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Staycation - At Home Vacations for Cheap

staycation tips
Staycation anyone? In a tough economy, more and more stay at home moms are looking for affordable family vacations. Staying at home and exploring your surroundings might be the best way to do vacations for cheap for your family.
A stay-cation is when you go on vacation without leaving home. If that sounds kind of silly, well it is. Besides being silly, it can be great fun and it can save your family thousands of vacation dollars.

In fact, when you invest in stay-cations rather than vacations you can turn an entire summer into one long vacation for the cost of one typical away-from-home vacation.

When you go on vacations for cheap your goals are typically to spend time together, bond, relax, and create memories that will last the rest of your life. You can do all of that on a staycation!

Stay-cations have become incredibly popular since so many people are struggling to get out of debt, save money, or just survive one week to the next. Families that used to go on elaborate family vacations are now searching for vacations for cheap and they are finding that stay-cations are the most affordable options.

So, what do you do on a staycation? The only requirement is that you stay in your own local area, but you can determine what you call local.

Depending on your budget, you may decide that your city is your stay-cation destination or you can decide that your state is your area. You may even decide that any place within a given number of hour's drive is your area.

Just keep in mind that if you go too far from home you lose the advantage of staying in your own home without paying for a hotel or other accommodation. In some sense, a staycation is a series of day trips with in-between stays at home.

To help you along, here are some ideas for staycation activities. These ideas will apply no matter where you live, so get out there and explore close to home.

Staycation by Theme
If you could take your family anywhere in the world and budget was not an issue, where would you go? Do some exploring into what vacation to that place would be like and then turn your own home into a similar vacation.

You can have the kids do arts and crafts to decorate the home like a hotel, cabin or rental property with a particular flavor. Get recipes and grocery shop for food that would be served in local restaurants at your ideal vacation spot. Go to a thrift store and purchase appropriate vacation attire for the entire family.

Make a list of all your ideas for this staycation and then create an itinerary so everyone knows what is happening each day of the vacation. You may want to allow all members of the family to take turns either serving or being served.

This will give mom and dad a chance to kick back and relax while kids learn what it's like to prepare meals (older kids or with supervision) and to serve others. It may take some imagination to get some of your children on board for this type of stay-cation, but if you get excited about it they are likely to follow suit.

Five Star Home-Tel
If you are planning day trips away from home and will be returning to your own home to sleep, consider setting up your home like a hotel. You can get travel sized bath products very cheap and mints can be put on pillows. Door hangers can be made for each bedrooms you can flip the "do not disturb" or "maid service" signs to get the true hotel feel.

Of course, mom is the maid so everyone should be respectful of the mess they make.

Out in the Wild
Camping has always been one of the most frugal vacations for families. It gets everyone outdoors in the fresh air and there is nothing to do but sit around by a campfire and bond.

If you don't have local campgrounds that are affordable, consider setting up a campsite in the backyard.

You can even make the house off limits if you want the true camping experience for everyone.

Forget the Rules Staycation
Staycation can be anything you make it, so why not just decide to toss out all the rules for a short period of time? Tell children that bedtimes are for the birds, candy can be eaten for breakfast, and dinner be enjoyed at midnight.

Let the kids take control and they will have the staycation of their dreams even if they don't get to go anywhere!

Play Tourist
Go online and find websites that tell tourists what to do in your city. Then get out there and pretend you are tourists! This is the best idea if you do have some budget for your vacations. You can stretch that budget out by sticking to tourist attractions close to home rather then venturing out to another city.

Anything Goes
When planning a stay-cation, literally anything goes. It can be as simple as staying home and playing board games or as elaborate as planning a different local day trip for every day of the summer. It's up to your family how you do it and what you spend.
What are some tips you use to staycation?

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