The Travel Edit: Staycations with April

Here on The Wednesday Edit, we are a community. We have a talented pool of guest bloggers who have signed up to write informative and enjoyable content for us. 

Today we have April from April Does That and she is a stay at home mom. She's a creative person and that is reflected in her creative blog. She does DIY crafts, shares her art, the fun and funky stuff she's up to and her honest opinions about big and small topics. She loves talking to others and getting their view on the journey of life.

She's going to take us on a journey that doesn't stray too far from home and promises it is going to be one of her best vacations yet.


My husband and I love to travel, but this year we are really focusing on our budget. We are watching what we spend, paying off debt and saving for the future. Unfortunately, that isn't going to include our usual family vacation to somewhere tropical.

Instead of feeling deprived or not taking a vacation at all, we are opting for a more budget friendly STAYCATION. So you've probably heard of a staycation. You just stay home. That doesn't really sound that awesome but I'm convinced that is going to be. Chances are that no matter where you live there are plenty of thing to do in your hometown and surrounding areas. 

We live in Springfied, MO and it is a short drive from several other cities some with big attractions and small towns with fun festivals.

The thing about our budget is that we will still need to pick and choose what we spend on. So I put together some suggestions of things to consider when planning a budget and fun-friendly staycation.

  • First and foremost decide on a budget. Knowing how much you can spend on your staycation will really impact which activities fit in with the fun and which don't. 
  • Plan ahead. Start planning in advance just like you would for a regular vacation. This also gives you time to save for your staycation. You can even make an itinerary. Get your family involved. What do they most like to do on vacation. What things do they know about in your hometown?

  • Scour the internet for things to do in your city and surrounding areas. Try search terms like "things to do in___" See if your town has a website. Mine does and it includes a social calendar with things that are coming up soon. Don't forget to look for things to do in surrounding cities even if they are small. You may find some really cool things to do. 
  • Don't overlook things that are free. There are a lot of free things that can be very fun or relaxing. Some examples I can think of are: Camping in your backyard, going to the park, community events, window shopping, giving each other relaxing massages, taking a walk or bike ride. That's just a few ideas.

  • Get caught up on chores like laundry before right before your staycation. Who wants to do a bunch of laundry on vacation? Not me! I plan to get our house in tip-top shape before our vacation so there will be as little housework as possible.
  • Use your grocery budget to make some awesome meals at home. This may not be for everyone but I happen to enjoy cooking. The ingredients for an awesome meal are going to be way cheaper than eating out. And if you don't feel like doing a bunch of dishes then use disposable dishes! You could even grill to cut down on using pots and pans or have a snack night with meats and cheeses and wine of course.

  • Keep eating out to a minimum by packing a lunch and eating breakfast before you head out for the day. By using less money on eating out you have more for using toward experiences or on more expensive restaurant fare.
  • Consider doing a family project. I know it sounds weird but while I have a sitter and time with my husband one of the things I want to do on my staycation is organize my garage one day. It will give me a sense of accomplishment and I really enjoy working alongside him. But believe me this will just be one part of one day! I'm not totally crazy! Maybe you've been wanting to build a playhouse or start a garden. Projects can be fun!
  • Set the mood. Is there a way you can set the mood of vacation in your house? Maybe some extra treats or tropical room spray. Maybe some fresh flowers or fresh linens. You could even play some ocean sounds or shop for a couple new outfits before hand at the thrift store or on clearance.

I think my staycation is going to be excellent. For part of our staycation we have a free sitter (grandma) and so those are the days we will focus on doing things as a couple. You know, the places we want to go and things we want to see. Once the kids are back we will still like to treat it like vacation and look for some extra fun kiddo activities. 

Some cheaper ideas for the kids could include geocaching, going to the public pool or bowling. I can't wait to get started planning my at-home vacation and I think the biggest part of a staycation is the mind set. Don't look at like 'oh man I have to stay home!' Instead think 'I get to take a vacation at home.' 

Focus on all of the amazing things about staying home;

  • No Traveling. Driving or flying with my kids is seriously no fun. I love that we get to skip the hassle this year!
  • No Packing. Is there anything worse than getting to Florida and realizing you forgot your swimsuit bottoms?! Well no worries you are in the convenience of your own home and you don't have to worry about what you forgot to pack.
  • No house or pet sitter. Vacation seriously racks up when you consider all of the extras you pay for. We have pets and a fish tank that needs looking after when we are gone. By being home we miss out on the extra expense.
  • No getting lost. You are probably uber familar with your hometown and even the surrounding areas so you can relax and enjoy yourself instead of worrying if you're turning the wrong way on a one way.

  • Kids have their own toys. My kids tend to get bored in the evenings on vacation because I only bring a handful of toys to play with. At home they have full access to their toy collection.
  • You have your own bed and toilet. Anyone else feel so glad to get home after vacation and sleep in their own bed? Well on staycation you will get great rest in your own comfy spot. 

I'll admit at first I was feeling disappointed, like I was missing out on our yearly vacation. But now I'm actually really excited and I'm viewing it as a challenge to get the most of each day for the least amount out of money. I actually think this has the potential to be one of our best vacations ever if we take full advantage of the time. 

Have you ever taken a vacation at home? Do you have any tips or ideas for a budget friendly good time? Let me know what you think of my ideas.

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