10 From GEM:
10 Cheap and Easy Staycation Ideas
Wouldn’t it be fun to relax on a beach sipping margaritas and getting a two-hour massage? What about strolling along the Seine or even taking the kids on a Disney experience? Let’s face it: going on a dream summer vacation is not always in the budget, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a fabulous staycation. Staycations can be a one-of-a-kind experience that doesn’t have to break the bank or take up a lot of time. Keep reading for 10 staycation ideas that save you money and bring vacation fun to you.
1. BRING THE HOTEL EXPERIENCE HOME
The nicest thing about staying at a hotel is that someone else does all the work for you. Bring that experience home by hiring a service to clean your bedroom and bathroom several times this summer. Buy luxurious sheets and pillowcases to make your bed feel brand new. Have a different meal delivered to your home every day for a week. Do anything that will bring a little hotel novelty to your doorstep.
2. SPRUCE UP THE BACKYARD
Summer is the prime season for spending a lot of time outdoors. Where better than mere steps from your house? Throw away any junk taking up space. Cut the grass and trim the bushes. Plant beautiful flowers. Buy a new piece of patio furniture. If you like dining al fresco, dedicate a space for it. Get a fire pit to use on cool nights. Add a line of lights to a wall. The idea is to change your point of view and make your backyard a place you want to be.
3. ATTEND A FARMERS MARKET
Farmers markets are not just a place to buy fruits and vegetables. Many have live entertainment, artisanal foods, ethnic foods, meats, spices, flowers, accessories, jewelry, books, bath scrubs, and arts and crafts. Farmers markets are more ubiquitous now than they’ve ever been, so you’re sure to find one close to home. This sensory treat takes less than a day and you will bring home goodies that will make you feel like you traveled to an exotic location.
4. TRY GEOCACHING
Geocaching is an outdoor treasure hunt for adults—although your kids can join the fun with you. Players try to find hidden containers (geocaches) using a smartphone or GPS. When you find a geocache, you sign the log left with the marker and share your stories and photos of your adventures online. Players also place geocaches for others to find. Hiking rough terrain is sometimes involved, so you’ll want to be prepared for that. Visit Geocaching to find out more information.
5. GROW A SALAD GARDEN
“Vacation food” is one of the best parts of vacationing, but if you think fresh summer fare can only be found on the road, think again. Growing salad greens is easy and you don’t need a lot of space—almost any old container will work for growing what you need to make a season of salads. Old wagons, toy shopping carts, galvanized buckets, plastic gutters, and even soup bowls are perfect to repurpose as a moveable feast, and think of all the fun you’ll have coming up with new ways to use your harvest!
6. DO A SIMPLE WEEKEND PROJECT
You could do something that really needs to get done like painting a room, or you can do something you enjoy like building a birdhouse, quilting, or anything you love. We all have high-interest, low-priority activities. You know, the things we put on the back burner because it’s “not important right now.” The long, lazy days of summer are an excellent time to indulge in simple projects that energize and fulfill.
7. ORGANIZE A BLOCK PARTY
The hardest thing about planning a block party is, well, planning a block party. Once the plans are in place, the party itself goes smoothly. If you decide to organize a block party, do not try to take on everything yourself. Let the Joneses handle the drinks, the Smiths will take care of the barbecue, and the Millers will be responsible for games and activities. Whatever you do, make sure that people have ample opportunity to mix and mingle so everybody can get to know (and love) thy neighbor.
8. SEE OUTDOOR MOVIES
Many cities and towns offer movie showings in their parks. This is a fun activity that’s no-hassle for you and will be novel for the kids. If you can’t get to a park that offers movies or there are none in your area, host your own showing in the backyard. Invite a few families over to join in the fun. You don’t need to go overboard on food. Offer drinks and popcorn and maybe a little candy and you’re good to go.
9. VISIT A WINERY OR VINEYARD
Winery and vineyard owners are anxious for you to stop by and many plan activities and events in the summer months. If you visit a winery, keep in mind that you’re going for the “wine experience,” not just the wine. Have lunch at the winery or call ahead to see if you can bring a picnic lunch. Engage yourself and learn more about wine. Make the experience more enjoyable for yourself and others by learning and using tasting etiquette if you’re not familiar with it.
10. SHAPE UP
If you think you don’t like to exercise, a summer staycation is a chance to prove yourself wrong. Well, maybe you really do hate exercise, but you can use this time to discover a physical activity you find bearable. Don’t want to commit to a gym? Look into purchasing a two-week pass to check out that Zumba class your friends keep talking about. Get outside and walk, jog, hike, play tennis or a round of golf. There are many options to explore this summer when it comes to getting fit and healthy.
What will you do on your staycation this summer? Share your plans below.
More From GEM:
Alexis Trass Walker lives in Gary, Indiana, with her husband and four children. She is a stay at home mom and writer who loves all things chocolate. Read more about Alexis on her blog lilliebelle.org, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow her on Twitter @LillieBelle5.