5 Star “Staycation” on a budget

Even though the economy isn’t great, you can still take time off for some much-needed R & R.  If you are working but are having a hard time making ends meet, take your vacation time but instead of planning that expensive all-inclusive trip to the Caribbean, why not plan a “Staycation” instead?  There are great places to see and fantastic things to do in your own back yard that will make you feel like you are on vacation.

Idea # 93 – Luxury Hotels close to home

Many 5 Star luxury and convention hotels often offer deals to locals to use their pools, work out facilities (some even offer yoga or other types of classes you can take part in) or if they have a Spa on site, you can often use the other facilities for FREE when you book a service at the Spa.  Yes…  Spa services can be expensive, but if you check with the Spa in advance, they may be having a summer special or deal on a particular treatment.   When Spa’s are slow, they often offer great discounts.  If the Spa at the hotel isn’t offering discounts, check for deals at your local Day Spa at:

www.groupon.com

www.livingsocial.com

www.plumdistrict.com

These sites often post local deals daily. You can subscribe to them and get the specials sent directly to your inbox. The deals range from discounts for meals, drinks at local pubs, dinners out at local restaurants, Spa services, medical procedures (like chiropractic care to Botox treatments) and even movie tickets!  Check out www.fandango.com for movie ticket discounts or coupons too.  It’s definitely worth subscribing so you don’t miss out on any great deals in your area.

If it just doesn’t feel like a vacation when you are sleeping in your own bed, check with the same hotels that you are planning to enjoy the pool, Spa and workout facilities to see if they offer any mid-week or weekend specials to locals.  If they are a convention hotel, they may offer lower rates on the weekends.  When you call, make sure you ask what the occupancy rate is before you ask for a discount.  Hotel front desk and reservation agents are trained to try to get the most money for the rooms they are selling, however, they would rather have rooms filled with paying guests than sitting empty.  You can definitely negotiate lower rates when the occupancy rates are low, so make sure you ask.  Give it a try, you may be pleasantly surprised and get to enjoy a night away just a short stroll from home.

You can also try the following sites to find great hotel deals:

www.hotels.com

www.cheapostay.com

Idea # 94 – Museums & Zoos

Another great idea to make the best of your “Staycation” is to check out your local museums & zoo.  Many museums & zoos offer a free day for locals to enjoy.  So pack up the kids and enjoy a day with the monkeys or your favorite post modern artist at your local museum for FREE.

Idea # 95 – Local Parks

Some other ideas to make the most of your vacation at home this year include getting  outside.  I bet you have bicycles in your garage and if not, you can rent them at a local bike shop or use a bike share program like b-cycle; www.bcycle.com (make sure you read the “rates” & rules for these programs, they are designed to share bikes throughout the day in half hour increments, so you are often charged every half hour unless you ride from station to station) to ride around your city and explore your local parks.  Pack a frisbee in your back pack along with a cold drink and snacks.  Then enjoy being outside for the day doing things you wouldn’t normally do.

Idea # 96 – Amusement or Water Parks

Who doesn’t love roller coasters and water slides in the summer?  I sure do.  Check with your local grocery store to see if they sell discount tickets and get a four pack or more.  All that’s left is to pack your cooler, your sunscreen,  and your family in the car then enjoy a day at the park!

Idea # 97 – Movies

When it’s hot outside, going to the movies during the day is a great way to not only cool off, but to save money.  Matinee’s are always less expensive than prime time movies.  Check out www.fandango.com for deals on new releases, or you can plan a movie marathon at home…reserve a bunch of movies you’ve been wanting to see at redbox.com, blockbusterexpress.com or netflix.com then pick them up at your closest automated DVD Kiosk, download them “On Demand” or drive to your local rental store, if you still have an actual store near you.

Idea # 98 – Gourmet Dinner delivered to your door

If movies and popcorn isn’t 5 Star enough for you, call your favorite gourmet restaurant and order a fantastic dinner (that you didn’t plan or slave over a hot oven to prepare) and have it delivered hot and ready to eat right to your door.  See if your town/city has a restaurant delivery service like: www.delivery.com (use promo code Miss25 when using this service).  It’s easy, convenient and tipping the delivery guy will always be much less than the 20% that you would normally tip while “dining in” at the actual restaurant you didn’t have a reservation for anyway.  Hey…why not break out the China and your best bottle of wine (this will be cheaper than the drinks you would have ordered dining in too) that you’ve been saving for a special occasion?  You are on vacation after all!

Idea #99 – Camping Out

Camping in your back yard or a close by campground is always fun.  You can make it a simple camping trip in your back yard or do a full on car camping trip close by with Smores fixings and all of your best camping gear.  If you don’t have camping equipment, you es file explorer apk can ask friends to borrow some or Kmart & Wal-Mart are great places to get quality tents, sleeping bags, camp stoves, outdoor games and even portable showers that are inside of a small tent with a base and drain…I was amazed when I saw stumbled across this jewel of a find!  You can browse in your pj’s from the comfort of your own home to pick exactly what you need to make your camping trip to the back yard or the next town over the best ever.

Kmart has camping and outdoor gear for great prices.  Click below to order your camping or fitness gear:

Kmart.com

Also, receive FREE Shipping on all mailable Kmart.com orders of $59 with code BLUE!

walmart.com

If you aren’t able to travel for a vacation this year or any year for that matter, I hope you will take some of the ideas that I’ve shared and enjoy your well deserved time off either at home or close to home.  My hope is that you get plenty of R & R, feel refreshed and stress free after your fantastic “Staycation” at home.  Be sure to share your story with your friends, colleagues and loved ones.  Everyone loves to hear about great deals close to home that are fun cheap or FREE and easy to plan!

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