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10 Ways to create an affordable staycation

Kendra Y. Mims is a freelance writer and online content editor in the Chicagoland area. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Columbia College Chicago in journalism. Her passions include writing, reading, and traveling.

Ending your summer with a bang

Taking a two-week trip to an exotic destination sounds like the perfect getaway, but in reality, your time, personal obligations and budget may not allow it. The good news is that you can still create your ideal vacation close to home.
Mom holding daughter in lake

Whether you want to hang with your girls or spend time with your family, the following ideas can help you create a memorable, budget-friendly staycation with your loved ones before the summer ends.

Family fun

  • Save money and avoid the hassle of traveling by exploring your local surroundings. Visiting your city’s attractions can be a fun and affordable way for the entire family to enjoy a staycation. Check out local water or amusement parks, town festivals, theaters, museums, free concerts or the zoo.
  • Head to a free beach or the lake for the day. Bring along a bocce ball, volleyball and a few buckets, and challenge your family to some fun beach games.

Get romantic

  • If you don’t want to travel far, pack an overnight bag and head to a local resort or bed and breakfast to enjoy a romantic getaway. Throw in a night of salsa dancing and fine dining for fun.
  • Pack a picnic basket and head to the park to enjoy quality time with your boo. Enhance the romance by bringing flowers, pillows, candles, blankets and portable music so you can listen to your favorite songs.

Outdoor adventures

  • If you prefer to move your staycation outdoors, bond with your loved ones during an overnight camping trip. Camping trips are the perfect time to tell stories, take nature walks, roast marshmallows over the campfire and create a memorable outdoor adventure. Not up for traveling for an outdoor staycation? You can also camp out in your own backyard instead.
  • Hit the local bike trails and go on a family cycling adventure throughout town. Discuss what local sites you will visit in advance. Not only is cycling a fun way to stay physically active, but it will also allow everyone to see and explore the city from a different perspective.

Relax and re-energize

  • Relieve stress and rejuvenate by spending a day at the spa. Treat yourself to a manicure and pedicure or a massage and facial. Before you go to bed, take a relaxing bath and surround yourself with scented candles as you pamper yourself with your favorite fragrances.
  • Spend a relaxing afternoon at a local winery. Take an informative wine tour and enjoy the scenery as well as the wine tasting.

Ladies' night

  • Drive to a nearby city and spend the day discovering what it has to offer. Research the area beforehand and create a list of must-see sights, or, if available, take a guided tour. Shopping and dining with your girls in new territory can make it seem like you traveled to a faraway destination for a vacation, even if you only drove 30 minutes to get there.
  • Entertain your friends by hosting a girls' night in. Invite your girls over and whip up a few tasty appetizers and desserts. Watch your favorite chick flicks, play board games or give each other makeovers or a mani/pedi. Let your hair down and enjoy girl talk with your favorite friends.

More staycation ideas

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Fun staycation ideas with your kids
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