In recent years, the state of the economy has had a great impact on our vacation plans. Many of us are now on a limited budget, or have exhausted our savings, so vacation plans are now “non-existent.” At this point, the hardest decision for most of us is choosing where to go with such limited funds.
In the past, many families would take a week-long trip to a resort, take a cruise, or fly somewhere together. However, today, due to rising fuel costs, hotel expenses, and a large food bill away from home, “stays” are quite popular.
Choosing a vacation at home is a common option, now. When you choose to stay home, you want it to be memorable for your children and you want the experience to be fun. Here are some ideas to make your vacation at home more exciting.
Ideas for Staycations:
Take a trip to the big city. How many times have you visited the capital of your state? Take an education and free trip to the capital. Whether it’s your state or a neighboring state, if it’s new to you, it can be a fun experience.
If you call ahead (your local government office), they may also be able to schedule a tour. Take a look at all that your city has to offer and plan the activities for the day.
If you’re not too far from Washington, DC, take a trip to the nation’s capital. In Washington, all federal museums are free and are among the best in the world. Our family trip to DC was one of our best vacations.
Change homes with someone you know. Do you have a friend who lives near the beach? Maybe they want to visit the big city where you live and you can change homes for a week. Think of someone who also lives in the country and see what life is like in your city. Think about who you know who lives near an amusement park, near the mountains, the ocean, or a big city. Even a farm can be exciting for someone who has never lived that way. Change homes for a week and experience life as they live it.
Go camping. Children love to go camping! Sleeping outside under the stars is exciting for younger children. For adults, it allows you to sort your thoughts away from all the digital distractions that we rely on.
You can buy a tent for around $ 50.00 now, or even borrow one from a friend and save the money. You really don’t even have to have sleeping bags, as long as you have plenty of blankets. Take a look at the camping areas a few hours from your house and save gas.
You will need to reserve it in advance if it is a state camp, and only go to those with private showers and toilets. Search from Reserve America and select the amenities you want. Find campgrounds with a lake, fishing, swimming, hiking, and a playground to keep everyone happy.
Plan to roast marshmallows, tell stories around the fire, grill, and gaze at the stars. Camping can be really fun! Just check the weather forecast before you go and plan accordingly.
Take a day trip. By taking a short 2-3 hour trip, you can still enjoy the benefits of the getaway, but you don’t have to book a hotel. Just plan to eat breakfast before you go, pack a picnic for lunch, and you’re ready for a quick low-cost trip.
Do a radio search from Free map tools gold Google maps and look at what surrounds you that you have never done. You will find things you have never done if you search this way. Find the city of your destination and see what’s new.
Whenever our family does this, we take pictures and save the trip brochures so the children have something to talk about when they return and the memory never fades.
Create a themed week of events. Plan a day of culture, where you go to the art museum, paint together, or even take pictures together around the city. You can give prizes to the “winner” for the best artwork, best photography, or best home movie or video.
Plan to have a game week for the family to play together, and even allow the children to make one up and play it together. For your theme week, you can “visit” other countries by sharing a new food from that culture, talking about how they live and dressing. Learn a few words that reflect the language of the country. Do some research on the internet and find cool things to share over dinner, and make it a learning experience.
Give back to your community. Find some local charities that allow your family to help and give back to local residents. You can help out at a local food bank, do some cleaning in a town square, or help out at the animal shelter. Call your county information line and see where to start. Your kids may not be enthusiastic about the idea at first, but they will come away with a memorable experience that will change their worldview and open their hearts.
Build a new swing set to enjoy all year long. If you save your typical vacation money and buy a swing for your home, you can enjoy it all year round. Swing sets are very affordable now and you can choose how much you want to spend. They are small to large in size, depending on your budget and garden size.
Certain websites sell the swing hardware kits themselves, which lowers the price. SwingWorks.com allows you to design your own swing set and choose which parts you want.
Other swing set companies, like PlayNation.com, will ship a complete set to your doorstep in a ready-to-build kit, with all the parts included in the box..
Have a party. If you’re not going anywhere, why don’t you bring the fun home? Host a summer party in your backyard, or even at your local park, where lots of kids can have fun together. Plan some games like sack racing, kicking the ball, water balloons (or squirt guns), the 3-legged race, or a scavenger hunt.
Make sure to take pictures of all the games you played, so they never forget the “Summer Bash”. Staying home can be fun; you just have to do it differently.
If you choose to have a home vacation this year, just think of all the money you saved on a hotel concierge service. Now, you can be the resident activity director and plan all the fun things your family can do together.