Introducing the “Staycation”You don’t need to spend a lot of cash to take a vacation or drive for hours to go to the beach or an “official” vacation spot. Instead, you can take a “staycation.” You’ll save money and support business in your community. How to find out what’s going on in your neck of the woods? Look online; it’s free! Website hosting deals and easy site builder tools have made it easier than ever for the cool spots and hot venues in your area to be easy to find on the Web.Some define vacation as three-plus days away from home, where you and your friends and family partake in relaxing activities. Of course, that depends on your definition of “relaxing activities.” Relaxing can entail spending time in a cabin, on a beach, boating-anything.But what if you can’t afford to take a traditional vacation? Does taking a vacation really require spending money, going to a new destination? Maybe not. There’s a fairly new word that’s being used every now and then: “staycation.”A staycation is taking a vacation while staying at home. It’s finding fun things to do that do not require spending a large chunk of change. There are relaxing, entertaining things you can do within driving distance if you explore locally.Where do you look? Online, of course. You see, others have been in your position. Businesses (restaurants, shops, ice cream parlors, hotels, zoos, museums-you get the idea) within 50 miles or so from your home have planned ahead, anticipating that someday, you and others will search for them online. They have websites that let you know that interesting, fun, exciting adventures await just around the bend.GooglingThe first thing you can do is to search. Go to your favorite search engine and search words like “staycation your town.” If you live in the St. Louis area for instance, you can search “staycation stl”. Or if you’re in Florida, try “staycation south Florida”. The first couple of links should list some activities and places to visit in your area.What to Look ForWhat could you possibly do close to home? So perhaps a festival or an outdoor concert might be fun. Botanical gardens, museums (art and history), miniature golf-places you normally wouldn’t visit because you’ve ignored them, are now front and center. You can check your community calendar for ideas.If it’s summer or early fall, farmers’ crops are bursting with natural sweetness, ready to be picked by you and your family. So gather your baskets and head to the nearest orchard. Pick some juicy peaches and make a cobbler with the kids. Have the kids find the perfect pumpkin to carve later. You can even throw in a science lesson.Your town is celebrating homecoming. Food, carnival games, friends-small town goodness that comes around once a year. Take your staycation the week of homecoming.Have you seen any flyers for local theatre productions lately? Or perhaps your kids are in a play. Make it a huge night with dinner beforehand and ice cream afterwards.Money TalksLocal businesses often offer promotions online. So check out their pricing. Either way, you’ll be saving since you’re not taking that expensive trip to the beach. Larger groups often can get more affordable pricing. So invite another family to join you and split the cost.Time Off PleaseAre you ready to plan your next staycation? Here’s how you can start planning:Be mindful of local events. Check out your town’s online event calendar.
Take out your own calendar and schedule some time for you and your family to do nothing but have fun.
Pencil in activities for each day.
Tell family members that your only rules are to have fun, sleep in, and smile.
Meals and clean up: Plan fun meals that won’t make a big mess and require participation. At the end of each day, have everyone pitch in for 15 minutes to clean up.And there you have it…staycation fun. To create a souvenir of one staycation or keep a log of all of your local adventures, consider getting a free website and sharing your experiences with extended family and friends who have moved away. Web hosting companies will offer affordable or free website hosting that includes an easy website builder tool. You don’t have to spend a lot to “publish” your online scrapbook!