The following is a guest post from fellow blogger Chonce. I hope you enjoy her tips while I’m out of town on business this week. Take it away Chonce!
Earlier this year my financial situation was all over the place. I was recovering from Christmas spending, dealing with car repair expenses, and drowning in debt. In an attempt to get back on track with everything I decided to opt out of going on vacation even though I had plenty of paid hours lined up at my job.
Travel expenses weren’t really in my budget this year. Even though I didn’t plan on traveling, I still wanted a break so I decided to do a staycation and it was the best decision I could have made.
A staycation is a great way to take time off and relax without having to deal with the stress and expenses related to travel. Instead of flying out to an exotic island or foreign country, you get to stay home and enjoy the attractions that are near you.
Don’t get me wrong, traveling is an amazing experience, but staycations can be equally enjoying if you plan everything carefully. You don’t have to be broke or in deep in debt to justify having a staycation either. There are plenty of reasons why you may not prefer or have room in your budget for a traditional vacation this year. Here are some simple steps to take in order to plan your dream staycation.
Brainstorm Ideas for Outings
A staycation is a great way to get a chance to explore the areas around you and the attractions and restaurants you haven’t had a chance to experience. No matter where you live, there has to be a state park, landmark, or other touristy attractions that you can check out.
Since I live in Illinois, my main goal was to explore Chicago more during my staycation. People come from all over the world and pay tons of money to explore the city of Chicago. I just needed to purchase a $7 Metra weekend pass to get down there and explore and there’s still so much that I still haven’t seen.
Playing tourist in a large nearby city is a great way to experience new and exciting places and the best part is getting to go home afterward instead of an expensive hotel.
Determine Your Budget
Once you determine what you’d like to do during your staycation, you’ll need to draw out a budget. Decide how long you want your staycation to be and how much money you’ll need for each activity. Then, start setting money aside a few weeks prior.
My budget was around $200 for my week-long staycation and that included a day trip to an indoor water resort, a visit to the zoo, a sushi date with my best friend from high school, a trip to the spa and a ton of other fun activities.
Search for Deals
When you travel, it’s only natural to search for deals and discounts to cut expenses and save money on your trip. You can do the same thing with a staycation. After you’ve decided on outings you can loosen your budget even more by searching for deals and discounts.
Plan Ahead, Clear your Schedule
If you’re planning a staycation, the most important thing you’ll need to do is clear your schedule and work ahead so you won’t be distracted from resting and enjoying your time off. When you’re vacationing at home, it’s very easy to start cleaning and doing little side projects instead of relaxing.
Don’t defeat the purpose of your staycation by picking up more work to do. Get ahead at work, clean your house ahead of time, and don’t set any special appointments or give yourself any serious responsibilities during the week. That way, you’ll truly be able to make the most of your time off and return to your normal daily schedule rejuvenated and well rested.
Bring Luxury Home
You don’t have to be in a 4 star hotel and getting waited on hand and foot in order to engage in a little luxury during your time off. Plan on getting pampered and enjoy luxuries you normally wouldn’t partake in during your staycation.
Sleep in, eat breakfast in bed, drink margaritas on your porch while reading a book, drop your laundry off to the dry cleaners, or go visit that spa you’ve always wanted to try out for a massage. Indulge a little for once, and change-up your normal routine by doing something special for yourself not in Hawaii, but right at home.
Have you ever done a staycation before? What would your perfect staycation include?
Chonce is a personal finance blogger and writer who enjoys sharing debt stories and talking about saving, budgeting, conscious spending, and improving your financial house. In her spare time she enjoys working out, playing sports with her son, cooking, and thrifting. You can read more about her journey to financial stability on her blog, My Debt Epiphany and connect with her on Twitter.