This is a guest post from Elizabeth Landrum. She’s got great ideas for enjoying summer fun without spending a ton of money!
Let’s face it – vacations are expensive and stressful. You pack everything you can into a few short days and come home with new memories and experiences but you’re also exhausted, short on cash and probably sunburnt.
After having a similar trip ourselves (and also because we are homebodies) my husband and I decided that staycations are totally underrated. By all means, save up and go on that trip to the Bahamas or Italy (jealous!). But for those other long weekends, holidays off or those personal days you need to use before they expire, try these tips on having an epic staycation.
Related: 15 Tips for Traveling on a Budget
How to Have a Fun Summer Staycation
1. First, set some ground rules.
- This can include no phone, computer or TV; no email, work or worrying; no dishes, laundry or cleaning… Whatever you choose, the point is to keep the stressful things off limit.
- Set your budget – whether that be a couple hundred dollars spent during your staycation or zero money spent. It is quite possibly to spend nothing!
- Prep your home for your staycation – just like you were going away for a week, get your laundry done, your kitchen cleaned and organized, and vacuum. You’ll be able to relax more knowing your home is clean.
- If you plan on cooking your meals while on your staycation (a huge money saver!), prepare meals that can be frozen and defrosted when needed or fix crockpot dinners. They eliminate stress and cut kitchen time in half while on your staycation.
- Above all, promise to have fun and RELAX!
2. Plan your itinerary (or not!)
- You may be like me and just want to do absolutely nothing for your entire staycation. That’s totally great!
- If you’re up for doing things, make a preliminary itinerary and organize your days accordingly. Maybe that means planning to go to museums on Tuesday, picnic in the park on Wednesday, at-home spa treatment on Thursday and movie marathon on Friday.
- When you have a family or multiple people with you during your staycation, having an itinerary will help eliminate indecision, boredom and stress.
3. Get inspired.
Here are some ideas for your epic staycation – they are proven to be a hit by yours truly!
- In-House Spa Treatment: Relax and ease yourself into bliss with an in-house, no money needed spa day. My favorite way to treat myself is to mix up some sugar scrubs, bath oils, a cup of tea and my favorite music. The best part is the only ingredients you need are things you already have in your home – honey, sugar, lemon juice, epsom salt and oil! Check out these DIY recipes for your perfect spa day courtesy of Hello Glow.
- Film Festival: My husband and I love movies so we enjoy having our own little “Film Festivals” and even critiquing them afterwards. Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu and X-Box video have endless options for movies, but you can also go to the theater if you have the money and time it right! Some cities have discount theaters that offer great movies at a fraction of the cost of a regular theater.
- Camping: Put up your tent (or even a blanket fort if you’re adventurous) in the backyard and enjoy a stress-free camping trip for free. When my husband and I camped in our backyard last summer, we used citronella candles to keep the bugs away, grilled our dinner on the back deck and star gazed before falling asleep in our tent. The best part was having access to a REAL bathroom in the middle of the night!
- Water Fun: We are lucky enough to live at the beach so having beach days is easy enough for us. If you don’t happen to live by a body of water, try pulling out your lawn chairs, some sunscreen and the hose. Lay out and spray yourself when you get hot or, if the kid in you is itching to play, set up a sprinkler and play in the water! Have a hill and a tarp? You can set up a slip-n-slide! Add some dish soap and you’ll be flying.
I hope you find these tips inspiring. Don’t feel like you have to go to an exotic place and spend too much money just to have a vacation. Staycations can be both fun and rejuvenating which is what a vacation SHOULD be!
Elizabeth Landrum is the blogger behind Elizabeth Landrum. Her writing focuses on intentional living to promote wellness and simplicity. In addition to blogging, she works full time at BlueWater Reporting in Jacksonville, FL and enjoys hanging out at the beach with her husband and puppy.