your summer planning guide: staycations!
yippeee! i have been SO EXCITED TO GET THIS PRETTY LITTLE SHOW ON THE ROAD! (pun totally intended!) i've been working with one of my sweet bloggy friends, cailin from a white picket fence, to put together a fantastic resource for summer traveling! we've been working together to get topics and schedules aligned... all the while i've been trying to keep it a secret so it would be fun and a surprise when we rolled it out!
so SURPRISE!!! ;)
anywho - each week this may cailin and i will both be covering a different topic and giving you guys some tips and tricks on making summer travel easy, somewhat cheap and FUN! and at the end i will be giving away a special little gift to one lucky reader so definitely stay tuned!!
over the next month i will be sharing information on staycations, eating on a budget, other places to stay besides hotels, and whether or not to use a travel agent. cailin will be covering how to make travel arrangements on a budget, how to get the most out of a hotel reservation, where to go and what to do once you're there, and how to navigate airports! it is definitely going to be a busy but fun month!
so let's get on with the show, shall we?
staycations are exactly what they sound like - you "go" on a vacation but you stay right where you are! staycations are a great way to save money on travel expenses (no gas, no hotel reservations, no airline tickets!!) but still get a week or so of rest from your hectic daily life! they are perfect for "traveling" on a budget or if you'd just like to learn a little more about the town you live in! whether you have lived their your whole life or just a couple of years, i'd be willing to bet there is a restaurant you've never tried, a shop you've never visited, or a street you've never been down. a staycation is the perfect time to do that!
here are a few tips for a successful staycation:
clean your house! make sure everything is in order for when you "return" from your vacation. put all the laundry away, clear out the dishwasher, go grocery shopping, and pay all the bills. if you are really wanting to splurge, hire a maid to come in and do the heavy duty stuff (baseboards & dusting, yuck)! it might make for a little extra work before the staycation starts but you will have much less to do during the week of the staycation and afterwards!
visit your local chamber of commerce or city office and ask for a map of the city. see if they have a restaurant guide or shopping guide that you can use to plan a couple of days out on the town. remember in every hotel lobby that huge display of brochures and pamphlets? run by the hotel and look through those for fun family activities or neat museums you may have never visited (let alone heard of!)
sign up for groupon and living social to get deep discounts on activities in your area! just because you aren't going anywhere doesn't mean you won't have to spend a few bucks so save where you can!
speaking of spending a few bucks - it is wise to remember that just because you are staying home doesn't mean you won't be spending money. come up with a budget for activities, dining out, even gas to get you to and fro. having a dollar amount in mind beforehand will help you be able to plan where you want to eat and what you want to do without having to live like you've blown your budget the weeks afterwards. ;)
get (a little) lazy:
if there was a week to completely forget about chores and housework - this is it! (remember how much time you spent making your house spotless the week before? here is where it pays off!) think about it - would you be doing laundry, dishes, bathrooms, and floors if you were staying at a hotel or on a cruise? not likely! ;) so give yourself a week to let it slide! if you can't stand the idea of dishes in the sink, use paper plates! does a messy bed drive you nuts? camp out in the back yard! piles of laundry give you hives? well i guess you can't run around town naked, so just shut the laundry room door! taking time off from these things will make you feel like you really took a vacation!
get less techy:
don't check your email, twitter, facebook, your blog. i know for me this would be darn near impossible but if i really want to relax and chill out with my husband, i have to turn blogging-skye off and get into real-world-skye skin. one thing i can guarantee you - no one is going to delete the internet while you are staycationing. it will all still be here when you get back! ;)
and finally, have a little fun!
order wine at lunch. (pinot grigio with a ham sandwich? check.) do that lame touristy thing that all visitors to your town do. (picture with the statue in town square? check.) get lost. without a map. who knows what you might find while you are driving around aimlessly! :)
again - staycations are a fantastic way to relax and enjoy some time off without dropping a boatload of money or having to deal with the hassle of an airport or the expense of a week-long hotel stay!
tell us - have you ever been on a staycation? do you have any great tips or fun stories to share? be sure to leave us a comment so we can share your story or tip later this month!