Summer is usually the time when many families look forward to taking some time off. With school out of the way, the traditional “summer vacation” brings back memories of kids crammed into the back of a minibus, on the way to an exotic (or less so) destination. As we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, more and more families are looking for ideas to get out of the house without having to travel much.
For most vacations, the two biggest costs are accommodation and travel costs to reach the final destination. Planning a residence stay reduces or eliminates these two costs, helping you have a great time while keeping your budget within budget. Here are some budget-friendly accommodation ideas for the summer.
What is accommodation?
Accommodation is a portfolio of the words “stay home” and “vacation” and is, as the name suggests, a way to take a vacation without traveling a lot. Stays can come in many different flavors. On some stays, you do a variety of day trips but each night you return home. In other accommodations, you may travel to more local or regional destinations instead of going far.
Be a tourist in your city
One of the most popular accommodation ideas is to be a tourist in your city. To take a stay like this, you might look at some of the top things to do in your city. Look at your city not as a resident, but as a tourist – what will a tourist do if he has only a few days to visit your hometown?
Chances are good that even if you’ve lived there for many years, you may not have seen all of these sights. Take a few days to visit some of these sites and see your city from a new perspective. A few years ago, my family and I spent a few days touring our hometown of Cincinnati like tourists. We went to the top of the tallest building in the city, visited the US Air Force Museum, watched the Cincinnati Reds game, and had a great time. Every night we would come home and stay in our own beds.
Another idea of staycation is to go to the great outdoors. While camping may bring back painful memories of childhood summer camps that went wrong, there are a lot of different ways to camp these days. In addition to the traditional tent at the camp site, many state and national parks offer cabins and other “luxury” experiences you may enjoy more. This can give you the right combination of outdoor and indoor amenities.
Another budget-friendly idea for this summer is a movie night (or two). In order to make a movie night more exciting, think about how you can add some spice to things. You don’t just want to play Netflix for a few hours and call it movie night! Some ideas include renting a screen, moving movie night outside, or combining a movie night with a special dinner.
Visit the beach
A day at the beach is something that many people enjoy and can be a great thing to include in any stay. Of course, how you can visit the beach will largely depend on where you actually live. However, even if you don’t live near the Atlantic or Pacific oceans, you can still include a beach day in your vacation. Consider spending the day at a nearby lake or river, or even just visiting a local pool.
Food tour in your city
Another great idea for a stay is to take a food tour of your city. Many cities have sponsored food tours or tours that you can pay for. Depending on your budget, interests, or the number of your family members, this could be an option. But if you’re looking to keep things on budget, consider taking your own city food tour. Depending on where you live and how long you’ve been there, you probably already know the restaurants and foods your city is known for. Take a day and visit a few of them for your own food tour at a fraction of the cost.
It’s important for your mental health to be able to take a break from the usual daily grind and get away for a bit. But taking a vacation doesn’t have to break the bank. The two biggest costs for most vacations are housing costs and travel costs to get to your destination. Accommodation planning reduces or eliminates these two costs, helping you stay within your limits donation While still having a great time.
Which of the following accommodation ideas do you like the most? What would you like to add to the list?
Dan Miller is a freelance writer and founder of PointsWithACrew.com, a site that helps families travel for free / cheap. His home base is in Cincinnati, but he tries to travel the world as much as possible with his wife and six children.