When my husband and I got married two years ago, we thought we had the coolest anniversary ever – July 4th. We are very patriotic and it meant a lot of us to have our special day on such an important holiday.
The one thing we didn’t exactly plan for was how expensive it would be every year to celebrate our big day – especially if we had any desire to travel. Since we got married and had kids, we’ve become extremely frugal minded and feel guilty anytime we spend a lot of money on ourselves. With our two year anniversary coming up, we have a lot to celebrate! A new baby boy and a beautiful toddler who never ceases to amaze us. Going away to celebrate however, just isn’t in the budget.
My husband seemed so depressed when we were looking up hotel costs the other night. I told him this is just the price we pay for having such an awesome anniversary. We’re usually great at planning cheap vacations, but we recently decided we were done going on vacation for a while.
My solution to our problem was to plan a frugal staycation instead! I have a blast with Scotty no matter where we are or what we’re doing, so a frugal little vacation at home with our family sounds great to me!
You might not have to pack and plan what you’re going to take with you, but there is still some preparation involved in having a low-stress staycation.
First of all, do all of the chores around the house in the weeks before your staycation. You don’t want to be troubled with mundane chores on your vacation at home. Where is the vacation in that?!
- Do all dishes and put them away
- Do all of the laundry and put it away
- Quickly clean the bathrooms and put out fresh towels
- Wipe down the kitchen counters and take out the trash
- Pay all bills
- Make any important phone calls
- Run errands
I’m purposely leaving grocery shopping off of this list because I personally think that’s part of the fun!
Set Some Rules
You need to set some rules for yourself to make sure your staycation doesn’t turn into days of catching up on housework. Getting all of the annoying tasks around the house done in the days before your vacation definitely helps – but set some hard and fast rules for your family to follow.
- No doing dishes unless absolutely necessary. We buy disposable plates, bowls, and silverware for events like this
- No doing laundry. Just keep the dirty laundry separated into piles that can be thrown into the washer when the staycation is over
- Put away all cell phones and laptops. It’s important to try to unplug from daily stresses on vacation so your staycation should be no different!
- Be open-minded! Try new things and act like you would if you were in a completely different city
What to Do on a Staycation
This one is completely up to you. On our upcoming staycation, we’re planning on staying in the same town and sleeping at our own house, but still going out and exploring our area. My goal is to act like a tourist in our own town. Here’s how:
- Look up festivals going on in your area. These are usually free and you just have to pay for food and drinks while you’re there. Check to see if you’re allowed to bring your own food and you can save even more!
- Eat new foods! Don’t go to your favorite restaurants and eat the same dishes you always order. Branch out and try new things! Even if you’re cooking at home – look up recipes you’ve never tried and foods you’re unfamiliar with. Take out is another great option. Just make sure it’s from a new restaurant you’ve never been to before. The point is to make your staycation exciting while still saving money!
- Go grocery shopping for snacks, drinks, and whatever meals you’re going to make at home. Try to go to a grocery store you don’t usually shop at. Remember to step out of your comfort zone and don’t forget to treat yourself a little. Buy some gelato even though it’s more than you’d usually spend
- Explore local parks you’ve never been to
- Give each other massages
- Look for free concerts in your town
- Explore local farmer’s markets
- Find the water in your area and go have fun! Whether you live close to the ocean (lucky you!) or a river (like our hometown), there’s always lots of fun to be had when you add water to the mix
- Camp in your backyard and make s’mores
- Dig out your favorite board games
The possibilities are truly endless. Use this opportunity to explore the local places in your area that you never seem to have time for. Look at your town through the eyes of someone who only has a few days to spend there. What would you want to see and do? Make the most of it and, as always, make it frugal!
Have you ever opted for a staycation when going away on vacation was not in the budget? How did you make the most of your time at home? What secrets do you have for an incredible “staycation”? Let me know in the comments!
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