You know you need one: a serious vacation. But for many of us, the bill for the days spent unwinding can be more stressful than getting stuck in rush hour traffic. With flights and high gas prices, hotel, food and activity costs, a few days in paradise can easily cost $2,000 or more. I recently considered a four day trip to Florida, but the costs began to add up quickly. At first, staying at home seemed out of the question—until I considered all of the things I’d love to do but never have time for.
After looking at the budget, I realized that a trip to Florida would cost about $2,160 while packing in four days of activities and top restaurants in my own city would cost $700—way less than half! Think about where you live and the places you’ve heard friends or family mention—like restaurants, museums, stores and other attractions—that you’re just too busy to see or try during a normal, hectic work week. Plan your days off the same way you’d plan to be far from home: buy a new outfit, swear off any unnecessary chores and charge up the camera.
Start to brainstorm your staycation with these ideas:
- Talk to friends about new restaurants in town. What are people recommending?
- Many museums rotate or update exhibits—so even if you’ve been before, they can be worth another look.
- When is the last time you bought tickets to cheer on your home sports team? Pack a big tailgate for a pre-game picnic.
- Pitch a tent and go camping—at a local campground or in your own backyard.
- Rent a kayak and go for a paddle on your local lake or river.
- Many cities offer free or low cost walking or bicycle tours, where you can learn exciting things about your area’s history.
- Visit a nearby fair or festival for great rides, games and food.
For way less than half of what it would cost to travel out of state, you and your family can enjoy some exciting activities and try fun new restaurants—all while learning to appreciate the place where you live. Save energy and money and enjoy being a tourist in your own backyard with a great staycation this summer.
Do you have any smart staycation tips? Let us know on the Duke Energy Youtility Facebook page!