10 Cheap Staycation Ideas

Summer is almost here! It’s the perfect time to step away from the office and enjoy the great weather. Even if you can’t get away somewhere tropical, you can still make the most of your vacation by keeping it cheap and turning it into a staycation adventure!

1. Take A Hike

Being on-the-clock makes it difficult to get out and enjoy the great outdoors. Local parks and nature reserves are full of trails varying in difficulties. On the trails, you can sightsee local flora and fauna and enjoy the fresh air for free!

2. Host A Party

You don’t need to wait for a holiday or special occasion to host, instead invite your friends and family over for a one-of-a-kind party hosted by you! The summer is the best time to host a pool party or backyard barbecue. Or, you can get really creative and host a DIY spa day with your girlfriends or game night with the family.

3. Pack A Picnic

Instead of spending your lunch money at a restaurant, keep it simple by packing a picnic. Prep a light meal, like sandwiches or wraps, grab a blanket, and pick the perfect spot to disconnect and relax. Parks usually offer scenic picnic placements with free parking!

4. Plan A Lake/Beach Day

Is there a lake or beach nearby that has public access? Then plan a day near the water! Grab a beach towel, your sandals, and everything you need for a beach day. Enjoying the water near home saves money over spending a weeklong vacation on the ocean. Instead, you can lay out a blanket on the sand just the same as if you were on a coast and catch the summer rays.

5. Camp!

As long as you have a tent or outdoor shelter, you can camp almost anywhere for cheap. Local and state parks have primitive, non-electric, and electric campsite options for cheap (cheaper than a hotel) with the added bonus of trails to explore, interactive programs, and more! Or, you can keep it really simple by pitching a tent in your backyard with household amenities a few steps away with all the fun of sleeping under the stars!

6. Explore Your Town

Become a tourist in your own town! When was the last time you explored your downtown and discovered new boutiques, restaurants, and shops? It can be annoying to find a cute shop while you are away on vacation and desperately trying to make the most of the fleeting moment. You can find your new favorite place to shop with the perks of it always being nearby.

7. Host A Film Festival

Sometimes the ultimate staycation, even in the summer, is to stay inside and get cozy. Make your living room cozy and set up shop for an all-day, all-night film festival. Stock the snacks, get the drinks cold, and wrap yourself in a snuggly blanket for a long day of film fanfare. You can get “extra” by creating tickets and a show times list of the movies you plan to watch.

8. Tour A Museum

From free to cheap, museums are scattered around most towns and can hold an untold history you have never heard of. There are museums for art, history, and even mustard. You just need to find these hidden gems. Plus, it is a kid-friendly option that is educational and holds their attention.

9. Try Something New

Do you finally have some time away from your normal responsibilities? Try something new! Take a cooking or dance class. Visit a local farmer’s market. Ride your bike on new trails. Whatever has been sitting on your bucket list, use this time to cross some items off.

10. Give Back

Make the most of your time off by giving back to your community. This can be anything from volunteering at a soup kitchen feeding the hungry to beautifying your downtown or local park. By donating your time, you can make a difference.

However you decide to make the most of your staycation, here are three tips to make sure it still feels like a true vacation:

  • Put the chores on hold. If you were away on a real vacation, you wouldn’t be taking out the trash, doing the laundry, etc. Doing these before your staycation may make it easier to relax and stay in the moment.
  • Disconnect. Just because you are staying in the area for your vacation does not mean you need to keep a line out for work. Inform your boss and colleagues that you will check your work emails when you come back from vacation and use an auto-reply email to notify those who may try to contact you.
  • Have fun! Don’t worry about filling every second of every day to “make the most of it.” Instead, focus on what you need the most and what will reenergize you.

Summer is the perfect time to vacation, even if that is close to home. Don’t worry about burning a hole in your wallet. You can have a budget-friendly staycation and still capture memories and experiences.