Staycations can give you a break without breaking your budget!

If you’re wondering what a staycation is, don’t bother to look it up in Webster’s dictionary. It isn’t there, at least not yet. According to Urban Dictionary , a staycation is a vacation spent close to home. And in summer 2008, it became a favorite media buzzword.

The gas crisis of 2008-2009 made people vacation closer to home. This year it’s the economy, says AAA. It is expected in the coming year(s) that more travelers will explore nearby towns, cities, beaches, mountains and even their own backyards.

A staycation is the perfect chance to do the things you’ve always wanted to do but never had time for, such as playing tourist in your own town.

Like any vacation, a staycation takes planning. Experts suggest you set a beginning and an end to your staycation, make a budget, do research, buy a few things to make it more enjoyable and get your chores out of the way first. Otherwise, you’re just coming up with regular weekend activities.

For information, check your local newspapers and magazines for new exhibits and events, and visit your local visitor’s bureau for brochures on area attractions. Before visiting museums and other venues, find out if there are special deals. Consider becoming a member. Sometimes, especially for places such as the aquarium that you might visit several times in a year, it might be a better deal. Also see if a city pass (several sights bundled together for one discounted price) is available.

Besides museums and amusement parks, visit gardens, take a walking tour and find your areas best vantage point for a panoramic view of the river or ocean.

And since your saving money with a staycation, splurge by dining at your favorite restaurant or be a little more adventurous and try something new, maybe Thai, Asian, or a local fondue restaurant: You can make believe that you traveled to that country and order something delicious.

A Victorian bed and breakfast in your own town would set the stage for a wonderful staycation, but don’t look for televisions in all the rooms says Innkeeper Doug Erickson from C.W. Worth House Bed and Breakfast in Wilmington, NC…We offer rooms without televisions to “encourage romantic behavior”.

Lastly, just because your destination may not be exotic doesn’t mean your expectations should be lowered. Remember your camera, and finish off your staycation by scrapbooking. Who knows–the vacation of your dreams may be closer than you think.

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