In recent years, the state of the economy has had a major impact on our vacation plans. Many of us are now on a limited budget, or have exhausted our savings, so that vacation plans
In recent years, the state of the economy has had a major impact on our vacation plans. Many of us are now on a limited budget, or have exhausted our savings, so that vacation plans are now “non-existent.” At this point, the most difficult decision for most of us is deciding where to go on such a limited budget.
In the past, many families would go to a resort for a week together, take a cruise or fly somewhere. Today, however, “staycations” are very popular due to rising fuel costs, hotel fees and a high bill for eating away from home.
Opting for a staycation is now a common option. If you choose to stay home, you do want your children to remember it and make it a fun experience. Here are a few ideas to make your staycation more exciting.
Ideas for Staycations:
Take a trip to the big city. How many times have you been to your country’s capital? Take an educational and free trip to the capital city. Whether it’s your state, or a neighboring state, if it’s new to you it can be a fun experience.
If you call ahead (to your local government office), you may even be able to get a tour. See what your town has to offer and plan the day’s activities.
If you’re not too far away from Washington, D.C., take a trip to the nation’s capital. In Washington, all federal museums are free, and they are among the best in the world. Our family trip to D.C. was one of our best vacations ever.
Swap homes with someone you know. Do you have a friend on who lives near the beach? Maybe he or she would like to visit the big city where you live, and you can switch homes for a week. Also, think about someone who lives in the country, and see what life is like in their town. Think about who you know who lives near an amusement park, close to the mountains, the ocean, or a big city. Even a farm can be exciting for someone who has never lived that way before. Swap residences for a week and experience life as they live it.
Go camping. Kids love to camp! Sleeping outside under the stars is exciting for younger children. For adults, it gives you the opportunity to take your mind off of all the digital distractions we have come to rely on.
You can now buy a tent for about $50.00, or even borrow one from a friend and save the money. You don’t even need sleeping bags, as long as you have enough blankets. Check out camping areas within a few hours of your home and save gas.
You will need to reserve it in advance if it is a state campground, and only go to those with private showers and bathrooms. Search at Reserve America and select the amenities you want. Check out
for campgrounds with a lake, fishing, swimming, hiking, and a playground, so that everyone will be happy.
Plan to roast marshmallows, tell stories around the fire, grill and look at the stars. Camping can be really fun! Just check the weather forecast before you go, and plan accordingly.
Take a day trip. By taking a short 2-3 hour trip, you can still enjoy the benefits of a day trip, but not have to book a hotel. Just plan breakfast before you leave, bring a picnic for lunch, and you’re all set for an inexpensive quick trip!
Do a radius search of Free Map Tools or Google Maps and see what’s nearby that you’ve never done before. You’ll find things you’ve never done before if you search this way. Search the city of your destination, and see what’s new.
When our family does this, we take pictures and save the brochures so the kids have something to talk about when they return, and the memory never fades.
Create a themed week of events. Plan a cultural day, where you go to the art museum, paint together, or even take pictures together in the city. You can award prizes to the “winner” of the best piece of art, the best photo, or the best video or homemade film.
Plan a week full of games the family can play together, and even have the kids make one up and play together. For your theme week, “visit” other countries by sharing a new dish from that culture, talking about their way of life and dressing up. Learn a few words that match the language of the country. Search the Internet for interesting things to share over dinner, and make it a learning experience.
Give something back to your community. Find some local charities where your family can help, and give something back to the locals. You can help out at a local food bank, clean up in a town square, or help out at the animal shelter. Call your county’s information line and see where you can start. Your kids may not be excited about the idea at first, but they will have an unforgettable experience that will change their worldview and open their hearts.
Build a new Swing Set to enjoy all year long. If you take the money out of your typical vacation, and purchase a swing set for your home instead, you can enjoy it year-round. Swing sets are very affordable now, and you can choose what amount you want to spend. They are small to large, based on your budget and the size of the yard.