How to Plan a Staycation

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The warm summer months tend to evict the image of beach trips and vacations. However, not all families are able to afford or take time off for a vacation, which is why many families are opting for a “staycation” this year.Plan a Staycation, Southwick's Zoo, Mendon, MA

A staycation is just what it sounds like—a vacation where you are able to participate in fun leisure activities but not travel far from your home. Choosing to plan a staycation is the perfect way to make spending time with loves ones and relaxing an affordable option. The following lists explains the best methods to plan a staycation.

How to Plan a Staycation: Determine What You Want to Do

Get together with your staycation buddies and brainstorm how each of you would most like to spend a vacation. Some people may prefer to relax by the pool, while others want to spend all day in museums. Consider writing down a list of all of the sights and activities desired and then select the ones that are most feasible and include everyone’s unique tastes.

How to Plan a Staycation: Be Creative

So your teenage daughter wants to spend all weekend by your non-existent pool? See if you can instead visit a local lake or make your own sprinklers by attaching a hose into an empty two-liter bottle with holes in the bottom. Perhaps your adventurous spouse wants to climb mountains but there are none in your area—consider a rock gym or (even cheaper) a local state park, such as Purgatory Chasm. You may not be able to sip piña coladas in Maui, but you could make your own tropical drinks and sip them anywhere there is sand and water. The most important part of how to plan a staycation that is successful is getting a little bit creative.

How to Plan a Staycation: Look for Discounts

Unlike many tourists who are more willing to spend outrageous prices for things because of the mantra “it’s ok, we’re on vacation,” you have the advantage of knowing the area. Sign up for local deal websites, such as Groupon or LivingSocial. Visit your local library, because they often have free or discounted passes for local attractions. Always check the website of your destination before your plan your trip to check for any available coupons or special deal days.

How to Plan a Staycation: Think Like a Tourist

While you have the advantage of knowing the area, you may also have the disadvantage of knowing the area. Consider doing an online search of local tourist areas near your home. You may not even be aware of the all of the local destinations around you, or may not think of them because you are so used to being so near to them on a regular basis. For example, Mendon, Massachusetts may not sound like a prime tourist destination, but it contains one of the few drive-in movie theaters still left in the country and one of the biggest zoos in New England.

The best part about a planning a staycation is that all of that fun doesn’t have to be stuffed into a few days. Depending on your time constraints and how you want to spend it, your staycation could last all summer, on weekends and weeknights! As long as you are able to achieve all of the fun things you want to do in your area over the summer, it doesn’t really matter how quickly or slowly you do everything on the list.

If you live in the area, Southwick’s Zoo would love to be one of your staycation destinations. Visit our website to plan your trip, where you can find our Zoo map, coupons, and a list of other Zoo attractions.

How would you plan a staycation? Would you prefer to take time off and do everything at once, or spread out the fun over the entire summer?

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