10 Tips for the Ultimate Summer Staycation
Everyone deserves a break from the daily grind, whether it's an all-out excursion to somewhere tropical or some low-key vacation time. In a recent survey commissioned by FatWallet, 81 percent of respondents said they were planning a summer vacation this year. But if funds are tight, a "staycation" is in order. Take a week off and enjoy your city as never before -- like a tourist.
Being at home doesn't preclude you from taking a true break: Put the laptop away and don't bother with housework or projects. You might even consider hiring a maid service. Sure, you may need to do a load of laundry and load the dishwasher every night, but chances are you would do those chores at a beach house, as well.
The beauty of a staycation is that you aren't paying for airfare, accommodation, and other travel costs. This allows a little extra spending to make a staycation comfortable and exciting. Still, that's no excuse for blowing your cash on shopping or pricey excursions. Set a budget in advance and plan activities within it.
Do some research and find attractions within easy driving distance. Within two to three hours of Columbus, Ohio, for instance, are two amusement parks (Cedar Point and Kings Island), the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, and hiking opportunities in the scenic Old Man's Cave area of Hocking Hills State Park.
Does a local company offer walking tours? Bike tours? Maybe Segway tours? Take one and check out all the sites you probably miss going about your daily business. If you can't find a tour, plan your own. Map out some sites you don't normally visit and spend the day exploring and learning about your city.
Vacation means a little bit of pampering, even if you don't go far from home. As a townie, you may have an easier time finding discounts for a spa day. Keep an eye out for coupons, special offers, and discounts leading up to your staycation. Cash them in and leave feeling refreshed and renewed.
No vacation, whether away or at home, is a true summer vacation without a day of swimming. Fortunately, nearly every town has a public swimming spot where you can bring lunch and spend hours splashing and lounging. Soon you may even forget you're in your hometown.
Golfing, tennis, rollerblading, and hiking all count as fun and mostly cheap staycation activities. You may not be a regular on the golf course, but this is the perfect time to try an out-of-the-norm pursuit for a day. What else is on your list?