Say it with me: game-changing staycation ideas that cost under 100 dollars. Yes, it can happen!
Don’t think just because your family is on tight budget that you have to scratch out vacation plans. Nope. Your family needs a vacation. Your family needs time to unwind, relax and connect. Away from responsibilities. Away from normal schedules. But — not away from home. And a special “thank you” goes out to Sears Mastercard for sponsoring this post all about staycations under $100!
When it comes to vacationing, I am NOT a home-body. I love to travel, see and experience new surroundings. However sometimes our budget, schedule or even health issues prevent us from traveling for an ultimate family vacation. But that’s ok because I have some game-changing staycation ideas up my sleeve that make parents and kids happy!
It is definitely possible to make a staycation work. Your family can have fun, unwind and enjoy many of the things you enjoy on a planned, away-from-home vacation. It just takes a little bit of forethought and creativity — but it sure does save a pretty penny or two!
In order to make a staycation feel like a real vacation, ask your family what “must-haves” they need in order to feel like they’re on a real vacation. Here’s our family’s list:
No activities outside the family
No work from home assignments (ahem…that’s a personal note for me — wink, wink!)
Limited social media, electronic games and smart phone time
Again, each family’s preferences are different, but taking pre-planned steps to help your family relax and only focus on family time is worth a week without social media, games etc. Focusing on family-centered activities is what makes a vacation or staycation memorable!
Make sure you use your Sears Mastercard from Citibank when you stock up on your Staycation supplies! You can earn Shop Your Way points in most of your fave shopping spots and then those points can be redeemed on purchases ranging from everyday household consumables (like paper towels etc.) to larger items such as kitchen appliances sold by Sears and Kmart in store or online and on ShopYourWay.com. These rewards points can also be used in combination with in-store promotions at Sears and Kmart. If you’re spending money on your staycation, you might as well earn some points, right?
Back to our Game-changing staycation ideas!
Game-changing Stay-cation Ideas the Cost Under $100
- Check out 3D museums. My husband and I had a blast at a local 3D Art museum. It was a unique experience that gave us memories to treasure! This particular museum was $12 per person. So it definitely fit in the staycation budget!
- Visit local theme parks. Most states have a theme park or two just waiting to be explored. Check out this website to see which family theme parks are available in your area!
- See the zoos and aquariums. I don’t think my kids ever tire of seeing animals! Pack a picnic lunch and spend an un-rushed day checking out some amazing creatures. Lots to learn and see!
- Create a home drive-in theater. Hang a white sheet outside or inside for a large screen. Make buttered popcorn and have movie candy ready for nibbling. Don’t forget about the soft drinks too! Pick out your family’s favorite movie and enjoy your very own drive-in theater! Are you a picky parent when it comes to movies? Check out our picky parent top picks here!
- Take a family bike ride. Dust off the old bikes, pump up the tires and grab some hats, shades and water bottles for a long family bike ride. Check your local area (within one hour driving distance) for the best trails for an all day adventure! Ever heard of the Swamp Rabbit Trail? It’s only 10 minutes from our house! Awesome, huh?!
- Watch some ball games. Local teams are a cheap way to see some live sports action. It’s much better to see the games in real life! Some games even offer fireworks after that your kids will enjoy!
- Go for a family hike. Check out some local hiking and camping areas for some family-friendly trails. Lots of nature to explore! Some trails also have historical landmarks along the way and even some hidden waterfalls!
- Build a fire pit. I remember several years ago one of our friends built a fire pit in their yard and hung tiki lights. We roasted hot-dogs, marshmallows and had home-made ice cream. The fire pit really made it fun and special. It change the whole atmosphere of the backyard and took the fun-meter up a few notches. You can build a simple one or a more elaborate one. Check out a tutorial here.
- Order take-out. This is mainly for the mom, but isn’t that what most of us do on vacation? Have your fave take-out restaurants on speed dial so you can order some yummy grub in a hurry. Want to add a twist of fun? Enjoy it on the porch, on a blanket for a picnic or on your living room floor. Change things up a bit so it feels like real vacation yummies! And don’t forget — all new Sears Mastercard customers can earn more Shop Your Way points (3% back in points on eligible purchases at grocery stores and restaurants). So definitely get take-out and rack up even MORE points with Sears MasterCard and Shop Your Way!
- Offer room-service. For one or two mornings, offer your family room service. They can choose from a list of four or five meals, and you can deliver them to their door. You can also switch off if you have older kids and they can serve breakfast in bed to your family for one or two days and then you can serve breakfast for one or two days.
- Provide bathroom accessories. There’s something special about plush, hotel towels and wash cloths. Keep your family’s bathroom stocked with plush towels, washcloths, tiny soaps, shampoos etc. to add a real hotel-feel to your staycation!
- Hang a hammock. One of my favorite parts of a mountain vacation is the comfy hammock hung between the trees. It’s a quiet place I can relax in for a lazy hour or so. I also enjoy cuddling with my kiddos in hammocks. My kids love piling in and swinging together. One hammock can add a lot of fun to your staycation!
- Offer turn-down service. Have a nightly turn down service. Buy a yummy box of individually wrapped chocolates and have a different family member every single night to be in charge of the nightly turn-down service. Instruct them to fold back the covers, smooth the sheets and leave a small chocolate on each pillow.
- Go fishing! Plan a fishing trip at one of your local lakes or ponds. Be careful about kids and hooks and make sure all kids are supervised at all times. If kids are well-supervised, fishing can be a fun and relaxing way to spend your staycation!
- Pick some berries! Go pick some blueberries, strawberries, blackberries or whatever grows in your neighborhood. Load up on the fruity goodies and then everyone can bake cobblers and pies. Make sure you top them off with some vanilla ice cream! Yum! Use your Sears Mastercard to grab the ice cream and add some more point to your staycation!
- Play paintball or laser tag. The guys in our family love this, but the girls can be competitive too! Check out prices and age limitations before you plan a family trip for this fun outing. Then, enjoy the fun!
- Play Mini-Golf! Have you ever taken your kids to play putt-putt or mini-golf? I always like to end it with an air-hockey game at the nearby arcade too. Lots of fun memories and a cheap way to have fun! Make it super budget friendly by checking out the rates for Mondays and Tuesdays. These are typically the cheapest days to go play. Definitely avoid weekends for more wiggle room in your staycation fund!
- Visit your local theatre. Local theaters often have musical and dramatic plays during the evening or morning. I’ve found some amazing classics through local theatres! We’ve even had some Broadway plays come into our local growing theatre as well! Check into this several months ahead of your staycation to get the best seats and experience. Local theaters can cost $15-$45 a ticket. Stick with the $20 or $25 tickets for your family and you’ll still be within your $100 budget! If you opt for a local Broadway play (if applicable) the price for tickets jumps up quite a few notches — so budget if this will be a super big highlight of your staycation!
Has your family ever enjoyed a stay-cation? What was your favorite part? Share your thoughts in our Facebook group for moms!
Thanks again to Sears Mastercard for sponsoring this post about game-changing staycations!