College graduations are almost over, the kids will be out of school in a few weeks, and that hot summer weather is coming out in full force. You’ve probably started getting those emails from your coworkers or have seen the office vacation calendar fill up with literally everyone’s summer vacation days off. While everyone you know may be talking about their upcoming trips in detail, opting for a staycation may be best for you this year.
Maybe you want to go easy on your bank or don’t want to travel to a place where the population density reaches that of New York City in the summer, here are ideas to help plan a staycation and gain a newfound appreciation for your own hood.
Chances are that no matter where you live, there will be some tourists coming from near and far to enjoy what your hood has to offer. Whether you’re a beach lover, fan of hiking, or avid biker, you’re sure to find some way to get closer to Mother Nature. Check local meet-up groups, ask around at the office, or visit your local parks and recreation sites and you’re sure to find places you never knew existed—and hopefully others to explore them with!
There are two ways to do this, so think about your budget. Maybe if you’ve saved on that flight to Orlando, you’ll want to splurge and head to that new restaurant that’s all the rage. If you’re stretched a bit thin until your next paycheck, why not try preparing something new at home, or resurrecting one of your favorite family recipes? Make a plan with some friends to get the ingredients and then prep the meal together—you could even use this as a chance to get your supper club started. Or try doing a potluck cookout where everyone brings one of their favorite or most unique family dishes. Ideally whoever has the best outdoor entertaining space can host. And if not, why not make it a picnic!
This summer you can catch up on some bonding time with your boo. Be ready to get out of your comfort zone if you don’t always see eye to eye on what you like to do outside the house! Try to plan a full day together—do something they like for the first half and close out with one of your favorite local activities. You could discover a new passion or at least more passion for that special someone!
Pick up a book and transfer to a far off land without leaving your couch. And if you want it to be a group activity, consider using this opportunity to start a book club with your friends or suggest reading a book at your next supper club meet up. If you’ve gotten out of the habit of reading, maybe choose a book that also has either a movie or TV series out to watch after you’ve finished. If, for example, you’ve been meaning to get into The Handmaid’s Tale, the print version could be a good place to start.
Chances are that there are tons of things going on in your hood that you don’t even know about. Finally make time to go to that play you’ve been interested in or check out that museum. Some museums feature First Fridays where you can expect free admission and even fun happy hour food and drink options! A quick google search will yield tons of options for cool concerts, outdoor movies, or museums in your city.
Time for some self-care with an awesome spa experience. If your budget is tight, it’s super easy to create a luxurious pamper session at home. If you can afford to spend a bit, try somewhere new or coordinate with your friends to make the day more special. And sometimes spas aren’t always what you might expect—exactly my reaction to this unsuspecting rooftop jacuzzi in New York.
Get a Groupon
At a loss for staycation ideas? Check out Groupon Local, LivingSocial, or any other discount coupon site. Your employer might even have programs that you’ve forgotten about. Remember that your (local) world is at your fingertips. Don’t be afraid to explore on your staycation, just like you would on a vacation!