If you’re looking for a few ways to stay close to home this summer to save, instead of an expensive vacation, we have a few ideas for you!
No need to spend a fortune to have fun this season, instead, enjoy these anti-vacation activities while keeping your funds in check.
15. Go Camping
Going camping doesn’t need to be a whole ordeal! It can be as simple as throwing a few sleeping back out in the backyard under the stars, or, finding a nearby campsite with some friends. Make sure to back the essentials and while you’re out and about in nature, try cooking your own food for the weekend, hiking and of course, breathing in the fresh air. Who needs a vacation when you have the stars?
It may be tempting to do a double-take at your budget and convince yourself you need to put in a pool this summer, but before you fall into that trap, consider the local pool! Not only will it cost little to nothing, but you will also be surrounded by your community — a perfect way to make friends, soak up the sun and go for a dip this warm summer.
13. Go to a Drive-In
While opting for Netflix is always an option, why not shake things up and go to a drive-in? You’ll get all the same snacks and thrills except you will be soaking in the warm summer air next to friends and family. Plus, you can enjoy your car as a makeshift couch – how fun is that? (answer: very fun IF you bring pillows, blankets and maybe some adult beverages but only if you’re not driving.)
12. Pack a Picnic for the Park
There is nothing like a good picnic! Show off your cooking skills by packing all of your favorites to enjoy in nature, or, swing by your local grocery store and pick up a charcuterie board and drinks. Regardless of what you eat, spending time with loved ones, surrounded by beauty is the ultimate stayvaction dream!
11. Go On a Virtual Tour
If you are trying to stay close to home, try going on a virtual tour of a place you hope to visit next! Or, if you are looking to learn something, try taking a virtual tour of a museum with your family. Not only will you save instead of forking over a handful for those hefty ticket prices but you will also walk away with a new perspective you may not have had before.
10. Try a New Restaurant
Sometimes, vacation can mean a break from the old and trying something new, so why not try a new restaurant? Whether it is date night or a girl’s night or treating everyone to a family dinner, do some light research and check out a local spot you haven’t been to yet. You will support a local business and you may just find a must-have dish!
9. Go Canoeing
If you live close to a body of water, rent a canoe for a few hours and take to the waters! A serene option to soak in the sites, the vitamin D and the quiet company of the surrounding skin. Be sure to pack your snacks, sunscreen and your sense of adventure!
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8. Visit an Amusement Park
If you are more of a thrill-seeker, this suggestion is for you. A visit to the amusement park will keep you entertained not just for the day but quite possibly a full weekend! And if you’re a water bug, try finding a place that also offers a water park as well to keep the high-octane adventure going. Plus, don’t forget about all your favorite foods, including hot dogs, cotton candy and popcorn, of course.
7. Take a Day Trip
You don’t have to book a hotel or a flight to explore new areas! Instead, book a day trip to someplace not too far off. Maybe it’s an hour car ride of a three-hour train commute. Regardless, sometimes, the best kept gems are right in your neck of the woods! Be sure to have your phone fully charged and bring a travel buddy with you.
6. Ride Your Bicycle With Friends
Sometimes, a brisk and refreshing bike ride hits the summer spot! Gather up your friends and see your town from a new lens — bicycling. Be sure that your destination includes a treat of some sort, ice cream works best.
5. See a Play
Support the arts by purchasing tickets to see a play, musical or improv show. This is the perfect suggestion for those who adore air conditioning and indoor restrooms. Plus, most theaters nowadays offer plenty of beverage and snack options so you can truly sit back and enjoy the show!
4. Take a Class
Why not invest in yourself this summer? Take that coding class you have been eyeing or maybe beef up your resume by expanding your current skillset. Whatever you choose to learn, let your brain fire off those neurons!
3. Pick Up a New Hobby
If you find yourself saying how bored you are this summer, it may be time to pick up a new hobby. It doesn’t matter what, it could be something you did as a child or maybe something you’ve always wanted to try but never found the time to do. Well, there is no time like the present! Treat yourself to an activity that could become a lifelong passion.
2. Check Out Local Events
When in doubt, wander out! That’s right, check out your community’s local events. There is almost always something going on, like a farmers market, a garage sale or even a block party! You may bump into a few neighbors, make some friends and find some hidden gems. But you won’t know if you don’t go!
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1. Throw a Dinner Party
And last but not least, throw a fabulous dinner party for friends! Ask everyone to bring their favorite summer dish and set the table for a grand feast! Offer plenty of beverages and jokes for a night that everyone will never forget. After all, isn’t that what summer memories are all about?
With a background in the creative and educational fields, Amelia Finefrock is freelance writer, singer-songwriter and nanny based in Chicago.
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