With the weather warming up, kids getting out of school and summer plans coming into focus, many families are planning ‘staycations’ in addition to traveling to see family and friends. Staycations allow a family to save money while spending more quality time together and helping their local economy.
“With many of us trying to cut back on expenses, the staycation trend has become very appealing and a great alternative to a conventional vacation,” said Kara Kaiser, Regional President, M&I, a part of BMO Financial Group. “In planning for the summer, there are a number of suggestions we have to help people save for the family fun that typically begins this time of the year.”
If you’re thinking that a staycation might be just what the doctor ordered and are ready to make some plans, Kaiser offers you some great ideas.
For years now May has been referred to as National Barbeque Month. According to HPBA’s biennial survey of consumer grilling preferences, three great reasons are:
- It’s affordable and helps save money.
- It’s convenient and easier than cooking inside.
- It’s a great way to spend more time at home with friends and family
Formal tours are available at company museums and factories, as well as at fire stations and police stations. But if parents ask nicely, they might also be able to get their kids a tour of a movie theater projection room, the pinsetters at a bowling alley, or other places kids are curious about. Television stations, radio stations, and newspaper production facilities also offer tours.
Museums, observatories, planetariums
Art, science, children’s, aviation, history … there are lots to choose from, and most have areas dedicated to kids.
Scenic train rides
Ranging from about 30 minutes long to day trips, they can be a romantic idea for adults but they also often cater to kids.
They’re easier to find now than they used to be, because many cities have built them as part of their recreation centers. Community swimming pools are another option.
Zoos and aquariums
Young kids love the zoo, of course, and there are some very good aquariums around the country. Many zoos also offer behind-the-scenes “VIP” tours and have special camp programs for kids.
The next five:
- Sporting events (as well as stadium tours)
- Camping (as well as hiking, biking, wilderness viewing areas, state parks)
- Regional amusement parks
- City festivals
- Family fun centers (with bowling, miniature golf, go karts, laser tag, that sort of thing).
Especially for adults
- Sunset cruises on lakes (usually with dinner)
- Community theater and touring Broadway productions
- Historic home tours
- Staying at a local resort for a few days
- In-town Bed and Breakfasts
“To really make your staycation fun and enjoyable, plan it out, and make a budget. If you stick to your budget, you will be able to really take advantage of all the local activities your community offers,” added Kaiser.
Learn more about planning a staycation at the Helpful Steps for Parents community website http://www.bmoharris.com/parents