How to Have a Staycation

In these times of rising expenses, it isn't always financially feasible to take a traditional "travel to somewhere nice and stay a while" sort of vacation. Here are some ideas of how to spend that work break at home.


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    Assess your home and yard. You should aim to spend plenty of time outdoors relaxing during the summer, so make this evaluation a priority. Ask yourself the following:
    • Do I have a nice, big lawn? It will be more difficult to spend your staycation outdoors if you're limited to just a small patch of grass off the back door. In that case, research local parks where you can spend time. If you happen to have a large backyard with plenty of open space, you won't even have to venture off your property.
    • Where is the nearest public swimming pool? Skip this question if you're fortunate to have your own private pool to use at your leisure. Even if you don't, you can fill up a baby pool to splash around in, get wet with the garden hose, or run through a sprinkler head. Check out parks, community centers, and apartment complexes that have full-size swimming pools you may be able to use for a small fee (or free).
    • Do I have a garage or large room that can be temporarily redecorated? If you're creative enough, you can turn this space into a sort of "staycation central".
  2. 2
    Assess your budget. How much money are you willing to spend to amuse yourself? The good news about staycationing is that you'll save hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars over a traditional out-of-town trip. Budget how much you are willing to spend each day on food, attraction admission, souvenirs from local stores, etc.
  3. 3
    Assess your time budget. How long is your work break?
  4. 4
    Begin your planning. Consider the sorts of things that best help you to relax and unwind. What hobbies do you enjoy? What home-improvement project have you been looking for time with?
  5. 5
    Brainstorm and make a list of your options with their approximate cost.
    • Pitch the tent in the back yard. The kids will love it!
      Set up the camping gear in the back yard and "go camping". (free)
    • Move your lawn furniture around.
      Move your lawn furniture around for a fresh perspective. (free)
    • Clean out the garage and set up a projector (rentable) and large screen (or white sheet stretched smooth) to watch your favorite sports. Haul out the comfy chaise lounge and a few end tables and perhaps even set up the barbecue for a couple of days. (rental for the projector)
    • Kiddie pools aren't just for kids...
      Set up the kiddie pool in the back yard, fill it with water, and place the inflatable mattress in it... and enjoy your floating sunbath. (free)
    • Borrow or purchase a volleyball or shuttlecock net and set it up in the yard for family and friends to enjoy. (free to $20 (USD))
    • Picnic in the back yard or local park.
      Use your "usual" grocery budget on "vacation food" ... foods that you rarely eat "at home" but nearly always eat at the beach, the ballpark, or "on vacation". (no additional cost.)
    • Paint a room...
      Complete a home improvement project. Paint that bedroom, or redecorate that kitchen... (cost varies)
    • Potatoes going in...
      Plant a garden (sweat equity and $40 for seeds and fertilizer)
    • Modeling Kits.
      Take up a hobby or craft that you've been interested in, but have never had time for. This could be the optimal time to take up painting or assemble that RC Airplane. (cost varies)
    • Research local history and attractions. Are there nature centers, parks, museums or other relatively inexpensive places to visit within easy driving distance that you've neglected? (varies)
    • Arrange to trade homes with a friend. You both get a change of scenery!
    • Do nothing. Simply "vegetate". Sleep more, watch movies, write an article or two for wikiHow... sometimes "doing nothing" when there is a long "to do" list is more.
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    Have some foreign foods
    • Travel anywhere in the world! If you want to go to China, Make eggrolls! If you want to Mexico, make tacos! If you want to travel home, make a favorite dessert like apple pie, brownies, or chocolate cake!
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    Have a "spa" day
    • Make bath salts and place them into a nice hot bath. Relax. Then give yourself a facial. Then paint you nails pretty.
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    Sleep in a different room
    • Try sleeping in a different room to give an effect of you're in a hotel. Sleep in a guest room or even in your living room.
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    Call a family conference and solicit more ideas from your family.
  10. 10
    Choose the favorite options from your list and implement them.
  11. 11
    Enjoy your Stay-cation!


  • Allow three days at the end of any vacation for "recuperation". Time to do laundry, clear out the house, and generally get your brain back together for the "regular" work schedule.
  • Check with friends who own undeveloped property. Often, you can arrange to go camping on their property very inexpensively.


  • If you work, make sure your vacation at home doesn't interfere with your work schedule.

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Categories: Reduce Travel Cost