How to Save Money With a Staycation – 13 Budget Travel Tips

Traveling overseas isn’t easy or cheap—you’ll need months of preparation, research, and of course, a fat wallet. But with staycations, you can still explore and take your well-deserved break without the hefty price tag that comes with international getaways. So whether you’re planning a beach vacation, a city escape, or an outdoor adventure, these 13 tips on how to save money with a staycation will ensure you have a fantastic time without breaking the bank.

Man planning his vacation trip with map
Planning for budget travels. Photo credit: Depositphotos

1. Plan Ahead

Before starting your staycation, it’s important to take some time to plan. Create a budget, set realistic goals, and map out activities that fit within your financial limits. This thoughtful approach will help you avoid unnecessary expenses and ensure you get the most out of your time off.

2. Explore Local Attractions

Exploring local attractions is an excellent way to spend a fun staycation while saving money. Take your time to research local parks, museums, or historical sites that you haven’t visited yet. Numerous cities provide resident discounts or free entry days, so make sure to take advantage of these benefits to save even more money. 

3. Culinary Adventures at Home

Rather than dining, consider turning your staycation into a culinary adventure at home instead. You can experiment with new recipes, cook with friends or family, and enjoy the satisfaction of a delicious home-cooked meal. You’ll be surprised at how much money you can save by skipping the restaurant bills.

Try making one of these dishes:

4. Use Discount Platforms

Find and explore online platforms that offer exclusive deals and discounts on activities, dining, and entertainment. Websites like Groupon or LivingSocial often feature local experiences at a fraction of their original costs, making your staycation both enjoyable and budget-friendly.

5. Bike or Hike Local Trails

Get active during your staycation by hiking or biking through your local trails. Enjoy the beauty of nature, get some exercise, and breathe in the fresh air — all without spending a dime.

Group of three tourists walking uphill by trek in mountains
Walking uphill by trek. Photo credit: Depositphotos

6. Movie Marathon at Home

In this day and age, watching movies in the cinema isn’t the only option anymore. By using streaming services, like Netflix and Hulu, you can have access to a wide selection of movies and skip out on pricey cinema tickets. Pick a theme, prepare some snacks, and enjoy various movies with your loved ones from the comfort of your living room. 

7. Attend Local Events

Check your local event calendar for concerts, festivals, or community gatherings that will happen during your staycation. Many of these events will probably have a free or inexpensive entrance fee, providing you with entertainment options that won’t strain your budget.

8. Rediscover Hobbies

Use your staycation as an opportunity to reignite old passions or discover new hobbies. Whether it’s painting, playing music, or trying your hand at photography, engaging in activities you love can be both fulfilling and cost-effective. 

9. DIY Spa Day

Transform your home into a relaxing space with a DIY spa day. Pamper yourself with budget-friendly face masks and essential oils, some soothing music, and a steamy bath. You’ll achieve the same level of relaxation as a spa day without the hefty price tag.

a girl with a towel on her head in a bath enjoying spa time
DIY spa time. Photo credit: Despositphotos

10. Library Exploration

Staycations offer the perfect opportunity for book lovers to visit the local library and borrow a stack of books you’ve been meaning to read. Whether it’s romance, sci-fi, or non-fiction, losing yourself in the pages of a good book can be a cost-effective staycation option.

11. Stargazing Night

End your day with an amazing night of stargazing in your backyard or at a nearby stargazing area. Many universities and colleges have free astronomy programs and star parties. So grab a blanket, lay on your back, and observe the beautiful night sky full of stars and constellations. You can also download a stargazing app like SkySafari 7 Pro that identifies constellations to help you appreciate the views even more.

12. Local Farmers’ Markets and Food Tours

Explore the flavors of your community by visiting the local farmers’ markets. Sample fresh produce, support local vendors, and go on food tours by discovering unique culinary delights. This way, you can avoid expensive restaurants while appreciating your hometown.

13. Taking Photos of Your Hometown

Become a tourist in your own hometown by going on a photography session around the neighborhood. By capturing the beauty of local landmarks, architecture, and landscapes, you can appreciate your hometown through a tiny lens.

Staycations are not supposed to be boring or expensive. As you can see, there are many ways to save money with a staycation. From exploring local attractions to hiking at local trails, there are plenty of fun things to do even without spending a lot of money.

About the author
Jennifer Allen
Jennifer Allen is a retired professional chef and long-time writer. Her writing appears in dozens of publications, and she has two cookbooks, Keto Soup Cookbook and Keto Diabetic Cookbook and Meal Plan. These days, she’s busy in the kitchen, developing recipes for various publications and traveling. You can find all her best recipes at

Leave a Comment