Saving And
Staycationing

It's no surprise if your vacay plans have been downgraded from jet setting and beach hopping to um, Netflix.

Family on Towels in the Backyard
According to Christi Gallagher, senior communications manager and publicist of Wal-Mart, it's not only prudent to stay local this summer for the price factor but for the ability to spend quality time with more people, too. "Staycations are great for spending time with the ones you love. Being close to home allows everyone – grandparents and extended family included – to join in on summer staycation fun!"

Plus, by enjoying an exciting summer at home you'll also reduce gas emissions to cut down your carbon footprint.  "It is certainly a win-win situation when you can celebrate a great summer at home and help the environment at the same time."

In order to have a splendid staycation, there are several ways to enjoy treasures in your 'hood to reap mental benefits of a holiday without a hefty price tag.  For instance, at Walmart.com/staycations, their widget encompasses 101 daily updates with ideas for summer including turning your backyard into a water park, inviting neighbors over for a backyard drive-in, having a super soaker contest, and hosting a backyard neighborhood soccer game. 

If staying at home 24/7 literally gives you cabin fever, there are ways to stay close to home while saving those greenbacks, too. Pack a picnic basket for a relaxing lunch at a nearby park, go retro and buy a badminton set to play outside or take your kids to a playground that may be a few towns away. The key is you're doing things you normally wouldn't do and having fun in the process.

Melinda Roberts, a single mom, recommends opting to stay home and glamming it up by cooking gourmet meals. Or two. Or ten.  "One August while the kids were visiting family out of state with their dad, we scoured the net looking for cheap vacations and in the end, instead of paying close to $3,000 for a week in Mexico, we stayed home."

Her boyfriend is a chef so they decided to eat glamorously every day for a week.  "It only cost a fraction of what a vacation cost and suddenly your house looks a whole lot different as you approach it as a vacation rental."

Essentially like Roberts, if you ditch the routine, the bills, the chores, the grocery shopping and mix things up by approaching your home as a hotel without a hefty bill, chances are you'll save a few bucks and garner a lot of smiles in the process.

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