Special thanks to Groupon for making this post possible. All opinions my own.
Lodging, transportation, meals, entertainment, and forgotten necessities can quickly push any vacation budget over the intended limit. For many folks, the cost of taking any trip, let alone an extravagant trip, is simply not realistic. Planning a vacation often ends up being more stressful than it is worth. With that in mind, I propose you plan a staycation. When you know how to plan a staycation, it's easy to make staying home seem fun and exciting! In addition to eliminating the hassle of packing and travel, a staycation can save you a ton of money and help you make the most of any budget!
How to Plan a Staycation
Establish a Budget
Establish your available budget for the entire staycation and prioritize what you can afford. Don’t forget to calculate in your fuel costs. Consider how long your staycation will be. If you're planning an entire week, be sure to set a budget for each day.
Ask Friends and Family
Trust me, you're not the only one to feel the pinch in the wallet. Reach out to friends and family for recommendations on their favorite places to go nearby. I like to ask for the “hidden gems” in their neighborhood.
Get a Groupon
Ge sure to check out Groupon Coupons for Walmart Coupons and Coupon Codes as well as other local stores you may need to pick up supplies from.
Although Groupon has been around for what feels like ever, many haven't heard that they have partnered with over 9000 national retailers to offer Groupon Coupons. This is a great way to get exclusive discount promo codes and coupons for your staycation or everyday life.
Plan Local Outings
Do a thorough search for public parks and playgrounds within 50(ish) miles. Anything within an hours drive would be ideal. Ask your family for destination ideas and consider the following venue types…
- Public parks/playgrounds
- Historic landmarks
- Scenic areas such as state parks, etc
- Amusement/water parks
- Shopping malls
- Sporting events
- Local Splash Pad
We're lucky enough to have a state park nearby, and it makes for a long fun day. If you're going to a park, do a nature scavenger hunt.
Plan Your Meals
Plan your meals ahead of time. Eat breakfast before you head out for the day and pack picnic lunches. Plan to be home by dinner, find out which area restaurants offer free kids’ meals, or get a Groupon for dinner ahead of time. You'd be surprised how much you can save just by planning your meals. When you “wing it” you are more likely to overspend (not to mention overeat).
Check the Local Calendar
Be sure to check out local event calendars for family-friendly activities. Is there a local Renaissance Fair or Strawberry Festival? Perhaps a superhero festival or Summer Concert series.
To make the most of your staycation, avoid the cumbersome house chores that are always left behind when traveling away from home. Be dedicated to a week (give or take) of rest, relaxation, and fun activities shared with your family.
Need more ideas? Check out these fun weekend learning activities. Even if your budget is virtually nonexistent, proper planning can create an unforgettable staycation for you and your family.