Get The Most Out of Your Staycation with my easy tips and tricks! I’m going to help you get the most bang for your buck & find a new way to enjoy your town!
This post was sponsored by Ibotta. All opinions are 100% my own.
With summer break in full swing, my family has vacation on the brain. But that doesn’t mean we need to spend thousands of dollars on travel. With my best staycation tips, you’ll be taking trips a couple of times a month and making the most of your family time together. Your staycation doesn’t have to be complicated. It can be as planned or relaxed as you like and you don’t have to do it all in one trip. It’s the best way to take a relaxing trip without feeling overwhelmed.
GET THE MOST OUT OF YOUR STAYCATION
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What is a Staycation?
A staycation is a vacation spent in your own country rather than abroad, or in your home metropolitan area that includes day trips and local attractions. Basically, it’s a vacation at home. For my family, it usually means heading to Cannon Beach for a weekend. Other times we go to Portland and do city things or get a cabin in the mountains when the weather turns cold. There’s really no wrong time of year to have a staycation.
Best Staycation Tips
Stay Close to Home
It’s kind of the entire idea behind a staycation. Keep your driving time under 3 hours (AKA keep things in your metro area/state). Since staycations are so close to home, you can make them just one day or take the entire weekend to enjoy yourselves.
When we used to live in Arizona, we would have our staycation in Phoenix. We’d take the boys to a resort and lounge by the pool or head up north to ski in the winter. They were easy day trips we could turn into a whole weekend if we wanted.
Hotel vs. Rental House
First things first, your staycation does not have to involve staying anywhere besides your own house. This is optional and depends on your plans and budget. That being said…
I will sing the praises of a rental house all day long. It’s really nice to have a full space available instead of a room you only keep your stuff in and sleep in. I can also earn cash back with VRBO and Home Away through the Ibotta app.
Yes, there are some great hotels out there too. So you do what works best for you and your family. It is great to order room service and lounge by the pool while people bring you a cocktail at a resort. I get it.
For my family, a rental house is usually the best option since it has WAY more space. We can hang out at our rental if we want to take it easy. It’s less work to entertain everyone and everyone has a place to unwind. And if we’re coordinating with friends we can look for a bigger house to fit everyone. Then we’re not missing out on hanging out time because we’re in different hotel rooms.
Having a kitchen at our disposal is pretty great too. We save money because we’re not eating out for every meal. I just hit the nearest grocery store to stock up the fridge and pantry. Then I save even more money by using the Ibotta app to earn cash back on the products we already buy. It’s like Ibotta is helping us pay to take a vacation!
Plan Ahead… sometimes
It’s great to say “we’re going away for the weekend” but what do you do when you get there? When we hit the beach our boys are happy just to get in the water. I like to lounge and work on my tan. Since I’m never quite sure what our rental will have on hand, I like to make a run to Target before we leave to stock up on essentials. I grab some beach toys – pool noodles, diving toys, lots of sunscreen ($1 off in-store!), water and snacks for the car ride, big fluffy towels, pool floats, and maybe a new sun hat for myself… I am doing a lot of hard work planning this vacation.
When I’m all done I just scan my receipt into the Ibotta app and earn cashback. I can check on deals before going to the store or let the app find them for me when I’m done. It’s such an easy way to save no matter which option you choose.
All offers were valid as of publish date. Don’t forget to check your app for details as offers change frequently and may not be available in all areas.
What to do during a staycation?
At the beach and in the mountains I don’t have to plan much of anything since where we’re staying in basically the attraction. However, if you’re staying in town or going to your nearby big city I recommend knowing what’s available to do ahead of time. This is a great way to rediscover where you live!
Take this opportunity to go somewhere you’ve always wanted to but haven’t tried yet. Check out Groupon in the Ibotta app for ideas and get cash back on activities. Think of places you’d take a guest you have in town that you love and treat yourself by going there. Or if you feel like you’ve done it all, head over to the tourism website or trip advisor page for the town you’ll be in. Trip advisor is great for finding places local recommend you may not have thought of or realized where around.
Our favorite activities on staycation all revolve around spending time together unplugged.
15 of the Best Staycation Ideas
- Go for a hike
- Go to the beach – our favorite!
- Have a picnic, even it’s inside on the living room floor
- Camp out nearby or in your own backyard
- Go to a local event
- Head to the farmer’s market
- Go geocaching – it’s world’s biggest treasure hunt!
- Pool day
- Spa day
- Go to a sporting event
- Have a tasting tour of the city
- Couch potato movie/show marathon – in your pajamas is highly recommended
- Order dinner in – you deserve to take the night off
- If your kids are grown (or just the adults are going) have a pub crawl, wine tasting night, or find a local speakeasy
- Family game night
I’ve mentioned Ibotta to help with the smaller staycation costs, but what about the big ones? While you might think a staycation is a little silly, they’re totally great…and way cheaper than flying hours to go to an amusement park. Don’t get me wrong. We love a trip to Disney and Universal Studios, but these quicker local trips and a great way to mix things up without breaking the bank. We’re able to unwind for a fraction of the cost. Everyone feels less stressed when we get home because honestly, my family needs a day after a big vacation to get it back together. There’s less pre-planning because it’s a day trip or just the weekend, and no plane tickets people. Big money saver right there!
The whole point of any vacation is to have a great time. Don’t overthink your staycation. If you feel like you’re trying to do too much or might go over budget, take things off the list. They’ll be there for next time. I love to take pictures of our staycations, but it’s also important to me to put the phone down and be in the moment. That’s one of the biggest things my family gets from these “trips”. Lots of uninterrupted time together. No screens unless it’s an emergency. These trips are about making memories we will remember and look back on fondly while rediscovering where we live.