Taking trips during the summer is all fun and games – until you get the bill. Of course, there really is nothing better than heading somewhere warm and tropical that makes you forget about your daily responsibilities at home but let’s be honest; we can’t all always take these expensive trips whenever we feel like it. The bigger your family, the more expensive vacations are, and the bills pile up quicker than you can even believe, right? That’s where frugal summer staycations come in.
Whether you need some downtime ideas or are looking for fun things to do closer to home, there’s likely an answer for that. Taking time to have a true staycation means you’re basically on a vacation in your very own home. Believe it or not, staycations can end up making some of the best memories and giving you and your family the best time.
The point of a staycation is to save money; so in your planning, take the time to set a budget where you decide how much you’ll spend on activities, food and other components to the week. Check around for local deals and steals and most importantly, stick to the budget you set! That’s the one way to make sure that your staycation is worth it. Groupon always has great deals based on locations that you can use to help make the week enjoyable and not spend a fortune in doing so!
Take some time to plan, and these seven fun staycation ideas will make your summer a huge hit for the whole family:
1. Go camping in your backyard.
You don’t need anything but your backyard, a tent, and some fun snacks to have the ultimate backyard camping trip! Pull out the telescope and watch some stars, make s’mores with the kids, and catch fireflies.
2. Take a day trip.
with so many day trip options available these days, aquariums, museums and zoos are some of the most fun, family friendly .(and even educational!) places to go. Call ahead and see if there are daily discounts, a group rate or discounts for kids/students. Some museums even offer free admission on certain days – great activities for all ages and that everyone can enjoy.
3. Spend an entire day by the pool.
Pack lunches, grab a radio and sit outside all day long. The kids will have a blast, and you can relax in the sun (and maybe even find some time to read a book or magazine!). No pool? Make a homemade water slide or head to a local swimming hole. We have a lake near by and we love spending afternoons up there as a family, and it costs us nothing!
4. Head to an amusement park: the best thing about amusement parks is that there’s
something for nearly every age group. Try and pick a park that has a water park too for added fun! Many amusement parks give group rates or have a discounted rate one day per week as well. This summer is a great time to try something new!
5. Have a movie day: this is ideal for a rainy, not so nice weather day.
Grab some popcorn, make a list of movies to watch and cuddle up on the couch for a full day of fun movies. Consider Netflix or Amazon for inexpensive movie options and a great selection, too. You can even come up with some fun recipes for lunch and dinner that fit between popcorn
If you have a projector set up an at home screen and watch a movie outside. You could have your own personal drive in.
6. Take a bike ride: out of all of the fun things you can do during your staycation, getting some exercise in is important to remember. If you have a park nearby, plan a picnic and bike ride to the park. Consider planning a scavenger hunt for the kids once you’re at the park too;
They can find specific rocks, leaves, and flowers all while adding some fitness to the day.
7. Try a new restaurant: eating out gets expensive – an added cost when going on vacations. The beauty of a staycation is not really having this huge expense, but consider going to a fun (even fancy!) restaurant for dinner with the family. Add the meal for the family into the original budget and it’ll be nothing but fun! Kids tend to love eating out, so taking a day to visit a favorite restaurant or even trying something new will be perfect for the entire family.
Don’t have money for a restaurant? Make a nice dinner and eat as a family, or better yet make it a game. Make a mystery box of ingredients and see what your family can come up with.
Most importantly, don’t forget to have fun. Planning a frugal summer staycation for the family is a great way to reconnect and spend quality time together all while saving money. You cam still have tons of fun on a budget. Whether it’s a tight budget or you have some money set aside to spend, staycations can be super cost savvy!