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Vacation on a Budget: Ideas for a Staycation

If crowded airports and expensive hotels aren’t your idea of a good time, we’ve got a way to make getting away from it all easier and cheaper. Learn why the best vacation you ever take may well be in your own backyard.

Man in kitchen dancing, staycations

The staycation may well be the most underrated invention of all time. The concept is simple: Instead of spending money going to a different city, take time off to explore where you live.

If that seems absurd, keep an open mind: Staycations allow you all the benefits of vacationing, but without the added cost of travel. Plus, they help you gain a greater appreciation for where you live and may even help you develop a greater sense of community.

Need some ideas of things to do? We’ve got you covered with two sample itineraries:

Day 1 – A Day of Food, Leisure, and Music

9:30 a.m.: Get dressed in your most vacation-worthy clothes and hit a breakfast spot you’ve never tried before. The more gourmet, the better. Splurge on a $5 iced mocha from a locally owned coffee joint. Pro tip: Calories don’t count on vacation.

10:30 a.m.: Spend your morning browsing for records at a local music store, check out the antique shop you always pass but never visit, or finally go inside the expensive boutique you've heard about. You’re on vacation—this is your time to go wild.

12:00 p.m.: It’s time to find your lunch spot. Eat somewhere you haven’t eaten. But today, go outside of your comfort zone and choose something that isn’t a chain restaurant.

1:00 p.m.: Do you know how many spa treatments you can get for the price of a normal plane ticket? A lot. Chances are, you’ve got a great spa in your hometown, so today is your day to unwind. Relaxation could be had with something as simple as a $20 manicure.

3:00 p.m.: Find a pool. Get in it.

6:00 p.m.: Drive a little outside of town and treat yourself to an expensive meal. The fancier, the better.

8:00 p.m.: It’s time to rock. Grab a copy of your local magazine or use your smartphone to check out tonight’s events. There’s bound to be a live music playing somewhere near you. Check it out!

Related: Want Memories of Your Summer Vacation? Take Fewer Photos

Day 2 – It’s All Natural

10:30 a.m.: You’re sleeping in today because you’re still in staycation mode. When you wake up, head to the nearest farmer’s market and pick out some fresh fruit and coffee for breakfast.

11:30 a.m.: It’s time to hit the trail. Hike the trail your friends are always talking about. When you reach the summit, reward yourself with goodies from the farmer’s market.

1:00 p.m.: After your hike, take a quick shower and then go to the aquarium or the zoo. Chances are, you haven’t had time lately to check out the incredible world around you, so this will be a good reminder.

3:00 p.m.: It’s time for a late lunch at a local pastry shop. Some tea and a salad should hit the spot.

6:00 p.m.: Tonight, check out a local festival. There’s bound to be one: From Italian festivals to wine and cheese festivals, this is your chance to be a visitor in your hometown and explore all the fun events happening nearby.

Time off is vital for your mental wellness, but you don’t have to go far to take a vacation. Even allowing time to binge on your favorite TV episode counts! Once you find local events and open shops just around the corner, chances are you’ll be glad you chose to stay home.    


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The content presented here is for your information only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, and it should not be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease. Please consult your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns.

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Post Author

Jennifer Diffley
Jennifer Diffley is a SLC resident. She is a senior copywriter and has her MFA in creative writing from NYU. Jennifer is committed to health, but has an unhealthy fascination with outrageous shoes.