Thrifty Thursday: Planning a Staycation

eHow Home Blog

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Everyone needs a break from the hectic lives we lead, but sometimes a full week in an exotic location just isn’t in the cards – or budget. If you have the time to spare for an extended vacay, or just want to make your weekend feel special, a staycation is a great way to feel like you’re on vacation without leaving your home turf.

I love planning weekend staycations to help inject some excitement into my usual routine. I can also keep my budget in check by exploring my neighborhood and nearby areas. Living in Los Angeles, I have access to many tourist spots, beaches, restaurants and parks, but you don’t have to live in a city to take advantage of your surrounding area. Take the time to investigate what’s nearby; you might just find a surprise or two.

Here are a few suggestions for creating a little vacay for yourself without straying far from home.

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Visit Your Local Spa
A trip to the spa can be a rare treat and reasonably priced if you do your research. Never been? Even better reason to give it a shot while on your staycation.

For those who really wish to keep it at home, you can also create your own spa settings to indulge in whenever the mood strikes. All you need are some scented candles, bubble bath, bath pillow, a little soothing music in the background and the time to relax. Glass of wine optional – just be sure not to fall asleep.

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Seek Out a Pool
If you already have a pool, consider yourself lucky. To make your pool area seem more like an outdoor retreat, use your imagination. Twinkly lights, potted plants, and inexpensive decorated signs can go a long way to adding a festive atmosphere to your backyard.

If you don’t have a pool, well, installing one won’t exactly qualify as a thrifty item. However, most of us have friends with pools and you can always pass your suggestions to them. Next step, sit back and wait for your invitation to their next pool party to arrive.

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Plan a Luau
Since you can’t make it to the islands this time around, bring the tropics to your home. A luau is a great way to get together with friends, while still enjoying the vacation vibes you’ve set about creating for your staycation. Not sure where to start? Check out our Luau Party Guide for the best advice on how to make your luau the talk of the neighborhood.

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Hold a Wine Tasting
Visiting wineries is a fun way to spend an afternoon, but not everyone has easy access to the local vineyard. If you happen to live far from one, or just want to be in control of your own tasting, consider holding a wine tasting at home. How to Throw a Great Wine Tasting Party is an excellent resource to get you started.

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Cook a Theme
Break out your cooking skills and try some dishes from around the world. Nothing says vacation like exploration, and even if you can’t go, it doesn’t mean your taste buds have to suffer the same fate. Learn some French Food Tips or get schooled in Italian Cooking 101. The opportunities are endless.

These are just a few thoughts to help spark your imagination. What are your staycation suggestions?

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