There’s actually a lot to be said for a stay-at-home vacation—especially the environmental impact. For starters, you don’t have to worry about the stress of packing and travel, which is usually the hardest part of a vacation. Going through all the hassle of a plane ride is frustrating in itself, but it’s usually hard on the environment. Just think of all those carbon emissions from cars and planes!
If you’ve decided to keep closer to home for your next vacation, here are some great ideas:
1) Home Makeovers
Once you’re done with the travel, one of the best parts of a vacation is staying someplace new. Maybe doing some simple updates at home will make it feel like new! For starters, new bedsheets are always a magical experience. Especially if the new bed sheets are white, you’ll feel more luxurious than before.
You can also swap out your normal foods for fancier options. If you usually eat cereal for breakfast, instead try eggs, fresh fruit and fancy jams for your toast. If you really want to mix things up, rearrange your furniture a bit, and build a fort in the living room.
2) Go Sightseeing
There’s nothing better than being a tourist in your own town! This is easiest if you live in a city, but even rural areas have some sights to go see. Think about where you would want to take a family member that was coming to visit, and then go do that. It might be something as simple as mini-golf, but make sure you dress the part. It’s the most fun if you dress like you’re not from around here, and take an excessive amount of pictures.
3) Visit a Park
Most places have a park nearby. It might be a state park, a national park or just a kids’ park. Either way, you can make a day out of it. Pack a picnic lunch and plan to stay and play for the whole day. Go exploring, find a stream and climb on monkey bars with the other kids. After all, everyone has a kid in them. Find a way to unleash yours!
4) Head to the Pool
If you live near the beach, then of course you should go to the beach. However, if you don’t, or it’s the middle of February, then head to the pool. This works for everyone – singles, couples, families and grandparents, as well. Every town has a community pool, and it’s probably not very crowded during the day.
If it’s summer, then do your best to go to an outdoor pool. You’ll get cool, get some exercise and you’ll come back sporting that “I just went on vacation” glow.
5) Learn Something New
Classes are offered in almost every town and city. You can pick one and just try something out. Maybe you can take the family to a pottery class, or do a wine-and-painting class as a couple. Work up a sweat and try aerial yoga, or develop a new skill and learn to cook. Learning new skills is actually an important aspect of being a happy person, and you can show off your new skills to your family and friends.
6) Go See a Play
You can always give a little back to the local economy when you’re taking a stay-cation. After all, the usual vacation costs more than $4,000, but a daytrip only costs a bit over $100. Send that money back into the community and see a locally produced show. You might be pretty impressed with the talent.
7) Go Camping
If you have a campground nearby, then pack up the family and head off for a night under the stars. If you don’t have a campground, then grab a tent and set it up in your yard. It’s a simple, easy thing to do, and keeping it in your yard means easy access to home comforts like indoor plumbing. Add the excitement of spending the night outside without a roof, and you’ll wake up feeling like you had an adventure.
8) Host a BBQ and Movie Night
Invite your friends and family over for dinner and a movie. It replicates the fun, party-like atmosphere of a vacation at home, with the people you love the most. If you want to make it easy on yourself, make it a potluck and ask everyone to bring a dish. That minimizes your work and cleanup. After dinner, have everyone gather around to watch a movie – just make sure it’s a funny one, even if it’s an old one that everyone’s seen before. Those make the best bonding times.
A vacation doesn’t have to whisk you away someplace far from home to be exciting. Staying at home is more relaxing, easier on your wallet and significantly better for the environment. Next time you want to take a break, plan for a stay-cation and kick the vacations to the curb!
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