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9 Budget-Friendly Ways to Have an Awesome Staycation

It’s summer, which means just about everyone under the sun is planning a vacation. Those plans usually involve a beach, cruise ship, or theme park—which can get a little pricey. But there’s a way to have lots of summer fun even if you are watching your spending. Say hello to the staycation!

How does it work? Take time off from your job and find activities for you and your family that are nearby and inexpensive. The staycation is great because it’s budget-friendly, it’s easy to plan, and you don’t have to travel far. All you need are a few entertainment ideas—and we’ve got ’em!

Check out these nine ways to have an awesome time on your staycation.

1. Visit local parks.

Pack your lunch and have a picnic in the park, then spend some time throwing the football or reading your favorite book. You can also check your city’s parks-and-rec website for any free concerts or stage plays.

2. Go window-shopping in a big city.

It’s fun to window-shop in a big metro area even if you don’t buy anything. You can get ideas for gifts while getting a little exercise, too! Pick up your favorite specialty coffee and take a stroll along the sidewalks.

3. Find science experiments online.

Look on YouTube for easy and safe science experiments for your children to try. Make water freeze instantly, create a rainbow in a tube, construct a balloon hovercraft, and more—right in your own home!

4. Check out museums.

Many museums have little or no admission charge. They are a great way to add some culture to your staycation. You can learn about everything from dinosaurs to your own state’s history.

5. Go to festivals.

There are many cities and towns that host festivals to celebrate different things—music, ice cream, art, and even UFOs. Find an event near you and have fun at the fest!

6. See a matinee movie.

Ticket prices are lower for afternoon showings of your favorite romantic comedies and superhero adventures. If you’d rather catch a flick in the evening, you can rent a movie from Redbox or see if there are any dollar theaters nearby showing films that are a few months old.

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Related: What’s Your Box Office Budget?

7. Have a dessert extravaganza.

Buy the ingredients for your family’s three favorite desserts and make them all on the first night of the staycation. Then, after every dinner that week, have a cake, cookie, or brownie party with the whole gang. It’s a great bonding experience—and a tasty one!

8. Give each day a theme.

Have everyone in your family suggest themes for each day of the staycation, such as the outdoors, movies, or family stories. Design activities around those concepts and take lots of pictures for a photo album.

9. Have water gun fights.

What’s summer without a good old-fashioned water gun fight? Add to the fun by using water balloons and turning on the sprinkler. Prepare for battle!

The best parts of a staycation are spending time with your family and getting a break from your everyday routine. And just like a day at the park, there’s no charge for that!

Create your staycation budget today with our awesome budgeting software, EveryDollar!

Ramsey Solutions

About the author

Ramsey Solutions

Ramsey Solutions has been committed to helping people regain control of their money, build wealth, grow their leadership skills, and enhance their lives through personal development since 1992. Millions of people have used our financial advice through 22 books (including 12 national bestsellers) published by Ramsey Press, as well as two syndicated radio shows and 10 podcasts, which have over 17 million weekly listeners.

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