It’s not secret that our family enjoys traveling and checking out new places. Is something we budget for since it’s very important to our family. However, we’re very strategic about where we go and when we go in order to keep costs low. This means that we tend to travel off-season and we rarely take long trips during the summer unless we comes across a great deal. This also means that we have to get creative during the summer, so we can still take advantage of the warmer weather.
I know that for some families a summer vacation is not even an option. I completely understand, and there were times when we didn’t travel at all during the year because we simply couldn’t afford to. However, it doesn’t mean that we didn’t do anything. There are many ways you can enjoy time off with your family to recharge and connect. Many people will forgo taking off of work if they can’t afford to leave town, but what about taking a staycation? We’ve done this many times in the past and it truly has been some of our family’s most fond memories.
So today I’m sharing staycation ideas to help you enjoy the summer season, even if you feel like you can’t afford it.
7 Family Staycation Ideas
I know this might sound weird, but if you have a friend that lives within driving distance and is willing to house swap, go for it! You will get to enjoy a new area, new-to-you home, plus get away for no cost. You will also have access to a kitchen, so you can keep your food costs low. If you can’t find anyone to house swap with, volunteer to house sit for a family or friend that is going away. Make sure to scope out the area for free attractions, so you can take advantage of your stay.
One of our favorite things about vacations is trying out new food. The same thing can be done at home. Set some extra money aside and check out restaurants in your town. Try to avoid franchises and stick with the local places that offer delicious food and fun atmosphere. If dining out is still out of your budget, cook some new meals during your time off and eat in a different setting. This could be in your backyard area or a local park.
Go to the movies
One year we decided to take a week off and check out our local attractions. We set one day aside for the movies and the kids had a blast. We went during daytime hours (cheaper tickets!) and the theater was fairly empty. There are also many movie theaters that offer discounted or free movies during the summer, so make sure to check with your local theaters. We also like to bring our own candy to keep costs even lower.
I’ll be honest, we did this one year and I can assure that I’m not cut out for camping. However, my kids had an amazing time. The site where we camped had a great playground along with activities for the kids. They were able to stay busy all day while I enjoyed the sun and read some books. To keep your costs low, borrow camping equipment from family or friends. You can also camp in your own backyard. Don’t forget to make s’mores!
Taking classes is a fun way for families to bond and try out new things. From photography to cooking, there are a variety of places that offer classes during the summer season. Find something that your family will enjoy and sign up together. Not only will you all learn something new, you’ll also create new memories in the process. Don’t forget to check out your local library and rec center to find free or inexpensive options.
Try a new local attraction
Kids enjoy trying out new things, and you don’t have to travel far in order to do this. Check out local attractions that your family hasn’t visited. There are many family-friendly attractions that offer summer specials. From laser tag to trampoline parks, there’s a variety of options to choose from. We recently went to a local trampoline park and only paid $32 in total for four of us. The kids had a great time and we also got a great workout in the process. Museums also offer free or discounted admission on specific days during the summer.
Go to a sporting event
Our family loves baseball games and we’re lucky to have a local minor league baseball team. Most stadiums offer deals that can range from family packages that include meals, to discounted lawn seating. Our local stadium also offers a playground for littles ones that can’t sit still for extended periods of time. Even if you don’t enjoy watching the game on TV, there’s something about being around an energetic crowd that makes it a fun new experience. Check the game calendar to see if there are any fun events scheduled such as fireworks or special guests appearances.
These are just a small sampling of staycation ideas your family can enjoy. You are only limited by your imagination. You don’t need to go to a pricey attraction or exotic place to enjoy time off with your family.
What are some of your favorite staycation ideas? I’m always looking for new ideas, so feel free to share!