Summer is nearing, and thoughts for many are turning to taking a vacation. But traveling to a beach-lined boardwalk, tropical island resort, or one of Mickey’s amusement parks aren’t your only options. This summer why not think outside the box and plan an awesome staycation?
The idea of a staycation become big news during the height of the economic recession. While the economic outlook may be brighter these days, many people are electing to enjoy staycations today for a different reason.
Staying home for your vacation presents a greener vacation option than traveling to exotic locations – if you play your cards right. These ideas make for an awesome staycation that is much greener, and less expensive, than the average resort vacation.
Singles are often torn between the desire to take exotic vacations before they are tied down to mortgages and the costs associated with having children at home, and the reality of meager incomes at the start of a career. The compromise is to take amazing staycations for a few years to save money for a bigger better vacation to come. These are great ways to enjoy a relaxing staycation to save for bigger, better things in the future.
1) Be a tourist in your home town. No matter where you live, the odds are good that there are some points of interest in your town or in your county that you haven’t explored. Make it your mission to find out what they are.
2) Go bicycling. We spend a lot of our lives whizzing from one place to another trying to keep up with demanding schedules. As a result, we miss many interesting sights along the way. Slow things down by riding around town on a bicycle. The slower pace allows you to take in more of what is really around you. You may discover a nice little shop or restaurant that you’ve driven by every day but never really noticed.
3) Shop local. Local community stores, owned by the people who live in your home town, are the cornerstone of progress in your community. Many of them are in out of the way locations you don’t traditionally go to shop due to time constraints. Take this opportunity to check them out. If you haven’t explored your local thrift stores, a staycation might be the perfect time to do so. You’ll save some money, and you never know what treasures you might find.
4) Read a book. Or read lots of books. It’s a vacation. String up a hammock in your backyard or lounge around the pool in your apartment complex and get swept away to another reality. It’s a lot cheaper than flying off to exotic locations, and you don’t have to worry about drinking the water.
5) Take a cooking class. You don’t have to go to Italy to eat like you have. You just need to take a class on Italian cuisine. The same holds true for Greek, French, and so many other culinary cultures. Not only do these classes offer a taste of far-off lands, but they also give you a new skill that will last long after your staycation ends.
Couples don’t always need to look very far to bring a little spark back into the relationship. These staycation ideas are not only money-saving adventures you can enjoy, but also provide greener alternatives to traditional vacation adventures.
6) Book a room at a local hotel. Sometimes it helps just to get out of the same four walls. Booking a room at a local hotel allows you to feel as though you’re vacationing without requiring you to leave your hometown. Take advantage of the swimming pool, housekeeping, and all the little luxuries you don’t have at home, while you enjoy a little time together without the distractions of home to intrude.
7) Spring for a couple’s massage. It’s a relaxing experience you may have never enjoyed together and, if you do it at the beginning of your staycation, it may help you enjoy the remainder of your vacation that much more due to your relaxed state. Don’t forget the purpose of vacations is to relax, unwind, and recharge from the long hours of work the rest of the year. What better way to relax than a massage?
8) Go on a dinner or moonlight cruise. It’s all about romance. Whether you live near an ocean, river, or other large body of water, chances are good that there is a nice dinner cruise available somewhere within a few hours of your home. It’s a great way to spend a romantic evening and a memory you’ll both love for years to come.
9) Go hiking together. There’s something to be said about spending the day getting lost in the woods together. Take your special someone off the beaten path and see what kind of beauty you discover together.
10) Watch the sunrise together. There’s something magical about watching the sun rise. It represents the beginning of a new day and can be one of the most romantic sights to share as a couple. Find a scenic point facing the east, over a large body of water if possible, and see for yourself just how magical the sunrise can be.
Family staycations allow you to teach your children the importance of spending time with family, taking care of the planet, and doing good things for other people around them. Most importantly of all, they are great bonding experiences that are a lot of fun without spending a not-so-small fortune on theme park rides and fast foods that have questionable nutritional value.
11) Go to a major or minor league sporting event. Whether your family is fond of hockey, football, soccer, baseball, basketball, swimming, or whatever, look for a minor or major league team nearby with reasonable ticket prices and go to the game as a family. It’s a great bonding experience and an opportunity to root for the home team.
12) Discover state parks nearby. State parks are outstanding resources for hours and days of entertainment at low costs. Most people who are interested in living greener lives can appreciate the conservation efforts state parks practice and promote, and there are all kinds of opportunities to share nature hikes, swimming, and more with your family.
13) Camp out in your back yard. Camping is a great way to build memories with the family. Doing it in your own back yard is not only more affordable than going to campgrounds, but it can also be greener as you’re not spending fossil fuels to get there. And you don’t have to buy all the equipment people usually take camping as you do have the creature comforts of home at hand when they’re needed.
14) Watch a movie in your own backyard. It’s like going to the drive in, only better. You can rent a DVD projector and hang a sheet on the back of your home to make a production of it. If you’re feeling particularly generous (and don’t want to get cited for disturbing the peace) invite the neighbors to come over and make a staycation block party out of it.
15) Volunteer together. There’s nothing quite like doing good deeds for others to make you feel great about yourself. Volunteering as a family reinforces the importance of doing good deeds for your children and builds important memories together that will last until they have children of their own someday.
Mature adults often have more time for vacations wherever they’d like to go. Unfortunately, the finances might not always cooperate. These staycation ideas allow you to live like you’re on vacation without the airfare and hotel bills to horn in on your fun. In addition to these ideas, you might also consider taking in a classic car show, antiquing, or visiting estate sales.
16) Visit the county fair. It seems a little old fashioned and quaint, but sometimes, that’s just the right speed. County fairs are a great way to revisit days gone by while also associating with a younger crowd. From bingo games to 4-H exhibits, and midway rides, you’ll be hard pressed not to fall in love all over again.
17) Host a barbecue. Invite friends and family from near and far for a hometown hoedown. Not some small picnic in the backyard but a big splash shindig with everyone bringing their own favorite dish and planning for a great time to be had by all. Let there be music, laughter, dancing, and maybe a large inflatable swimming pool or bounce house for the kids to enjoy.
18) Take a local museum tour. Many towns have some sort of museums commemorating the history of the community or region. If you live in a very small town, look a little outside your own postal code for nearby towns that have a rich history and hotels or monuments to the past that might be interesting. Some can be a timeline of your own history while others may represent a much longer history. Take a stroll through the past to better appreciate what you have today.
19) Revisit favorite films of the past. The DVD player is one of the most wonderful tools you have at your disposal when it comes to inspired staycations. Order up your favorite movies from the past. Relive your first date and several dates afterwards along with milestones in your life and the lives of your children on film. Spend time together holding hands, cuddling, and taking in your favorite films of yesterday for a day, a weekend, or even longer.
20) Visit the local theatre. There’s something about watching productions on stage that beats cinema every time. Many large and small towns offer community theatres where you can either participate in the productions as part of the cast or crew or watch productions. Whichever role strikes your fancy, it’s a great idea to take in a show or two during your staycation. If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, you can take in several different shows by visiting neighboring communities to do so.
With so many great staycation ideas like these, who needs big fancy tours abroad? Now is the perfect time to get planning your own personal staycation to end all vacations.
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