I don’t know about you all but this year has us planning a vacation closer to home than perhaps we’d like. Things have gotten so CRAZY in our world, with mandatory masks many places, closings and other restrictions that traveling very far from home is not high on my list! But we’d still like to go do things as a family that are different than our everyday life and not spend a fortune while we’re doing it. So here’s how to Staycation on a Budget!
Staycation on a Budget
First off, you should sit down as a family and decide how far you want to go. Do you want to limit your travel to a certain mileage or hours from your home? Then get out a map and look for any interesting places in that zone. If it was me I’d be looking for more outdoor than indoor activities with all the current craziness. For example, if I was to pick a 2 hour radius from our home I’d have the choice of many good rivers, lakes and fishing opportunities. We could go camping, hiking or on a canoe trip. It would be possible to stay in a cabin or bring our own tent. Yes we could stay in a hotel too, but with 4 young kids that’s never high on my list of wants, hehe. So decide if you want to travel each day and stay in your own home or another close location.
Then consider what makes a vacation special to you. Is it the relaxation? Is it the new areas? Or Is it the food? Then sit down and make a list of things here that could meet those goals. Could you make a special shopping trip for foods you don’t normally splurge on? Yes they’ll be more expensive than regular groceries but wayyy cheaper than dining out.
Or perhaps you could order out to a favorite restaurant that’s a bit pricier as a special treat and take it to a remote area for a relaxing dinner to yourselves. We aren’t big restaurant eaters honestly. Probably partly because Its a small step to insanity if you’ve ever waited in a crowded restaurant with 4 young kids for 45 minutes for your food to arrive! If you started the trip in a good mood that is bound to destroy it! But calling ahead and ordering, then taking it somewhere active is so much more fun!
Better yet, grab the grilling stuff, pack your swim clothes and head to a remote river, creek or lake! Other than the cost of gas and food this is basically a FREE trip! How fun is that? Don’t forget to get a fishing license if you plan to take your rod and reel though.
But a few special treats for each person in the family that you wouldn’t normally get. For me, that might be a specialty bag of coffee beans or a new coffee mug. (Can you tell I love ☕ coffee?). For kids it might be a water toy or a personalized water bottle. Get creative. You don’t have to spend a fortune to have fun! Go to a thrift store, yard sale or flea market to get things you might need for your Staycation.
Plan your utilities…
Yes, have a plan for laundry, dishes and meals! I think disposable dishes are great for a Staycation and aluminum foil us your friend. Buy snacks in large boxes and separate into smaller Ziploc bags. Then just pitch them! It will save you so much time and aggravation on your time off. Plan your laundry the same. How can you reduce your loads? Can you rewear? Can you reuse towels more than once? And can you make meals ahead and freeze them or even use easy things like sandwiches and wraps? Make it short and simple!
Remember its a mindset…
If you do need to stay at home or closer to home this year for vacation remember to check your mindset. Do you feel deprived, discouraged or depressed? That’s not a good attitude for a vacation! Count your blessings and try to gain excitement for a week off that might actually become a favorite!