If you need an escape, you don’t have to go far to “get away.” A “staycation” or “holistay” can be just what you need to get some much-needed relaxation while staying true to your budget.
Planning Your Staycation
Remember that exciting destinations could be anywhere. Consider your budget constraints and use your creativity and imagination. For example, simply staying with a friend or family member for a weekend can help you experience a new community or neighborhood.
You could also explore your own city like a tourist and discover things you never knew were there or hadn’t had time to check out. Is there is a national park, museum, zoo, historic site or recreation area nearby that you’ve never seen? Visit sites such as NPS.gov, YMCA.net, PublicLibraries.com, and community centers for information on upcoming events in nearby communities, your city, or one you plan to visit.
Love the outdoors? Geocaching could be a great way to spend a staycation and discover new things. Participants navigate to a specific set of GPS coordinates and try to find a ‘geocache,’ or container, hidden at that location. For more information go to Geocaching.com.
Living near a river or lake can provide options like renting a canoe, kayak or paddleboard to test your water skills. Local recreation departments or the visitor’s bureau can apprise you of scenic areas or biking/hiking trails at your chosen destination.
If your budget allows for a simple overnight “getaway,” contact local hotels to see if they offer money-saving packages that include dinner and a movie. Also, don’t rule out a “staycation” at home. Unplug your electronic devices, play relaxing music, rent a movie, and enjoy peace and quiet with a friend or special loved one. If you enjoy camping, you could tent in your own backyard!
Use Apps and the Internet
Online travel agencies such as Trivago, Priceline, Expedia and Orbitz may help you find money-saving ‘bundle’ bargains for hotels, airlines, event tickets, tours, and museums. Airbnb and VRBO list rooms, apartments, and houses to rent — some at a fraction of hotel prices. Also, visit event or venue websites directly for information regarding ticket discounts or special admission prices.
Traveling with a group can be a great money-saver. For ideas, visit Groupon.
Keeping your vehicle in shape could help you get better gas mileage not just on your staycation but at all times of the year. According to the United States Department of Energy, keeping your vehicle tuned up and in shape can help you save on gas mileage. For example, you could improve your gas mileage up to 4% just by making sure you are using the most efficient grade of motor oil and your tires are inflated to the proper pressure. For more information visit FuelEconomy.gov.
Keep Food Costs Low
Enjoying the local cuisine may be an important part of your staycation budget. However, you could pack non-perishable items such as peanut butter and crackers, dried fruit, and bottled water to save money on snacks. Instead of dining out for every meal while exploring local venues, bring food items in a cooler to create simple, quick meals that you can enjoy during a picnic somewhere scenic. If you are staying in a hotel, book a room with a small refrigerator so you can enjoy water, milk, and ice without needing to purchase it.