Don't underestimate the budget-friendly staycation

Written by
Peter Dunn

Staycations get a bad rap, mostly because of the atrocious mashed-up name. Someone called me an edutainer the other day. What? No. Anyway, the staycation. Bad name, bad image, but great for your budget. That's why people take them, right? Because they can't afford a "real" vacation. Here's the truth about staycations, they aren't crappy, your attitude about them is crappy.

I just said this yesterday, but I'll say it again, most people's verbal priorities don't line up with what they are actually doing. You say your kids' education is the most important thing, but when it's summer and you need a break, going on a tropical vacation is your #1 priority. Don't get me wrong, I understand. I want to go reset at some luxurious destination as much as the next person, but if my finances don't justify the expense, no amount of desire can bridge the gap. Although, this doesn't mean you don't deserve some sort of break from working. This is where a staycation can meet both your personal needs and those of your budget.

A staycation means you not only save on lodging costs, but also traveling expenses. Think of it this way, your house is the staycation epicenter and there's an invisible radius around your house which extends an hour or two out. This is your staycation playground. You'll have gas and food expenses, but you'll come home every night. Also, can we talk about how nice it is to sleep in your own bed on vacation? Actually, the kids being in their own beds is the true cause for celebration.

Here are 4 tips for making the most of the best-financial-decision-you've-ever-made staycation:

1. Change your attitude

I hear this excuse a lot, "my kids just really want to go to the beach." No they don't, you want to go to the beach. Adults ruin staycations, not kids. You control what your kids want, you are the rudder. By changing your attitude about staying in town to vacation, you can influence those around you.

2. Make a plan

Just taking time off work to stay home isn't a staycation. A staycation requires a plan. It's the ultimate test of resourcefulness. Do research on what attractions are in your extended area. Better yet, go to a big truck stop or a local hotel and grab a bunch of those tourist brochures. You'll be surprised by how much there is to do within driving distance of your home. And guess what? Those new and cool things you discover on your staycation? They are close to your home which means you can do them any time you want.

3. Get others involved

One of the bonuses of a staycation is you're near friends. Rope them into your adventures. Most people never get the chance to vacation with friends, staycations give you the opportunity.

4. Do vacation-like things

What's a dream vacation for you? Swimming? Boating? Taking in the sights? Then do it. Find a way to satisfy all your vacation desires close by. It is possible.

Staycations can be dirt cheap, and if you do it right, they can satisfy all your vacation desires. Your biggest obstacle is your attitude. To hear more, listen to this segment on The Pete the Planner Radio Show on 93 WIBC.

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