Staycation Ideas

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

In order to save money during this financially uncertain time, try going on a “staycation” with your vacation time.

Stacations, in the same way as “fakeaways” aka “fakeouts”, became somewhat fashionable when the economy was beginning to go south in 2008 and with the recession now biting this is something that we will, I think, be seeing more of.

In addition to the financial issue people are also beginning to consider the impact that they are having on the environment with all their traveling to places abroad, and that not even taking into account, I should guess, of the negative impact they may have on the local environment and people where they go.

Yes, I know that tourism brings work to quite a few people in those destinations but at what other cost.

What we are also now seeing – in the UK especially – is people vacationing in the country rather than going abroad and the few “Holiday Camps” like Butlins and Haven have been booked out for this summer well before Easter.

But actually staying home, at your home, for vacation can save you the stress of traveling and the extra money you may have spent while on your trip.

Personally I do not do travel. But then that is me. And definitely not abroad and I do not stay away from home for longer than a day, if I can help it. So, staycation is the way I always spend my vacation time and there are many locations that one can go to for a good vacation time, if one does not want to spend the time entirely in one's own garden, for instance.

Going for a hike on the North Downs, such as Box Hill, for instance, or along the North Downs Way, is how I do it, when the weather permits, or going to visit this or that “attraction” such as museums and such like. While some of those destinations do cost an entry fee others do not. Most museums in Britain are, once again, free to get in, though, as said, other places, such as National Trust houses and such like, have entry fees and some can be rather steep too.

Picnics in the countryside, if you have family and kids, and in local parks are also a great way to spend a vacation at home. Much of this is free and at times it is also easy and cheap to get to.

Below are a couple of staycation ideas that you can apply to your own circumstances and locales.

1...Go to a state fair or city festival. The rides, games & cultural events often cost less than a theme park.
While there may be an entry fee at times and the rides do cost some money, there are occasions when some entertainment for the children comes free, including bouncy castles and such like.

2...Go camping for a couple days. Sites in state and national parks are inexpensive and often have swimming.
Often you can also go swimming at lakes and rivers for free and there also are then opportunities for picnicking and – in some instances – even for camping. Only recommendation and warming: do not use rivers that have boat traffic such as freight and pleasure steamers and such like for swimming. It could be dangerous on more than one level.

3...Take public transportation to your nearest museum. Kids will love the science, aviation, art and history.
Many museums are free and all you have to pay for is the bus or train fare. OK, train fares in Britain can be costly if you go some distance. Take a packed lunch and go to a public park for a picnic.

4...See a morning or matinee movie at a low price and ask if your family can have a tour of the projection room.

5...Local zoos and aquariums are also a great day out though, at times, have expensive entry fees attached. Become a member of your local zoo or aquarium. Most memberships pay for themselves in a short time, if you visit often enough.
Another place worth visiting, with kids too, is a Botanical Garden, such as the Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew, just outside of London. Very interesting is the research work into medical properties of plants that is being conducted by the scientists there and if might just be possible to learn something on that subject. Your kids might be better educated after the vacation than their peers and they may even have had a smashing time with it.

6...Find a community theater in your area and attend a play. These are inexpensive and fun! Some community theater groups do also do open air plays in local parks and such like and those events are extremely good to attend. The weather could interfere but, so what.

7...Beach it! Even if you do not live near the ocean and the seaside you can still do it. A day trip to a local lake or river can have the same relaxing effect. More relaxing often than going to the seaside with the thousands of people on the popular beaches and no space to sit down often.

8...Visit a farm and go fruit-picking. When you get home, bake something with the fruit you picked. There are also general “pick-your-own” farms where not only you can pick fruit but also, when the seasons is right, vegetables.

9...Go on a Farm Visit. Many farms now have open days or generally allow visitors. If you don't live near the countryside and farms where such visits are possible, there are always, in Britain at least, the so-called “Urban Farms” and all of those welcome visitors. The kids will love the animals and the “City Farms” generally have an area where the children can, in fact, pet the lambs and other farm animals. A great day out for sure.

10..Get an Allotment: Allotment gardening, whether or not you have a garden at home, is great fun and a nice way to grow your own food. The kids will love this as well – most at least. If your garden at home is big enough convert it to a “home allotment” and do the same there. Give the kids their own little allotments where they can grow their own foods. You'll be amazed how suddenly they will want to eat their greens.

© 2009