After weighing the costs, benefits, and drawbacks of an away from home vacation against the savings and benefits of a staycation, you’re ready to give a staycation a whirl. Now you just need some ideas to make an excellent staycation, something you and your family won’t soon forget.
We’ve Got You Covered!
This A to Z list is full of more than 100 ideas to give you – and your partner and kids if you have them – plenty of entertainment, relaxation, and fun. Without breaking the bank!
Some activities may take a little bit of planning while many can be a spur of the moment adventures. Many won’t cost you anything, and some can be quite frugal with a little bit of investigating for coupons or discounts.
Packing up a “go bag” and leaving it near the door can help you stay prepared for lots of activities and fun times when the urge to start an adventure hits.
Include items such as these in your staycation go-bag:
- On the go Snacks
- Bathing Suits
- Extra Clothes and Undergarments
- Reusable Shopping Bags
- Hand Sanitizer and/or Moist Towelettes
- Paper Towels
- Extra cash
Now let’s get this staycation started!
100+ A-Z Ideas for a Great Staycation
A – Visit a local amusement park, or aquarium, arcade; attend a baseball game or air show; enjoy an afternoon tea
B – Do some backyard camping; make a big/hot breakfast at home; visit the beach or go bowling
C – Meet a friend/go out with a partner for coffee & get that latte you’ve been skipping; rent a cabin for a night or two close by; canoe down a river; cast a reel and catch a fish; go on a craft brew tasting tour
D – Make a fancy dinner with a new recipe you’ve wanted to try; attend a dinner theatre; go on a day trip to a town 2-3 hours away; have a dance party at home
E – Explore a new part of your city, a neighboring town, or nature trail; eat a new cuisine; visit an escape room; exercise as a family; attend estate sales
F – Visit the farmer’s market; participate in regional festivals or fairs; build a fort; attend a food tasting tour or create your own tour of establishments you’ve meant to try or at home experimenting with different cuisines
G – Check Groupon for discounts to local attractions; have a game night; go golfing; get 30 minutes or more of grounding a day
H – Go for a hike or a horseback riding adventure; take a ride in a hot air balloon; spend time on your favorite hobby
I – Ice Cream 🙂 find fresh dairy ice cream or make your own at home; attend an improv show or create one with family and/or friends; go ice skating; make Italian ice or flavored ice cubes
J – Do a jigsaw puzzle; make jam; jam to music, or do whatever your jam is 🙂
K – Go kite flying, kayaking, or karting; play kickball with the kids
L – Visit local attractions you haven’t you seen; visit the library; play laser tag; open a lemonade stand
M – Attend a movie, a museum, or get a massage; create a family movie
N – Visit a nature center; go night-clubbing; binge-watch a new show on Netflix; hold a neighborhood block party
O – Attend an outside concert in the park or an outdoor movie; organize a meetup with friends; create an obstacle course in your backyard; order in your favorite meal
P – Go on a picnic at a park; play putt-putt; spend the night at a hotel with a pool
R – Read; go rock climbing or roller-skating; perform random acts of kindness; rent a boat
S – Go stargazing; have a scavenger hunt; go swimming at the lake; have more sex (safe sex of course)
T – Tour a historical building; rent a tandem bike; host a trivia night; go on a train ride
U – Unplug from electronics; visit a U-pick farm; unsubscribe from junk email; bake an upside-down cake; go umbrella-less in the rain
V – Volunteer for a cause important to you; pick farm-fresh vegetables and cook them a new way; make a volcano; veg-out for the day or play video games with the kids
W – Go on a wine tour or an organized walking tour; visit a waterpark; Do not Work
X – Create an X-marks the spot treasure hunt for the kids; perform your own Xtreme sports activities (just be careful, no need to go for X-rays!)
Y – Try Yoga; go yard sale shopping; teach the kids how to yo-yo; play yard games
Z – Visit a zoo; go zip lining; catch up on Zzzz’s
12 More Ways to Have a Killer Staycation
If you have decided to forgo your summer vacation and stay at home, there are still plenty of options to save money while having fun. Just because you may not be heading to the beach or to an exotic retreat, you can still feel as though you are a tourist in your own town.
Here are a few ways to create a killer staycation:
Relax: The first thing we want to do when on vacation is to go, go, go! But your staycation may be the perfect time for you to rest and relax, maybe even take a nap… Gasp!
Get active: There are plenty of activities you and your family can enjoy together. Go to your local tennis or basketball court. Not only will this allow you to enjoy nature but it’s free as well.
Another way to get active would be to look for local hiking trails. You may need to drive a little outside of your city to find the best hiking trails. Make a list of items to find on your adventure with your kids. This list could consist of local wildlife and plants.
Attend local free events: There are plenty of free events around your city, you just have to find them. Check out your local newspaper or magazine and review all of the events your city hosts during the summer. You never know what you may find.
Be a tourist in your own town: Always wanted to check out the local museums or go on the Segway tour around your local parks? Now’s the time. Call the venue you are looking to explore and see if they offer discounts.
Add a little competition: Whether you create fun family games outside or organize a board game or tabletop game tournament, adding a little competition can really spice up your staycation.
Host a barbeque: Want to bring all of your friends and family together? Invite them over for a cookout. Have everyone bring some of their favorite dishes. This will help eliminate some of the work and expense of hosting your own barbeque.
Visit a beach: If you live close to a body of water, pack up your beach chairs and some towels and head to the beach. If you don’t live near a local beach, try your local pool. If there is no other option just turn on the sprinkler. This could entertain your kids for hours. There is nothing better than cooling down in the warm summer sun.
Camp close to home: Try camping in your backyard. It feels as if you venture into another world yet you are still close to home. Build a fire and make some smores.
Go canoeing or kayaking: If you have a local river, reserve, or another body of water close to your home try taking out a canoe or kayak. This can be a great way to relax, get a little exercise, and enjoy nature at the same time.
Attend a major or minor league sporting event: Attending major league sporting events can get expensive. Purchasing a ticket, a hotdog, and a soda for the entire family can add up. Attending a minor league game may give you the same experience and save you a ton of cash.
Jump into a good book: Go visit your local library. Many times, public libraries have special events for kids during the summer. Call your library and see what activities they offer. You could even accomplish a summer reading project while there. Thrawn perhaps?
Not only will you save money by staying home, but you will eliminate the stress of travel. You won’t have to worry about your flights getting delayed or weather harming your travel plans. It will give you peace of mind, keep more money in the bank, and maybe even bring your family closer together.
So, get out there! Be creative and make this the best summer staycation you have ever had!
With this list of more than 100 ideas, you’re sure to find plenty to help you create an ultimate staycation for yourself and loved ones while keeping all your spending and savings goals in check.
Michael launched Your Money Geek to make personal finance fun. He has worked in personal finance for over 20 years, helping families reduce taxes, increase their income, and save for retirement. Michael is passionate about personal finance, side hustles, and all things geeky.