IMG_0780There’s nothing quite like the feeling of traveling abroad, but what about those days when your bank balance won’t permit a lengthy journey? The answer may lie in a “staycation”, a ridiculous word with a great concept. By budgeting correctly and making smart financial decisions, you too can embark on a staycation and have a fantastic travel experience in your own hometown for a negligible amount of money.

During the winter months, one of the most popular staycation activities is to visit local aquariums, galleries, and museums. Many of these institutions offer free days where entry to the public is of no charge or by donation; take full advantage of these events and spend an afternoon exploring a new exhibit or rediscovering an old piece of history. However, as it is currently summer here in North America, the best idea for a staycation may be to head outdoors. July and August bring innumerable carnivals and county fairs to cities and towns; take some time and visit one! They’re often full of inexpensive rides and cheap food, and are a great way to spend a few hours. Amusement parks and water parks are other alternatives for a fun staycation. For a quieter option, taking a stroll through a botanical garden or simply people-watching from the comfort of a local coffee shop or restaurant offer just as many interesting opportunities.

IMG_0772Recently I embarked on a staycation of my own. I found a family-owned farm located about 20 miles from my house that was looking for volunteers to help them pick blueberries. I donated a few hours of my time to help the farm and, as an added bonus, was able to eat tons of delicious fresh blueberries too.

Afterwards, I biked to a conservation area near the farm, and then hiked to the top of the hills there for a great view of my city. Armed with an inexpensive picnic lunch (from Costco!) and liberal amounts of sunscreen and bottled water, I spent two idyllic hours in the sun. Staycation: success!


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