Some may rent a cottage on Martha’s Vineyard or embark on a grand Parisian adventure this summer, but if you want to stay local, there’s plenty to keep you occupied. The good news is that you’ll spend less, enjoy time with your family and support your local economy. Here’s how to make the most of your hometown holiday:
If you live in a city, swimming options are rare. Find deals on a local hotel with a pool through sites like Travelocity.com and Expedia.com. This way, you can chill in the water without shelling out for a coastal cottage or a seaside resort.
Staying in a nearby hotel is also a great way to get away from daily grind without the high cost of travel. Ditch grocery shopping and house cleaning for room service and a concierge. “There’s something intrinsically fun and sexy about staying in a hotel in your own city,” says Nancy Friedman, of Nancy J. Friedman Public Relations.
If you’re a biker or hiker, scout out the trails in your area on sites like Trails.com. Explore your nearest national park and uncover lesser-known urban paths with guides for over 40,000 trails in North America and the Caribbean.
On a beautiful summer night, why not skip the air-conditioned theater and take in a movie outdoors? Hit up one of the many outdoor movie festivals held in cities throughout the summer, or visit Movies.com to locate your closest drive-in theater.
Always wanted to catch a show during the week, but daily life got in the way? Dress up, head into town and see the latest Broadway tour or local production. Visit Ticketmaster.com to see what’s coming to your area.
Summer is the time to eat in the great outdoors. Pack a basket with a large blanket and finger foods, and head to your local park or green space—or even your backyard--for a sun-filled picnic. Find a list of national parks in your area at Nationalparks.org.
If you’re within driving distance of the coast, spend the day observing aquatic life in its natural environment on a whale-watching cruise. Visit Whalewatching.com to find a tour in your area and see one of nature’s largest animals close-up.
Sometimes we come back from a vacation more stressed than when we left. If you’re looking for peace of mind and to better your body, head to Yogasite.com for a list of yoga centers and retreats in the US—many of which are reasonably priced.
If wine is your thing, consider taking a day or weekend trip to your closest vineyard and enjoy tasting and learning. Many tour packages accommodate small and large groups, so bring your significant other or gather a group of friends.
If you’re taking a staycation during the week, head to a museum to enjoy culture without the crowds. A perfect retreat on a hot day, you can head to AAM-us.org for a list of museums—including art, science, history and more—in your area.
A night on the town is fun, but it can do serious damage to your wallet. Avoid an expensive movie ticket or a large restaurant bill: Host a BYOB potluck dinner with your close friends and spend a relaxing night in the comfort of your own home.
You don’t have to stay at a five-star hotel or dine in a swanky restaurant to enjoy a fabulous meal. Enjoy a night of excellent food and service in your own home when you hire a personal chef. Though they’re generally not very cheap, you save in hotel costs and travel alone. Find a personal chef in your area at Personalchef.com.
If you’re within a couple hours driving distance of the ocean, take a day-trip to the beach and relax in the sand and surf without paying peak season hotel prices. For those too far inland, travel to your closest river or lake.