16 Ideas for an Exciting Staycation

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Staycation Ideas

Staycation Ideas

With times tough for so many of us, the thought of jetting off to an island paradise – or even just packing the family into the car and driving a few states over to a national park – probably sounds more ulcer-inducing than fun and relaxing. Who can afford it? But we all need some relaxing time off, so start thinking outside the box. Take a look around your neighborhood or city for fun things to do without the expense and hassle of travel. That’s right – start thinking about “staycations.”

You’ve likely heard this word by now, but what does it mean? Basically, a staycation is a vacation you take in or around your home. No expensive airfare, no luggage or travel agents. Sounds nice, right? Even just thinking about it for a few minutes, you’ll probably be surprised with the number of cool ideas you come up with right in your home town, but just to get you started, we’re offering a few suggestions below:

Have a camping adventure… in your backyard. “Roughing it” is so much nicer when you’re close to home. And if you don’t have a backyard, set up a tent in your living room.

Walk, run, bike or hike. Check out the local trails to see what your area has to offer and make a day of it. Bring the kids. You can even…

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Pack a picnic. On a hike or at your local park, picnics are great fun for everyone. Check out places like AllRecipes.com for ideas or just head to your local supermarket and pick up something pre-made. While relaxing at your picnic, don’t forget to…

Fly a kite. Or bring some balls to toss around. Or a fun book to read. Or cards and board games to play.

Schedule a game night. Just for the family or invite some friends over for card, board or even video games. Wii and Kinect for XBOX are perfect for this kind of fun.

Get cultured. Tour local museums or spend an afternoon at the zoo or aquarium.

Scream your head off. Head to the nearest amusement or water park (often one and the same) and make a day of it by going on as many rides as you can. Make a point to try things you’ve never tried before.

Book it. Take a trip to the local library and check out books like you’re hoarding them, then spend an entire day or two curled up with your favorites characters.

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Let someone else do the cleaning. Hire a maid for a day so that you can all enjoy a sparkling clean house without the time and energy it takes to do it yourself.

Go DVD crazy. If books aren’t your thing, rent some DVDs, pop some popcorn and have a movie marathon. Or pick up a season (or two!) of a show you’ve really been meaning to catch up on and veg out while you burn through episodes.

Make it a beach day. If it’s within driving distance, you can have a tropical getaway without the cost. Land-locked? Find out if there are any rivers, lakes or other bodies of water nearby to enjoy.

Party like it’s 1999 (but without the Y2K fear). Grill out. Have some cocktails. Organize a neighborhood party. If you make it a potluck, you get all the fun with a fraction of the bill!

Be eventful. Look at the local events calendar and plan an outing to a concert, comedy club, lecture, screening or sporting event.

Book a hotel room for one night somewhere nearby. Let someone else make your bed and enjoy the facilities, such as the pool, hot tub and even room service.  Yes, you’ll still be shelling out some cash, but you’ll still be saving on air fare and car rental charges, and since you’re not traveling anywhere, you can wait until you spot a killer deal.

Take a city tour… of your own city. You may learn a thing or two and find something to do on your next stay-cation!

Eat well and be merry. Search Yelp or local guides for the best restaurants in your area and make it a point to go to one a day for each day of your vacation. Check out local farmer’s markets if you haven’t already. Partake of the local fare, and buy fruits and vegetables you’ve never head of and give them a try.

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