The Best Budget-Friendly Staycation Ideas We’ve Seen During the Pandemic

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Vacations were canceled and emergency savings accounts were emptied to stay safe and afloat during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, as time inside stretched on, families couldn’t help but get a bit antsy. GOBankingRates talked to a few creative people who figured out affordable ways to maintain their health while still having fun. 

Find Out: How To Budget and Plan for a Vacation in 2021

Hometown Hotel

Never underestimate the power of sleeping in a hotel for a night–even if it’s in the same city you live. The luxury of quality linen with the effortlessness of room service is enough to make you think you’ve left the country when you’re really only a mile away from home.

Jonathan Sanchez, co-founder of Parent Portfolio, said the hotel getaway was especially needed after the pandemic had him and his wife watching and teaching their kids 24/7. “Sometimes, my wife and I need a date without the kids,” Sanchez said. “One of our staycation activities is to book a hotel downtown and treat it as if we went out of town. This activity is accomplished with the help of a grandparent watching our two little ones.”

Make Your Money Work for You

So, if someone can watch the kids, treat yourself and your significant other to a night in wherever you want. The only limit is your imagination.

Yours, Mine and Ours

What might seem like limitations during the pandemic can actually open up new options. For example, Alice Anderson, creator of Mommy to Mom  said that her husband took three days off and they split the three days into different activities for each person in the family.

“I had a day to myself where I went shopping. The next day my husband went fishing all day. The third day, we took the kids to a farm and out for ice cream. It was nice taking turns like that so we could all get away doing something that each of us wanted to do,” Anderson said. Having more free time means you have the ability to practice self-care for entire days while resting assured your family is taken care of. 

Check Out: Cheap Place To Travel On $100 a Day Or Less

Hawaii at Home

Just because you can’t go on an island adventure doesn’t mean you can’t have one. Software engineer Amanda Lize wrote on her blog about how her and her husband celebrated their anniversary during quarantine with a Hawaiian twist. They decorated their apartment with tropical banners, pillows and tableware, in addition to learning how to make Mai Tais and eating Hawaiian takeout. “Taking inspiration for your staycation from where you’d want to travel lets you travel vicariously through the food and ambience of where you’re wishing you could be instead,” Lize said. 

Backyard Olympics

Working from home can take a toll on physical fitness, so having an athletic bent to your staycation isn’t a bad idea. Blogger Lori Hofferbert said her entire family loved when they set up a lawn game tournament.

“We set up stations with assorted skill games like cornhole, lawn darts, ring toss, lawn bowling and croquet,” Hofferbert said. “The winners receive homemade medals.” Hofferbert added that concession stand style eats like hot dogs and burgers can really set the mood so you can make a real day out of it.

Learn More: 13 Insider Secrets From Travel Agents That Will Save You Money

Tasting Tour

Torben Lonne, founder of DiveIn, felt discouraged during quarantine after having to cancel multiple vacations. To get himself out of the funk, he took a few days off and organized a cooking marathon with his family that featured dishes from all over the world.

Make Your Money Work for You

“We had an Asian lunch, a Moroccan dinner, French breakfast and Italian pizza marathon,” Lonne said. “Along with the food, we used the time to learn more about different cultures. It was a fun, heartwarming experience for me and I can’t wait to do it again.”

Sometimes the staycations you take during what seems like a tough time can end not just relaxing you but becoming lifelong traditions.

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About the Author

Sam DiSalvo is an LA-based comedian, writer and actor who's performed all over the country. Her written work has appeared in numerous digital publications. As a copywriter, she's worked with a variety of major brands including GoldieBlox and Thrive Causemetics. Sam loves dogs and is currently perusing leisure suits to buy for her corgi mix, Barry

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