Have you gone on a vacation lately? Have you missed going on a vacation this summer? Are you disappointed that you didn’t get to go on a vacation before school? Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered.
Vacations are great but they could be a challenge. There was a time when you could go on a nice vacation for a nice affordable price. After the recession, things have changed. Many people have lost their jobs and those that didn’t lose theirs have not gotten the raise they expected even though inflation has continued to increase (but that’s another story).
As a result of job losses, and price increases people have been cutting back on discretionary spending. One of the first cuts in a household budget has been the annual family vacation. Instead of expensive airline tickets and hotel stays, people have been substituting cheaper alternatives, like special traveling packages online, friends and relatives come to see them, or go somewhere within an hour or two away from home, etc. But an increasingly popular and fun vacation is the “staycation”, or the stay-at-home type of vacation.
A staycation is not only a money saver, but think of the time and energy to get to save or spend doing things instead of the long hours traveling back home. Most times we need a vacation after our vacation, right?
A vacation is a necessary event, especially for families. It helps relieve some of the stress of daily routines, work related pressure and helps the family interact with each other. Not to mention that it helps enhance and often reflect on your life's purpose.
Here are 8 Fun (Before School) Activities To Do On Your “Staycation.” Our family of six have done most of these and have enjoyed ourselves very much.
1. Go to the beach, lake or pool.
You can either go to a local swimming pool at a park, at the YMCA; a local lake or the beach if you’re close to a cost.
2. Go to a park.
In Ohio, particularly, you can find a nice park just about anywhere. Ohio invests quite a bit on keeping their parks nice, clean and equipped with everything you need for “a nice day at the park.”
3. Go on bike rides.
There are thousands of miles of dedicated bike trails not to mention shared use trails. Go for a ride. This could be very relaxing. Besides, we can all use a little exercise at the same time.
4. Go to a movie.
Yes, you can rent a movie on Netflix or borrow one from the library and have an evening movie night at home. But you can also go to a movie (or movies) during Matinée times. This way, you not only save money, but you miss the large crowds and you can get the seat you want. Oh yeah, and you get your popcorn much quicker too.
5. Go and take a hike.
No, I don’t mean to “get lost.” I mean, go for a hike in the woods. Walking is the best exercise. Find some park or scenic area and plan a hike. Pack a picnic lunch and water and go explore. We’ve gone on hikes several times and we always enjoy it. Hikes are one of my wife’s favorite adventures to go on any day of the week.
6. Go Canoeing.
We love canoeing. It’s a cheap family adventure. For around $100.00 all six of us go on a canoeing trip, and eat Subway lunches with water or pop. We bring a cooler with us and find a spot during our canoeing trip and enjoy a nice lunch. This trip takes a minimum of 4 hours. Now, where do you go for less than a $100.00 for a family of six, and enjoy a canoe trip, lunch, river, scenery and eagles flying above you from time to time? It’s a bargain and a great time.
7. Go Camping.
I personally don’t like camping unless I go to a cabin in the woods or stay in an air conditioned trailer. Either way, cooking over a fire, and playing outdoor games is a fun activity that doesn’t cost much. For less than $500.00 a family of six can go on a long weekend to a cabin in the woods and enjoy the outdoors, and do much of the aforementioned activities. We have stayed at cabins before and brought board games, gone on hiking trips, watched movies and enjoyed telling stories and jokes over a fire at night while making s’mores. Now that’s fun!
8. Go to a nice and fun restaurant.
You can go to a fun restaurant where you can watch a football game or go with your spouse to a nice fancy place. Let the time spent together be relaxing and fun as if you’re on an actual vacation – cause you are!
The trick to enjoying a staycation is to deviate from daily routines and truly make it a vacation. If you enjoy eating out on vacations, do the same on your staycation. This is not the time to do laundry or clean the garage, or other household projects. Relax. As weird as it sounds, bring discipline to the staycation by not allowing chores or drudgery to intercede and take away the fun. Even more – don’t answer the phone if you can help it. You’re on a real vacation just not far away from home.
Remind yourself that, while you are at home, you still are on vacation. If you do so, a staycation can be more relaxing, fun, and certainly less costly than a big escapade.
What else can you add to this list to help us have a fun and relaxing "staycation?"