose the right season
If you live in a region with dangerously icy winters or you have terrible spring allergies, those aren’t the times you’ll want to plan your staycation. Choose a time when the weather will allow, or even encourage, you to get out of the house. Otherwise, you may find yourself lounging on the couch or doing chores inside like any other day and missing out on all your town has to offer.
2. Try something new every day
While there’s nothing wrong with hiking your favorite trail or taking your kids to their most-loved playground, if you don’t try anything new, your staycation days may end up feeling like any other weekend. Part of the thrill of vacations away is doing and seeing new things, so challenge yourself to do at least one thing every day that you haven’t done before.
These things can be simple. For instance, visiting a state park you’ve never been to before or trying out a new recipe you’ve been eyeing up can feel exciting and rewarding – and won’t break the bank.
3. Just rest
Being away sometimes brings with it a pressure to be going, going, going all day every day and can leave you feeling like you need a vacation to recover from your vacation. With a staycation, you can bypass that pressure and schedule some time to simply rest. This may be easier said than done, especially if you have small kids, but try to choose at least one night to go to sleep without setting an alarm and follow it up with a day without any rigid plans.
Consider clearing your regular commitments off the calendar, as well. If you were going out of town, you’d duck out of your HOA meeting or excuse your kids from soccer practice, so for your staycation, do the same and dedicate the time to fully enjoying your time off.
4. Get ahead on chores beforehand (especially laundry!)
Of course, you won’t want to skip an entire week of dishes or putting toys away, but cut back on the number of chores you tackle around the house during your staycation. Set aside time before the start of your staycation to take care of anything you’d normally do before leaving for a vacation out of town. The last thing you want is to get stuck inside cleaning.
The same goes for laundry. While you don’t have to literally pack your bags, act as if you would be. Plan ahead and get laundry done for the week, so you don’t end up spending hours washing and folding clothes during your staycation.
5. Pick a project
The reality is that being at home may give you the itch to do some work around the house during your staycation. Anticipate this in advance and pick a small project or two to tackle during your time off. Choose something manageable and enjoyable, such as printing and hanging updated family photos or making a new wreath for the front door.
Completing a small project for your house can satisfy your desire to get something productive done and give you something to admire for many days ahead.
6. Check out travel sites
You might be surprised how many new things you can find if you read reviews of favorite tourist spots or eateries in your town. Search for information on your town the same way you would for a location you’ve never been to before.
Outside of finding new spots to check out, you can also get some insider tips on the best times to visit and scout out available discounts.
7. Allow yourself a planned indulgence or two
From cutting out expensive transportation costs, such as flying, to negating the need for a hotel, you’ll likely find yourself saving a lot of money on your staycation. While cutting costs is one of the main benefits of a staycation, you don’t want to be so stringent in your spending that you end up resenting the restrictions, and therefore, your vacation time.
Instead of nixing everything, choose one or two luxuries to indulge in – maybe it’s a trip to a trendy new restaurant or a family pack of tickets to a local sporting event. If you plan ahead, you can budget properly and save up for these extra expenses, so you can enjoy them guilt-free.
8. Plan ahead
You’ll notice that most of our tips involve planning ahead in some fashion – from picking out clothes to choosing some controlled splurges in advance. It’s also important to plan ahead financially, even if you’re not heading out of town, so you can enjoy your time off without worrying about breaking the bank.
For some extra encouragement, get your whole family involved in putting aside money for a fun staycation. If you’re a PSECU member, your immediate family members can become members, too. Once everyone has their account ready, set a goal for each family member to save and see who can reach their goal first.
PSECU membership can help your family members save for more than just a staycation. With our cash rewards credit card, low or no fees, and higher-yield savings account for youth, opening a PSECU account can help family members of all ages keep their money where it belongs – with them. To learn more, visit https://www.psecu.com/about-psecu/member-benefits.