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A staycation is a relaxing combination of staying close or at home on a vacation away from the daily routines of your life. Unlike a vacation that can be physically draining and sometimes exhausting, a staycation can energize and revitalize your life. No checking in hotels or flights and vacationing with strangers. No wasted travel days at the beginning and end of a vacation. One big advantage is the money you save without high fuel, rental car, airfare or hotel expenses.

Even when cost isn’t a deciding factor, work obligations and health issues can prevent us from traveling far. That doesn’t mean you can’t have a great time and still save money. Here are a few suggestions that might inspire you for even more creative ideas for your own staycation:

Easy Meals

Save money and enjoy the pleasures of good, fast and easy home cooked meals. If you plan ahead with freezer meals prepared in advance you can enjoy all several days with no cooking. This is not only a good way to enjoy a staycation but it is also a good way to give yourself more freedom at other times throughout the year as well.

Camp out in your own back yard.

Set up a tent with sleeping bags, use a grill or build a fire. Roast some hot dogs, cook s’mores and enjoy some quality time together. A telescope and a GPS night sky app to identify the stars can add to the fun.

Treasure Hunting

Geocaching is an outdoor treasure hunting game using GPS devices. It put together by many Geocaching groups and you can click here to find a location near you and have fun finding treasures others have hidden in your area.

Bowling

Bowling might be a fun thing to try with the family. For smaller kids there is bumper blowing and at night for the older kids try glow bowling. There are several bowling alleys that offer to let kids bowl for free with a paying parent.

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Splash at a beach or pool.

More than half of the people in the Unites States lives near the coast. Another ten percent of the U.S. live near the Great Lakes. A large percent live near some type of a lake or reservoir. Even if you don’t live near a beach there are many swimming pools in many communities.

Go for a bike ride.

There are miles of trails dedicated to bicycle riding. Here is a fantastic site for bike trails listed alphabetically from Alabama to Wyoming. It gives you the length of miles and whether it is asphalt, dirt, concrete or stone.

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See a live performance.

Theater, dance and opera in local or close to home playhouses can be a lot of fun.

Take a hike.

There is are seemingly endless places to hike. Sometimes people are unaware of places that are “right under their nose” per say. Click here to find hiking trails near you.

Go to a drive in movie.

There has been a decline in outdoor movie theaters across the U.S. but it is still a wonderful nostalgic experience for some. This is a great site for outdoor theaters .

Visit a National park.

Find a park in your area and check out here to find out when they have free entrance days.

Of the 401 National Parks only 133 charge entrance fees. If you were planning a vacation that included several National parks you can purchase an annual pass for $80 that includes entrance to all the national parks, national forests and wildlife refuges. There is also the America the Beautiful National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass that is free to all active duty military persons and their dependents. This fee waiver includes commercial tour fees and reservation camping fees.

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Visit a theme park, amusement park or water park.

There are quite a few theme, amusement and water parks throughout the U.S. Check out this list of theme, water and amusement parks for one near you.

Enjoy a day at an Aquarium or Zoo.

There are some awesome aquariums and zoos.

Become a Tourist

Exploring and seeing your home town through the eyes of a tourist can be quite a different experience. Most of the time we are either too busy or too distracted to notice details or to see what is really around us. When we are on tour we tend to look a bit closer and observe the world around us in a more relaxed and carefree attitude. Not only can seeing your hometown this way be relaxing for a staycation but it may also help you to learn to stop and smell the roses along your life’s pathway more often.

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