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30 Staycation Ideas

Two recent surveys have shown that almost 50% of us don’t think that we can afford a vacation this year. For those who do plan to travel, 75% don’t plan on going very far. A survey recently conducted by American Express found that of those planning a vacation this year, most planned to spend around $1,000 per person (or $600 per child). Not surprisingly, the survey also found that 44% of us haven’t saved for a vacation. So if you can’t afford to take holiday this year, we would like to share with you some ideas of how you still may be able to take a vacation without going very far. It’s called a “staycation.”

How to have a Successful Staycation

To ensure a fun and relaxing staycation we recommend the following things:

  • Plan your activities ahead of time. If you don’t plan it, you’ll likely either end up cleaning out the garage, doing work around the house, watching television or do nothing at all. Either way you won’t have created any good lasting memories or felt like you got away.
  • Turn off the answering machine and leave the emails and the mail just like you would if you were actually away at a destination resort.
  • Act like a tourist in your own home town. What sights, scenes and activities would you recommend for any visiting family or friends? Try those out with the eyes and attitude of a tourist.
  • Take lots of pictures of you and your family having a wonderful time!

Staycation ideas for Canada.

Staycation Ideas

Become a Tourist in Your Own Town

1. Find a guide book for your area or region at a local book store and see what activities interest you.

2. Explore your own city and nearby areas.

3. Look for festivals, fairs and free events in your area and visit the ones that interest you. Local newspapers, libraries and the internet are good places to look.

4. Visit local or regional museums.

5. Visit interesting parks within a 30 minute drive.

6. Buy an Entertainment book for your city (if you live in or near one). They are cheap at this time of year, and offer tons of 2 for 1 coupons for activities and restaurants.

7. If you live in a large enough city you can sign up for Groupon.com and get 50% to 70% off restaurants and recreational activities. Other daily discount companies like this include LivingSocial.com, Buytopia.ca, and WagJag.com.

8. If ferries are available to you, pack a lunch, hop on a ferry and go exploring. You might want to take a bike with you to increase your fun and allow you to explore a larger area.

9. Find a deal for a nearby hotel or bed and breakfast.

10. Create your own wine tasting tour if you live within driving distance of some wineries. Ensure you have a designated driver for safety reasons.

11. Spend a day picking fruit. If you pick berries, you can freeze them and use them throughout the winter. If you are into baking or canning, you can easily create another day of activity for yourself.

12. Enjoy local pools or water parks.

Try a New Recreational Activity

13. Rent a tandem bike and explore a park or scenic area.

14. Try kayaking or canoeing. It’s peaceful, provides good exercise and it’s fun.

15. If hiking is an option, try exploring some place within a 30 minute drive from your home. Hiking or just going for a walk is a great way to explore, enjoy nature, get some fresh air and relax.

16. See if your city offers recreation programs, consider enrolling in one.

17. Take a class to learn a new hobby or skill. Ideas could include taking a gourmet cooking class, a woodworking course, a creative writing class or a short history course at a local university.

18. Try exploring a beautiful, flat park on rollerblades.

Go to the Lake

19. Spend a day at the lake. You can swim, rent a small boat, explore trails, enjoy the scenery and the cool breeze or just soak up some sun.


20. Volunteer for a cause, festival or event that interests you. If the volunteer work you do is completely different from your regular job, you may find this to be very refreshing and fun.

21. Find a needy person or family to befriend. Do something nice for them like take them out for lunch or find out what they need and try to arrange to have that need met. This may not sound like fun, but it could easily become one of the highlights of your summer.

Go Camping

22. Camp in your own back yard, or stay at a nearby campsite.

23. If you’re adventurous, try camping for free along a lake or river somewhere off the beaten track.

Spend some Time Reading

24. Visit your local library and find a bunch of books or magazines that you would really enjoy to read—or better yet, find a library that you have never visited before.

Rent Some Movies

25. See if cheap movie rentals are available in your area. Some grocery stores now offer $2 new release movie rentals from a vending machine.

Try Old Fashion Fun

26. Go to your local drive-in theatre and see a few late night movies in your vehicle.

27. See if you can find a drive-in restaurant.

28. Organize a block party for your neighbourhood where everyone comes together for a big potluck BBQ, or just invite a few friends over for breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner.

Wait until September

29. If you don’t have school aged kids, plan to take your staycation or mini-holiday once school has resumed in September. Activities and accommodations are cheaper in September, the weather is still nice and the crowds are much smaller.

Use Reward Points

30. Use your credit card or grocery store reward points to fund part of your vacation. If you don’t have enough points for a plane ticket to go somewhere, you may have enough for free movie passes, free restaurant gift cards or free admission to local attractions or attractions in a nearby city.

For more help on how to afford a vacation, click here.

To learn how to create a successful staycation, click here.

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