The following is a Guest post by Meghan of Savvy Spending:
If you are looking for a way to have a frugal vacation with your family plan a staycation.
1) Start by thinking about what your family enjoys doing.
My daughters have been asking to go swimming a lot lately, so one of our mini trips will be to the local Recreation center for some play time in the pool! Does your family enjoy going to the movies? Try to see a matinee or use a coupon to save on the tickets! Or, rent a movie, put blankets and pillows on the floor, and pop some popcorn. Depending on the movie, you can make it a theme night and coordinate your dinner. Watching Finding Nemo? Have Fish Sticks, goldfish crackers, Swedish Fish candy, etc!
Does your family like to camp? Set up a tent in the family room, or make a tent with bed sheets! Have hot dogs, s’mores, tell stories, sing songs, and play games together!
If you pick something you all enjoy and can do together, you’re sure to have a great time!
2) Find discounts on great events or attractions in your area.
Another activity we’re planning for our Staycation is a visit to the local Natural History Museum! My kids LOVE the dinosaur exhibits and I love the good deal! Admission to this museum is “donations”, so we can spend less than we would visiting other “members only” museums. Plus, our local library has free passes to many local musuems that you can “check out” and use to get in for free.
You may find local businesses offering discounts during weeks that school is on break, so give your favorites a call and ask about a possible discount. There are a few different types of indoor playgrounds in our area that often coordinate their specials and promotions with the school’s calendars!
Ask the local recreation center or swimming pool if they offer free passes if you take a tour of their facility or offer any other type of discount. These places provide fun for the whole family!
3) Visit your local Heroes!
Call the police and fire stations and ask if you could come in (and be sure to bring them some homemade treats!) and take a tour. Take your camera and send them pictures and thank you cards after you get home. Visit the library and check out some books to learn more about these local servicemen and women!
4) Small DayTrip?
If you want to spend just a little bit of money, consider taking a short drive and visit a new place in your state! Visit your state’s tourism website and discover someplace new!
Have some friends who live a little ways away? Arrange to meet somewhere in the middle and have a playdate! Maybe you could even find a hotel with an indoor pool, putt-putt, or arcade and split the cost of one room to enjoy a day of fun! You’ll have a room to hang out in and order some pizza- you can use the indoor amusements and you don’t have to stay the night!