Summer means pools, vacations, and delicious watermelon. But it could also mean an empty wallet. Between traveling, kids programs, food, and more, things can spiral out of control quickly. So, if you’re looking for things to do on a staycation this summer, and still have fun, here’s how to do it for less than $100 a pop!
This post was written by our staff writer, Kimberly Studdard.
Figure Out What You Enjoy
There are so many different activities that you could do on a staycation.
- You could stay in the house and build a fort.
- Or, you could go out on the town and hit up a waterpark or city garden.
- You could also camp, take a cooking class, and more.
The key to a successful and restful summer staycation is to figure out what you enjoy, and do those things. Don’t waste precious days off doing what you think is “appropriate” for a staycation. No one has the same exact ideas when it comes to relaxing and enjoying time off.
Of course, with any summer staycation, food is a must.
- Pack a picnic,
- pick up a pizza, or
- make a buffet of your favorite grilled meats.
Whatever it is that you want, you can enjoy while spending time off on your vacation.
Of course, if you’re trying to stay within your $100 budget, don’t go out and buy lobsters and crabs (unless they’re cheap in your area). However, splurge a little on the snacks and items that you really enjoy. Maybe even treat yourself to some great beer!
Make It A Long Weekend
A staycation doesn’t have to follow a specific timeline, but if you can, try to stretch it out over a few days. A regular weekend is fine, but taking 3-5 days to just relax and do what you want is even better. And trust me, you can still have a great summer staycation for less than $100 over the course of 5 days. I’ve done it successfully for years.
What I like to do is find a holiday (Memorial Day, 4th of July, etc) that falls on a Monday and use that as the weekend to have my staycation. It’s even better if you want to be with family, or if you were invited to a cookout or event (hello free food and activities!).
Get New Ideas
Pinterest and Google are your best friends. When planning a summer staycation, I typically start on Pinterest and search “staycation ideas” or “things to do on a staycation”. I’ve found hundreds of ideas that I know my family will enjoy, and I’ve actually listed some down below.
It’s easy to get stuck in a rut when you feel like you’re trapped in your home town or house. But there are so many things you can do to relax and spend time alone or with your family without breaking the bank. So don’t be afraid to look for and try out new ideas.
Things to Do on a Staycation this Summer (All for under $100!!)
Now that you know the basics to having a successful summer staycation, let’s talk about a few of my favorites and how you can make them work for you.
1) Go Camping
Yes, go outside and go camping. If you have any national parks, state parks, or nature centers near you, see if you can camp on their site. If you’re not the biggest fan of being in a park or forest, camp out in your backyard. Bonus points if you can stay out all night.
- Make some hotdogs and smores around the fire,
- learn campfire songs, and
- just enjoy being out in nature.
Reconnect with your surroundings and gain some clarity. And try your hardest to stay away from technology!
2) Learn New Things
Live in a rainy city and can’t be outside as much as you want? Go out and learn something new!
If you live in a city with different museums, aquariums, zoos, or other learning sites, you can learn something new, spend some time walking around, and stay dry. Plus, many of these museums are free or low-cost, so you can stay within your staycation budget.
3) Get Festive
This may be hard to do if you live in a smaller town, but I live in an area that has a ton of different events during the summer. From music to carnivals to eating festivals, we have it all.
If you live in a larger town, take advantage of these festivals. Many are free to enter or cost a few bucks and grant access to quite a few different activities. Some even have bring your own food and drinks, so you can still enjoy the festivities without breaking the bank.
To see if there’s anything going on in your area, check out your local newspaper, city website, and Google your city name + free activities. You never know what will pop up.
4) Try Out A New Activity
Want to learn how to paint? Or maybe you want to learn how to make a new cuisine. Now is the time to try your hand at it. Having a staycation is the perfect excuse to try something new.
5) Have A Self-Care Day
- Sleep in.
- Have breakfast in bed.
- Take a nice hot bath.
- Read a good book.
Whatever you want to do, just take a day to do it. Self-care looks different for everyone, and no matter what yours looks like, make sure to just check out for the day and spend some time on yourself. If you have kids, ask a friend or family member to watch them, or even pay a babysitter for a few hours of “you” time. You deserve it.
6) Tour Your Town
Become a tourist in your own town!
- Check out some local eateries that you haven’t tried before.
- Go hang out at the town’s center or most known area.
- Google “hidden gems” in your town and go visit them.
Just go out and see your town with fresh eyes. It’s easy to become a local and forget that there is so much more to offer in your town than you think.
Things to Do on a Staycation – What Will You Choose?
Having a summer staycation is a great way to get out of the house (even if it’s in your backyard), enjoy something new, and feel refreshed. Vacations are fun, but saving money while still enjoying yourself can be just as great.
So what will you choose to do on your staycation?
AUTHOR Kimberly Studdard
Kim Studdard is a project manager for online entrepreneurs and small businesses. When she isn't spending time with her daughter and husband, or reading her growing pile of horror books, you'll find her working on her HR degree and working towards FIRE.