Family Vacation Challenging your Budget? Staycation Instead!

84611919With summer upon us, thoughts turn to getting away and enjoying time together as a family on an idyllic vacation. However, what if travel is not in your budget? A Staycation provides great entertainment and together time without having to spend money on accommodation and travel. A little planning and creativity can generate as much anticipation and enthusiasm as a traditional vacation.


Get in the Right Mindset

Although you may not be packing your bags and heading down the highway, this is still a vacation, and has to be treated as such. It may sound silly- but you need to commit to the idea that this is a vacation, and embrace the possibility of new experiences that come with new perspective.  In order to do that, you need to take a step back from your vantage point as a resident in your town to adopt a tourist’s point of view. Committing means taking time off work, mapping out activities, and following through on them.  Yes, you are sleeping in your own bed- but other than that you are “away”.

Something for Everyone

No matter where you live, your town, city or stretch of rural land has something to offer. You just need to identify the leisure capabilities. If you are like most people, you tend to ignore the tourist attractions or points of interest in the place you reside in favour of the business of living your life.  Sit down and determine what it is you are interested in. Are you a sporting family? Do you enjoy movies or music? Are there museums that are of interest to you located nearby? Set up a plan, and include the whole family in the process.

Park it

A number of cities offer free (or pay what you can) outdoor concerts or plays throughout the summer. Check online for schedules and payment options. This is a great, low-cost way to spend time together as a family, even if the theatre or live music is not something that usually interests you. After all, going on vacation is about trying new things, right?

A Day at the Museum

Museums (even the small, side of the road ones) are a great place to explore and learn and usually offer good value for one admission fee. Lots of museums have special programs or exhibits that run through the summer, so do a little research when determining where to go. Also, enquire about family passes if you intend to visit more than one museum. Some offer group attraction packages.

Amusement Parks

Check out travelling fairs or local amusement parks for rides, thrills and loads of fun. Even if roller coasters aren’t your speed, extend this mindset to include things like mini-golf courses, go-karting and other outside activities.

Take in a Sporting Event

You don’t need an NHL or MLB franchise in your hometown to take in a sporting event. A number of cities have minor league teams, or higher-level amateur teams that are competitive and super fun to watch- either for free or for a lower cost.

Get Caught up

Sometimes, the point of a road trip is to visit friends and family in far-flung places. What if you devoted the same time to visiting those you are closest to locally? We tend to let friendships and family relationships bear the brunt in our heavily scheduled lives. Having time just to hang out and connect with those you don’t see as often as you’d like is a great way to spend your vacation time.