Staycation: Half the Cost, All the Fun
Are you dreaming about an exotic spring break party in a land far away, but don’t have the dough to fund it? Fear not — luxury travel isn’t as far out of reach as you may think! But if you still can’t swing it because of work or otherwise, you can have an amazing staycation on short money. Bonus: you don’t have to deal with the stress of airports, packing, or what to do with your dog while you’re away!
Here are eight tips to make staying local super fun (and super cheap!):
Set a Budget
Take an honest look at your finances to determine how much you can spend during your staycation without going into the red. Charlie can help by tracking savings, bank balances, and debt so you can budget with the full picture in mind.
To make this staycation the best week ever, you should account for the tastes and interests of everyone involved. Just you? Forget having a “me day” with a “me week!” Coupled up? Shoot for part romance, part thrill, and part chill (in whatever ratio is right for the two of you). Got kids? Think family fun during the day and couple (or me) time at night.
There are so many ways to treat yo’ self affordably. Luxury pampering, like getting a massage, can be wallet-friendly if you use discounts like Groupon. Want to spend even less? Have a DIY spa day. Bubble bath, a homemade face mask, and nail polish will run you less than $15 when you shop smart. If you don’t feel like getting gussied up, order your favorite takeout dish (yes, only one dish!) and take a well-deserved snooze after eating. Depending on your tastes, that amazing food-sleep duo may cost as little as $10.
Have a Blast
You absolutely can party hearty and let the good times roll without burning a hole in your pocket! Throw a fiesta at your place, make it a potluck or BYOB affair, and let Spotify be your DJ. If you want to go out on the town, hit happy hour or half-priced appetizer deals.
Wishing you were in Vegas? Bring Sin City right to your living room with classic games like poker or Blackjack with friends. Keep it free to play and the wagers non-monetary (it’s the law in most states — plus, it’s budget-friendly!). Winner gets to take home the leftover jello shots! If you’d rather be cruising down 5th Avenue in New York, round up a couple of friends and hit the outlet mall instead. You’ll still feel the thrill of the hunt and your wallet will thank you.
Life can be stressful. Be sure to melt that tension away with some good old-fashioned relaxation. These simple joys are sure to do the trick (and they’re free!):
- Borrow a couple of novels from the public library or host a book swap with your friends.
- Journal about your worries to release them for good.
- Strike a yoga pose or get your meditation on to reach a new level of inner peace
During the week with work and errands, it can be hard to make time for romance. Not this week. Your staycation is the perfect time to rekindle your spark. Don’t worry about funding an expensive adventure — just enjoy quality time (no phones!) to reconnect. Here’s a few affordable (but warm and fuzzy) ideas to get you started:
- Get nostalgic and recreate your first (or most memorable) date for as little money as possible.
- Have a cheap gift challenge where you buy each other the most meaningful present possible for under ten bucks. Best gift wins a massage from the runner up.
- Look to the future. What do you want to accomplish together? Daydream for a moment, and then create a plan to make it happen.
- Have a cooking competition to see who prevails in making the best date night dinner at home under fifty bucks. (Think MasterChef, not Chopped!)
Bond with the Fam
To really take advantage of your staycation, plan on doing activities where the focus is on togetherness. Cook dinner as a family. Have a game or movie night, explore parks and museums, and get your craft on.
Getting stuff done may sound counterintuitive to being on vacation. But think about it — when’s the next time you’ll have a whole week to tackle a personal project? Your staycation may be the perfect opportunity to start a side hustle, finish a nagging home improvement job, or handle other tasks you’ve been putting off.
While you may be disappointed that you can’t travel right now, look on the bright side. You have a whole week that can be whatever you make of it. Want to spend the entire time in your PJ’s eating ice cream and watching Netflix? No judgment here. Do what you need to feel renewed and refreshed. After all, that’s the ultimate point of a staycation.
Tell Charlie: What are your favorite things to do on a staycation?
Please note: We don’t have an affiliation with or personally endorse any of the services linked to in this post. We’re just trying to give you some ideas.