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How to Plan a Staycation

Posted by MoneyKey on July 26, 2019
person on a staycation

If you’re planning on taking a vacation to a remote location, you’ve got to be prepared to spend some money. And If you’re taking the whole family on vacation, this cost is going to shoot up even higher. Of course, they’re fun, they can relieve some stress, give you a much-needed break from your usual responsibilities, and you can create some great memories with your friends and family. But even with a set of budget travel tips in hand, a vacation won’t be cheap.

However, you don’t have to fly off to a far away country just to have a great vacation. In fact, you don’t even need to leave your own town! If you take a portion of the money you would normally budget for a week-long vacation, you can put together a memorable “staycation” without breaking the bank. We’re going to take a look at some of the benefits of a staycation and how to go about putting one together.

How a staycation can benefit you

If you’re looking to take a vacation but don’t want to spend more than you can afford, a staycation is a great place to start. After all, you don’t want to sink into debt just to escape the city for a couple of weeks. Unfortunately, this is more common than you might think. According to the 2017 LearnVest Money Habits and Confessions Survey, 74 percent of respondents said they’ve gone $1,108 into debt, on average, to pay for their vacation. This likely happens because people don’t start saving in advance. According to the same study, 55 percent of Americans don’t consider their vacation when they create their budget for the upcoming year.

If you can’t afford a remote vacation, you might give up on the idea of taking one altogether. According to a 2017 poll from the Associated Press, 43 percent of Americans won’t take a vacation, with the most commonly cited reason being that they can’t afford one. So, if you don’t think you have the room in your budget to fly off to some far-away country for your vacation, a staycation might be the next best thing.

a staycation could save you money on a vacation

A staycation might also be a better option if you’re looking to relax and don’t want the stress of a pricey trip to a place you’re not familiar with. Sometimes, kicking back at home is just what you need to unwind and reset.

It’ll also give you a chance to dive in to some quality family time. Instead of filling your schedule with work and errands like you normally would, you can slow things down a bit and make an effort to plan a special activity for you and your family to experience together each day.

Planning your staycation

If you know how to plan it, a staycation can be just what you need to relax. Here are few ways to go about it.

1. Create a budget

As we already touched on, a great benefit to a staycation is the opportunity to save money on your vacation. But this doesn’t mean you’re not going to be spending any money. You’re just going to have to spend it strategically.

Review what you’ve spent on your last couple of vacations. Include the cost of plane tickets, accommodations, food, excursions, and any other travel expenses. Once you have the average amount you’ve spent on your last few vacations, think about how much money you want to spend on your staycation. What percentage of what you’ve been spending on vacations can you afford to spend? Once you have a number that you feel comfortable with, it’s time to figure out what you’re going to be spending it on.

2. Decide what you’re going to spend your money on

When you go on a vacation, what do you normally like to do? What relaxes you? What excites you? These are the type of questions you should be asking yourself when you’re trying to decide what to spend your money on for your staycation.

relax on your staycation

It also helps to think of the little indulgences that you like when you’re on vacation. Maybe you like lounging around your hotel room in a comfy robe, or maybe you look forward to trying out a different restaurant every night. Everyone enjoys vacations in a different way, so it’s important that you take the time to think about what it is that you actually want to be doing.

3. Hire some help

Sometimes, the best way to relax on a staycation is to have someone take care of the normal chores that you don’t enjoy. After all, you don’t want to fall into the trap of taking time off to relax at home just to end up doing chores all day.

Think about what you hate doing. Which tasks do you wish you could ignore for a week? Start by making a list of these things and use some of your staycation budget to offload these tasks. Some things you could do are:

  • Send your kids to a summer camp for a week. While this might be something you could normally afford, if your idea of relaxation is to get the kids out of your hair for a week, use some of your budget for this.
  • Get a house cleaner. If you want a squeaky-clean living space for your staycation but don’t want to spend hours and hours cleaning and organizing your home, hire someone to do it.
  • Hire a chef. Do you want a home-cooked meal every night but don’t want to take the time to do it yourself? Hire someone to do it for you!
  • Hire someone to do your yard work. Hate mowing your lawn, cleaning your gutter, and watering the garden? Pay for someone to do it for you!

If you can offload some of the tasks you normally hate doing and have the room in your staycation budget, hire someone to take care of these things for you.

4. Look for ways to explore new cultures

explore new cultures on your staycation

A great part of traveling is the exposure you get to new cultures, new people, and sights you’ve never seen. While you might not feel like you’ll have the opportunity to experience these types of things on a staycation, there are still small things you can do to expand your horizons. For example, you could:

  • Go to the nearest big city and visit an ethnically specific neighborhood. Eat regional food, visit their shops, and explore their culture as much as you can.
  • Go out to a restaurant that you’ve never been to before, preferably one that serves food that you’re not used to eating.
  • Go to a museum that you’ve never visited.

5. Plan local activities

When you’re on a staycation, put yourself in the shoes of a tourist. What activities would they do? What sights would they see? Do some research and discover what fun activities are available in your area. List them out and if you’re traveling with your family, consider everyone’s input when deciding what to do. This could include things like:

  • Going camping
  • Going on a hike
  • Going to the zoo
  • Going to a sporting event
  • Going to an amusement park
  • Going to a food festival

Start planning your staycation on a budget

If money is tight and you don’t want the stress of planning an intricate vacation in a remote location, a staycation might be your best bet. You won’t need to worry about all the stress that comes with travel, navigating the airport, and working your way through an unfamiliar city.

But that doesn’t mean you can expect to have a fulfilling staycation without doing any actual planning. Without putting together some sort of plan, you may end of falling into the trap of lazing away on the couch in front of the TV or spending your time catching up on chores.

Spend some time thinking about what would make your staycation fulfilling for everyone involved and start planning a great vacation for the whole family!


Disclaimer: This article provides general information only and does not constitute financial, legal or other professional advice. For full details, see MoneyKey's Terms of Use.

Posted in: Lifestyle

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