Summer vacation planning doesn’t have to be stressful nor does a fun vacation have to cost your family a ton of money! My family loves to travel, explore and take in the sights and sounds of any city. Last week, we spent time in Radford, Virginia, a small little of town in the middle of the Blue Ridge Mountains. We had so much fun with family and each other.
So what’ s a family to do that wants a vacation but needs to do so on a budget? Plan a staycation! Staycations give families an opportunity to skip traveling and enjoy the fun of a vacation in your own backyard. We’ve done a few staycations in our
home city lately and it has helped take our family vacations to a whole new level– budget friendly!
Here’s how we took a staycation and had a blast!
- Go Downtown. Jacksonville is not as metro as many other large cities but we still have our share of things to do and explore. When we lived closer to downtown we would visit the restaurants, parks and ride the people mover that would take passengers from one end of downtown to another. It’s been years since we left. Recently we took the kids downtown and explored like tourists. We soaked in the older buildings, the architectural details, and the parks. We found a restaurant right on the water and took in a view of the skyline. We even saw a few dolphins playing in the St. Johns river.
- Book a room. When you consider the cost of airfare and gas, booking a room in your home town is still budget friendly. Check TripAdvisor for reviews on hotels in your area and take advantage of the savings. Find one with a pool and other amenities and you may not need to leave the hotel!
- Upgrade to a vacation package. If you get a hotel, consider a vacation package to do some fun excursions. Or, use travel sites to see what the experts suggest you do in your city. Most sites do not require you to book a room while planning your activities. You’ll be surprised at what is available. For example, a friend that came to visit recently told me about an endangered species zoo within 30 miles of my house. Never heard of it but I know my kids would love it!
- Make it a Spa Day. What better way to feel like your on vacation than to relax in a spa? Check Groupon and other sites and relax all afternoon at a spa. Most spas will let you use their services all day so arrive early or plan to stay a few hours later.
- Take it outdoors. Go hiking, fishing, horseback riding or even camping. Local state parks are full of adventure and opportunities that many local families don’t take enough advantage of. We love fishing and sometimes will explore our home town for new places to fish. We’re lucky in that we live near several bodies of water including the great Atlantic Ocean. If you’re landlocked, you’re likely to have to lake fish or consider other options. Backyard camping is fun and definitely an adventure your kids will remember for years to come.
What is your favorite way to vacation?