Earlier this morning Mike brought up the "staycation," an increasingly popular concept with gas and airline prices near all-time heights. Here are 7 tips for how to make your staycation both frugal and fun.
1. Lock up your electronics
Gather up computers, cell phones, and other electronic distractions that could keep you in your daily grind. The whole point of a vacation is to give your brain and body a refreshing change from daily life. Give your computer to your neighbor for the week and don't let him give it back to you during that time, even if you beg. If you must keep your cell phone on, set predetermined times when cell phone use is allowed (30 minutes in the afternoon for example).
2. Hire some help
Hire a cleaning service to take care of your home during your staycation. You'll feel more relaxed and the extra cost will be minimal compared to what you’ll be saving.
3. Plan activities
Plan a hike for the afternoon, then cooking s'mores in the backyard (or fireplace) and games in the evening. Set a strict schedule and stick to it. Depending on if you're looking for an active or more chill "getaway," schedule your book-reading/pool/lounging time accordingly.
4. Document your trip
Just like on a normal vacation, you'll want to remember your "staycation" through photos or videos. Plus, you'll definitely want to get a picture of your family piled in the tent in the backyard!
5. Explore your town
When tourists visit your city, where do they go? Take a day or two of your staycation and devote it to discovering or revisiting some of the top destinations in your area. Sure, you may feel like a tourist… but that's the point!
6. Order in
Forget cooking, you're on vacation! Have your meals delivered during your staycation so you won't need to worry about cooking. Or, hire an aspiring cook as found via craigslist or a local university for the week. Give them a budget and have them handle your meals as well as shopping.
7. Act the part
A true staycation means you don't pick up your cell phone. Don't check your work email or make "just one call". Sleep in. Don't set an alarm. Splurge on sorbet or ice cream. Go for a bike ride. Read a book for fun. Sunbathe.
The biggest key to a successful staycation is convincing your brain that you are really on vacation. Follow these tips and you're on your way to a frugal and fun vacation!