The amount Americans spend on family vacations is rising, and travel costs are no small part of the reason why. It’s more expensive than ever to fly, and even falling gas prices haven’t made it cheap to go out of state. That’s why so many people have begun taking “staycations”, finding what there is to offer in their own hometowns. If you’re willing to put in a little work, you might find that there’s plenty to do around you. Below are a few tips you can use to create a wonderful vacation experience without ever getting on the road.
Do Some Research
The best vacations start with research, even if you’re local. If you want to visit an aquarium, Utah visitors are in luck; likewise, those on the coast might find a great beach. Look at your primary attraction, and figure out what’s nearby. Even if you live in a small town, there’s probably something interesting nearby. You may think you know everything about where you live, but the reality is that there’s plenty that regular residents simply forget about. If you can put in a few hours on your computer, you’ll find a list of great things about which you have forgotten or ignored.
A great way to take advantage of your savings is to stay somewhere nice. Don’t just go for a roadside motel – look for a bed and breakfast or a luxury hotel instead. Staying in an upscale space will make you feel like you’re living a different life, and might even help you forget how familiar the view is outside of your room. You deserve to pamper yourself, and you can feel good about spending a bit more when you remember how much you are saving by staying local. Most towns have at least one great hideaway, so make sure you book it early.
Avoid the Usual
You might have specific spots in town that you love, but those are for your typical weekends. Instead, make it a goal to avoid your usual spots when you take a vacation in town. If there are restaurants you usually frequent or shops you visit, try to take a break from them. Try something new, avoid the usual routes, and by all means get out there and pretend that you are a tourist. The more you avoid your usual haunts, the more your vacation will feel like an adventure.
Turn Off Your Phone
The final, and perhaps most important, part of taking a vacation in your own town is unplugging from your usual life. For just a few days, leave the cellphone behind – you can give out your room phone number for emergencies, but choose to leave your regular life behind. If you can unplug, you can avoid the entanglements that will remind you that you are in your own town. It’s amazing what can happen when you’re willing to go incommunicado for a few days, especially if you are lucky enough to take your family along. Enjoy the quiet time by having a real adventure!
There’s no reason you can’t have a great vacation close to home. Make sure to do your research, stay somewhere nice, and disconnect from your usual routine. You and your family can have wonderful adventures without crossing state lines and without breaking the bank. Always remember that the important part of your trip isn’t where you go, but rather who you are with. Great vacations start with getting your family together, and they end with wonderful memories. Don’t feel like you have to get away to spend time with those who are the most important to you.