Tuesday, July 5, 2016

7 Ways to Enjoy a Frugal Summer Staycation

Not all vacations have to be taken away from home! Some of the most memorable time outs from the rat race can be taken in your own back yard (literally or figuratively), but if you decide to make this year a staycation instead of a vacation, you may have made a very wise choice.

First, a staycation can be a lot less stressful. You don't have to juggle traveling schedules or find someone to water the lawn or care for the pets. You can sleep in your own familiar bed and won't forget to bring your allergy medicine/jacket/toothbrush.

Secondly, a staycation
can be very frugal. It doesn't happen automatically, though! You can spend as much right at home as you do anywhere else, so if spending money is not your goal, here are seven ways to make it fun without blowing your budget.

  1. Check out free or reduced price admissions to local museums. These often, but not always, coincide with local or national summer holidays, so plan ahead if you can get those days off.
  2. Many areas have designated trails for nature walks or bike rides. Get a map and find out which trails are appropriate for your family, then find out where to start and how long the trail is. Be sure to carry enough water and even snacks if the trail is long or if you have young children.
  3. Set aside one day to do absolutely nothing. Stay at home, hang out in the back yard, watch the birds, eat homemade popsicle and play with the kids. This is possibly the most frugal and enjoyable way to spend a day at home.
  4. Check with your city or town to find out what free activities they offer. Because they are free doesn't mean they're not fun or quality. My town offers concerts and plays in the various parks almost all summer, some of which are quite good. Also, churches or other organizations will reserve an area of a park for concerts.
  5. Playing on that, you can reserve a park bandstand or other area for yourself. Make it a big picnic and invite your friends or extended family. Ask them to come ant to bring something. If anyone plays small instruments or sings, get them involved.
  6. Want frugal? Go watch a Little League or company baseball game, ice hockey game or whatever you prefer and is available. Check schedules ahead of time and see if you need to pay for entrance. Most often, you won't.
  7. Use your staycation to take on a family project. Take into account the ages of your kids and find ways to involve them. It could be something as simple as planting flowers or a vegetable garden or you could delve into your family's ancestry or build a gazebo or paint a room. It depends on your expertise and how much you are willing to take on.

Bonus ideas: Go camping, hiking, canoeing, swimming, fishing, stargazing or whatever your family enjoys most!

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