By Bobbi Burger Brunoehler of BobbisBargains.
Got vacation time coming your way? Trying to decide what to do? I’ve got 10 steps for a great staycation (a vacation at home, so no hotel and travel costs), plus specific things to do in 80 towns across the country below.
I’m always amazed by people who haven’t been to some of the interesting places in their hometown. Don’t wait for visitors to be a tourist in your own town!
- Decide on your dates. If you have flexibility in your dates, try to arrange the time around an event you are already interested in attending like a fair or show. This will put a big highlight in your itinerary.
- Start reading the calendar section of your local paper or the AAA magazine. Look for events occurring during your staycation.
- Contact your local Chamber of Commerce to see if there are special events and discounts.
- Do the same research on the internet that you would do if you were traveling to a foreign country. Read local blogs and search out special attractions.
- Take out a travel book or two from your local library about your area. I got the most fabulous book from my local AAA. It’s called, “Los Angeles Attractions” published by Museon Publishing. This 500 page book has thousands of local attractions. Many of them are free. Most of them are things that I never heard of before such as Hollywood’s Rock Walk, the address of Ozzie and Harriet’s House and the history of the Venice, California canals.
- Read the history of your area from a book such as Images of America. Take a day or two finding the places in the old photographs. Take modern pictures of the same sites.
- Set aside money to do something extravagant that you wouldn’t normally do. This will really make it feel like a vacation.
- If possible, try to keep all work and regular day to day activities out of your life. Tell your office you can’t be reached. Don’t answer your work email. Enjoy yourself!
- Use every discount and coupon you can find. Buy a local discount coupon book, like the Entertainment Book. Or by Groupons. Search “name of your town”+”discounts” to be really thorough.
- A great way to document your trip is with an ultramodern scrapbook or by making a video.
The main thing is to plan your time so that it doesn’t just slip by with the “same old, same old.” You want to feel like you have really been on vacation. Even if your itinerary is just “sleep in and lay in the hammock” you want to knowingly do that. You might even make a nice big “Do Not Disturb” sign and put it on your doorknob.
Staycations across the country: The Happy Housewife got together 80 bloggers to write about the best places to visit all across the country. Who knew there was so much to do in Oshkosh, Wisconsin!
Have you taken a staycation? Any advice for the rest of us?