The state of the economy has spawned a new word in the travel industry, the staycation. This is when you decide to stay home during your vacation. A staycation doesn’t mean hunkering down in your family room and watching reruns of The Golden Girls, unless that is your idea of a vacation. What a staycation means is that you are not going to travel a long distance and have overnight stays away from your home. There are many ways to turn this staycation into a great vacation.
Become a tourist
Many people never think of their town or nearby towns in terms of tourism. It is time to look at them with new eyes. Do a little research. Try to see the towns as you would if you were actually coming here for a vacation, where would you go? Treat your staycation the same way you would a vacation, sleep late, go out to breakfast and then have a plan for the day.
Make your first stop your local visitor information center or chamber of commerce. Pick up some brochures. If you have planned your staycation ahead of time you can call or email your state tourism board and request information. Usually they will send you a map and you can see the location of all the fun things to do and places to go.
Plan a visit to your state capital, as long as it is within an easy drive. Visit the Capital building, take a tour and make it a day for history. Find out if there was ever a battle nearby and tour the battlefield. Find out where some famous people in your state are buried and plan a cemetery trip.
Every state has parks and historic monuments that are part of the national park system. Go to the NPS website and find out what is available in your state. These destinations are often free or very minimal prices for a visit. There are often guided tours conducted by park rangers to add additional information.
Plan a day at a local lake or at the seashore. You can plan activities on the water or it can just be a day of sun and fun. Pack a picnic in the car and make it a family day. Look for things you have never done there before. That might be to rent a kayak or a jet ski, take a nature walk or hike.
Go to see a local sports team. Tickets to local games are usually very inexpensive and you can still enjoy great sports with popcorn, hotdogs and lots of excitement.
How about going roller skating. This is something you can do as a couple or as a family. There is a minimal rate for the rental and it can be hours of fun.
Look for a local culinary school and see if they serve any meals. It’s a great way to try some different food in a place where you normally wouldn’t eat. There are even some technical schools that have a culinary program where the students cook and serve meals. Look around, you may be surprised at what you find.
Staying home for vacation can be as exciting as going away for vacation. The best part is you don’t have to pay for airfare and hotels. This makes everything else you spend seem like a bargain.