5 Smart Ways to Plan an Amazing Staycation

Save money while being a tourist in your own town. 

While many of us may have the itch to travel this year, COVID still has people feeling cautious both about being on the move and spending lots of money. After all, 75% of Americans have gone into debt to pay for a vacation at some point, and that’s the kind of decision that can throw a wrench in any good financial plan.

One solution? A staycation. Sure, you can do all the usual staycation stuff, like binge movies in your robe or plan a spa day, but why not really treat it like an adventure and be a tourist in your own town? For just a few dollars a day you can discover some unexpected treasures and terrific finds right in your own backyard. Here’s how.

Hit your local museums.

You don’t have to live in a big city with a world-renowned art collection—we’re talking about the little, cool, weird, or unknown museums, hidden gems that even most locals don’t realize exist in their own hometowns. Everything from the childhood homes of famous Americans, to living history museums, refurbished train depots, strange collections, halls of fame, you name it—you can find them listed by state at the Museums USA directory.

Enjoy a public garden.

Public gardens serve an important role in any community offering opportunities for education, research, conservation, and just plain old enjoyment. Search public gardens at the American Public Gardens Association.

Browse art galleries.

It’s a perfect (and free) way to discover new-to-you or local artists as well as enjoy art in a lovely setting. Look for First Fridays opportunities in town, when local galleries, independent shops, boutiques, restaurants, and more open their doors late into the evening, with live music and food.

Plan a crawl.

Tacos, tequila, craft beers, candy shops—whatever your guilty pleasure is, you can plan a fun crawl in your area to sample and find the best of the best. You’ll add to your repertoire of delicious spots while supporting hard-hit businesses and small business owners as they reopen.

Seek out public art.

Murals, sculptures, memorials, even public performances, events, and festivals all count—and every town has some, with the goal of bringing art to the people in an accessible outdoor format. So bring your phone for some fun selfies, and a willingness to look and learn. To find public art near you, try this list from the Association for Public Art.

Stay somewhere new.

A funky bison farm, a cool cave, crazy treehouse, or sweet city loft? If you crave a change of scenery but want to stick close to home, this list of amazing Airbnb rentals in every state will spark your imagination. Even hitting a local B&B can provide a surprising shift in perspective as you meet people over a delish breakfast (that you didn’t have to cook) and swap stories about your travels near and far.

When you treat your staycation like an actual vacation instead of just a way to kill time at home, you don’t just save money. You end up exploring—and falling in love—with your own town in completely delightful ways. At Aspen Wealth Strategies, we believe that every good financial plan combines smart money management and a little heart. Connect with an advisor today.

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