10 budget-friendly staycation ideas

*Editor’s note: This information was published in the August 2022 issue of Heartfelt Magazine, CHM’s monthly magazine that provides CHM membership-related tips and tricks, medical advice from doctors, testimonies from CHM members, and more. Please refer to the CHM Guidelines and applicable web pages for the most up-to-date information regarding CHM membership, sharing eligibility, and ministry news.*

Summertime is prime time for vacation and travel planning. But as travel costs and logistics can be an unneeded stressor, many people have started looking into alternatives—like staycations! What’s better than having fun and saving money? Here are some budget-friendly staycation ideas for you and your family:

Backyard camping

Get in touch with the outdoors by backyard camping—without the hassle of travel or campsite reservations. Set up your tent, hang your hammocks, place your camping lanterns and folding chairs, and start your bonfire all from the confines of your backyard (if your local laws permit bonfires)! Camping is great family time, and backyard camping will cut down on costs. For an extra-authentic feel, try some unique camping meals and sing campfire songs. When the electronics are turned off and the hotdogs and marshmallows are roasting over the fire, you’ll feel right at home—and you are! Happy camping!

Volunteer opportunities

As Christians, volunteer opportunities enable us to fulfill God's calling to serve our communities (2 Corinthians 9:6-8). Serving others by volunteering and giving back to your community at your church, soup kitchens, homeless shelters, etc., makes a difference in people’s lives. Even spending a day gathering unwanted clothing and items and donating them is a service opportunity.

Take a day trip

A staycation doesn't mean you can't leave your house. Grab your favorite playlist, hop in the car, and explore your hometown. Look for fairs, festivals, or shows, or towns. Even tourist traps can be interesting. Another option is geocaching, a 21st century type of treasure hunt. There’re so many possibilities!

Picnic in the park

Pack your favorite snacks and treats, take some outdoor games, and head to your favorite local park for a relaxing and enjoyable time at a picnic in the park. Make it a full event by dressing up and bringing your own charcuterie board—or taking some cute, nature polaroid pictures. Whatever you do, don’t forget the sunblock! Park picnicking can be a great afternoon of sun without a long trip.

Visit the library

Libraries will typically have events planned most weekends—especially in summer! Check out your local library and see what activities they offer to get your family involved in some community fun.

Try a new project or craft

Art projects stimulate creativity and make lasting memories. Craft projects and digital art projects are increasingly popular, and are perfect build new skills while having fun! If you have a craft you’ve been wanting to try out or even have a house project that needs done, it’s another great opportunity for some family bonding.

Host a game/movie night

Family game night or family movie night are great nights of fun. Why not combine them for an even better night? Set up a movie marathon, perhaps with an outdoor projector and screen, and take breaks between each film to play games, chow down on snacks, and make good memories.

DIY spa day

You don’t have to break the bank to treat yourself: Have a spa day at home! Invite your friends over after looking up some at home spa ideas. Grab some nail polish, disposable face masks, and some relaxing music. If you’re down for a little creativity, you can even create your own bath bombs and face masks right at home!

Visit a museum

Museums are great ways to immerse yourself in different art styles, world history, and unique types of culture. Plus, museums are usually affordable—and sometimes free or discounted.   With virtual museum tours, you can travel around the world from your couch, and the best part? These virtual tours are often free! 

Learn a new hobby

New hobbies open new doors. Whether you’ve wanted to learn the cello, bass guitar, watercolor painting, zoology, learning to style a charcuterie board, computer programming, or some other aspect of self-improvement, a new hobby is excellent stay-at-home staycation plan.

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