17 Ideas For A Summer Staycation

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staycation relaxing feet grass dandelion

I live in a tourist town that clogs up with traffic from May through October. The last few years, though, I have been surprised to find I can drive straight down the main road in July with no delays. The economy is keeping people away.

Jobs are not secure, and gas prices continue to go up along with food and lodging. Instead of travel, people are staying at home for vacations. It feels safer.

Does a staycation sound boring? It’s not! Look to your own community and region for things you would do far away. Act like a tourist in your own town. Relax, indulge yourself, and shake up your daily routine. Do things you yearn to do while you’re at work. Here are some ideas.

1) Sleep late

There’s no need to jump out of bed. Don’t set alarms. Let your body tell you when to wake up. Then lie there for a while, and do nothing.

2) Get up early

Start your day by doing something completely different than a regular day. Go out for breakfast, take a long walk, or enjoy a cool morning on the back porch.

3) Read

With full time jobs and families, there is little time for recreational reading. Ask friends for recommendations, curl up with coffee or iced tea, and get lost in a few good books.

4) Cook good meals

Again, with busy lives, we tend to cook what’s familiar. Get creative in the kitchen with ingredients from the farmers market or your own garden.

5) Eat out often

Try a different ethnic restaurant every day, or go to that fancy place you’ve put off for financial reasons. Use the money you would normally be spending on a rental car, hotel and airfare. Staying home saves you money. Spend some of it to do something different!

6) Visit your local park

Have a picnic. Bring that book you found. If there’s a lake, rent a canoe or go swimming.

7) Check out museums and art galleries

Learn the history of your area. Maybe there are guided tours.

8) Take in a movie or two in the afternoon

Do things during the day that you can’t normally do. Going to the movies is not a big deal, but at 1pm on a Wednesday, it will feel refreshing.

9) Camp out in your backyard

Kids love this! It’s thrilling to sleep outdoors at home.

10) Take a class or workshop

There are many opportunities for learning in the summer time. Check the library, a local university or your newspaper for listings.

11) Go swimming

Most gyms have day passes for a reasonable fee. You can swim, play tennis, sit in the hot tub, and take classes. There are also public pools, lakes, rivers, and maybe even the ocean!

12) Get a massage

Spend a day at a spa for mudpacks, massage and relaxation. Pamper yourself.

13) Go horseback riding

Either take lessons or find a stable that does half-day or full-day trips. What a wonderfully slow and easy way to travel through beautiful scenery.

14) Rent a bicycle for a day

Many towns now have bike lanes and trails for mountain biking. Pack a lunch, and go exploring.

15) Walk around your town

We whizz through our communities every day in a hurry to get to work. Take a stroll down your Main Street, and see what’s there – shops, restaurants, museums, galleries – it might all be new to you!

16) Take pictures

If this is your hobby, plan to take one subject each day – doors, shadows, plants, architecture, clouds, or people. If you are new to photography, find a workshop that will teach you the basics and an instructor that will critique your work.

17) Get caught up on your DIY projects

Sometimes all we need is a big chunk of uninterrupted time to get things done. You might be able to transform your home with a few days like that. Paint, rearrange the furniture, do some landscaping, build a patio or deck – I’m sure you have a list!

Enjoy your home and hometown!

Don’t check your email, and turn off the phone. Be on vacation! Traveling is wonderful, but a staycation is less stressful before, during and after. You’ll have more appreciation for your own community, too, while boosting the local economy. It’s a win/win!

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Nan Fischer

Nan Fischer has been living and building green for over 35 years. Nan’s emphasis on the BuildDirect blog is about how to make your dollar stretch further, while also moving toward a more sustainable lifestyle, as well as upcoming and existing technology to help us live in an ecologically-friendly way. Nan also authors posts on the website of her seed business, sweetly seeds.