You can save money during shorter breaks by staying closer home, and then splurge big when the long summer vacation comes around.

4 Budget-Friendly Staycation Ideas You Just Can't Ignore

4 Budget-Friendly Staycation Ideas You Just Can’t Ignore

Area of Study: CEE-Saving; Jumpstart- Spending and Saving


During shorter breaks like Thanksgiving or spring break, I love to plan staycations so that I can save up for bigger vacations when I have longer breaks like the summer. But you’ve still got to have some fun during your staycation! Here are some of my favorite staycation ideas for those short breaks:

1. Themed Movie Nights

You can pick a broad subject – maybe a sci-fi or Tarantino night. You can even incorporate snacks into the theme. For example, for the Tarantino night, bring out the foods that you can stress eat, or maybe something spicy. You can also make it potluck-style and coordinate who brings what type of plate.

If you really want to save money, make it a YouTube night and binge on one of your favorite YouTubers. That’s a little more niche-oriented, of course. But it can also help you see which friends’ interests are closest to yours.

2. Board Game Night

Personality and perception-based card games are my personal favorite because no matter how much you play them, there will always be a different outcome based on who has certain cards.


If you don’t have card or board games, ask to borrow some from a friend. Or even better, provide snacks and invite that friend over.Click To Tweet


There are also games for which you can improvise the materials yourself. In Mafia or Werewolf, for example, you only need to create role cards. There are also apps and websites that can help you figure out how to play these games.

3. Food Adventures

Sometimes we get so busy in life that we tend to sideline the small things. “Food adventures” are moments when you take for yourself to explore food places nearby. It doesn’t have to be fancy. It could just be a new bubble tea or dessert place in town. Or that Mexican place you never made it to.

Personally, I always have a list of restaurants and cafés that I want to visit. Check out some food blogs for inspiration.


You could even figure out what food your hometown is known for and try that if you haven’t already.Click To Tweet


Doing this every day during your staycation will rack up a big bill, but try picking one or two places to visit during your staycation. That shouldn’t harm your wallet.

4. Be a Hometown Tourist

Take some time to get to know your hometown – or wherever you’re currently living. See if you can find museums, parks, monuments, or beaches to enjoy some quiet time. It sounds lame, but you’d be surprised by what you can find out about your area. Sometimes something amazing is hiding right under your nose. And a lot of it may even be free!

The Bottom Line

The most important thing about a staycation is to make sure that you give yourself some self-care. In fact, you don’t have to do everything on this list. It’s also okay to stay home and give your mind some rest. You shouldn’t need a vacation from your vacation. You do you – after all, you know your self best.

Check List

  • Do fun activities at home with friends.
  • Check out the eats around town.
  • Play tourist.
  • Have a sweet, cheap staycation!


Article Checklist

Key Words

  • staycation
  • save
  • incorporate
  • money
  • niche
  • personality
  • perception
  • inspiration
  • bill
  • self-care
  • activities


1. In the article the writer uses the word staycation. What do you think this means?
2. In what ways does the writer suggest that money can be saved?
3. What things do you do in your free time?
4. What alternative activities could you do if you changed some of the things you do regularly?
5. Use at least five of the key words listed below the article to write a paragraph starting with “Barbara wanted to stay at home this summer and save money.”


You are the newly appointed Teen Tourist Adviser for your hometown. With
summer coming soon, teens often tell their parents that they have nothing
to do. Your job is to research your neighborhood and surrounding towns
and produce a What to Do Guide for Teens.


For more from author Melody Azani, click here