8 Activities to Plan Now for a Fun and Budget-Friendly Fall Staycation

The coronavirus pandemic caused many people to cancel travel plans around the world. You might’ve already had to cancel a family vacation or two. But not being able to travel doesn’t mean there aren’t things to plan for fun at home–beyond your typical game night. You and your family can recharge without ever leaving your hometown.

Staycations allow you to enjoy engaging activities with your family and save money. Plan a fun-filled staycation right now with our list of eight budget-friendly and local activities. 

But, stay on the safe side-make sure that you wear your mask and practice social distancing while out in public. And if coronavirus cases are high in your hometown, you might want to forgo the more public activities and stick to things you can do in your home. 

8 Things to Plan for Fun Near Home

1. Be a tourist in your city

When travel numbers are down, it’s often an ideal time to visit local attractions. You may have forgotten about the landmarks and architecture that make your nearby city, small town or rural area special. Consider diving into the local history and exploring famous buildings or locations. You’ll not only save money on accommodations and travel but also fall in love with the area you live in again.

2. Turn your house into a spa

Turn your house into a relaxing oasis and experience ultimate comfort without leaving your home. Family members can make homemade facial masks and refreshing smoothies with berries or seasonal fruit. Other activities to plan include making a nutritious menu for the entire day and putting together a calming music playlist. Reenergize your family by utilizing some of the comfort features that exist inside your house.

3. Rent a short-term vacation rental

A short trip to escape the city, your heavily populated suburb or your quiet town can be just the refreshing staycation you need. Depending on where you live, consider renting a property on the beach or a cabin near any natural park. If you already live somewhere rural, consider taking a weekend trip to the closest big city.

    Get everything you need to master your credit today.
    Get started for free

    Book a rental with a nice kitchen, and you and your family can make a delicious dinner together. You can also support local businesses by ordering delivery or takeout. You can find many vacation properties that fit your budget.

    4. Go camping

    There are 421 national park sites in the United States covering more than 84 million acres. Spending time in nature is a great family activity when you need to accommodate social distancing, and camping might be an ideal vacation activity. Fresh air and beautiful natural surroundings can be a nice change of pace for you and your family. You can safely stay inside your social bubble, cook your own food and explore the scenery around you.

    There are so many things to plan for fun on a camping trip. Make s’mores, go fishing, take a hike or tell stories around the campfire. Also, consider bird-watching or collecting different types of leaves or rocks. Being in an outdoor environment can encourage the development of new hobbies and provide a restful break.

    5. Plan a culinary “trip” around the world

    While you might not travel to Italy or Japan, you can go on a culinary trip around the world by supporting local restaurants. Now is the perfect time to experiment with international cuisines and order a type of food you’ve never eaten. You can experience fine dining from all over the world in the comfort of your own home. 

    You can even plan a fun activity with your family that corresponds to the meal. Watch a film or documentary about the country your meal originates from or make a playlist including music from that region. If your dinners inspire family members, consider opening a savings account to save for a vacation to one of those countries in the future.

    6. Visit a museum

    Many local museums created policies to support safety and social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic. Whether you’re looking to do something fun during the pandemic or a more normal time, you can enjoy relaxing and informative days exploring art, history or science at local museums or galleries. You can browse a variety of museums in America to find one near you.

    7. Have a picnic

    Picnics are another opportunity to experience a relaxing day while eating good food. Pack family favorites and find a nice, shady spot outside. Consider planning the whole day in the park. Bring frisbees or a soccer ball to play with, and picnic under a group of trees for shade and comfort.

    8. Hike or bike

    Many cities have bike-share options if you don’t have enough bikes, but don’t forget to bring hand sanitizer. Many scenic bike paths around the country are perfect for a sunset ride. Hiking trails offer another chance to explore your natural surroundings. These picturesque landscapes are also the perfect backdrop for taking timeless photos.

    Budgeting for a Staycation

    Staycations don’t have to be expensive, and there are plenty of things to plan for fun that are completely free. When planning your staycation, make a budget and stick with that amount. Try vacation rental sites such as Airbnb or Sonder for deals on accommodations. To budget your staycation:

    • Make a budget with a budgeting app to simplify the process
    • Create a plan of activities to do on your staycation
    • Research the cost of the items on your list
    • Add the total and swap activities to fit your budget

    Plan Your Staycation Today

    There are several exciting things to plan for fun during the coronavirus pandemic or anytime. And in normal times, you can trade the fun of your hometown for the fun of someone else’s with a traditional getaway. Save money for future vacations without sacrificing the benefits that come with taking time off.

      Get everything you need to master your credit today.
      Get started for free

      Credit.com receives compensation for the financial products and services advertised on this site if our users apply for and sign up for any of them. Compensation is not a factor in the substantive evaluation of any product.

      Hello, Reader!

      Thanks for checking out Credit.com. We hope you find the site and the journalism we produce useful. We wanted to take some time to tell you a bit about ourselves.

      Our People

      The Credit.com editorial team is staffed by a team of editors and reporters, each with many years of financial reporting experience. We’ve worked for places like the New York Times, American Banker, Frontline, TheStreet.com, Business Insider, ABC News, NBC News, CNBC and many others. We also employ a few freelancers and more than 50 contributors (these are typically subject matter experts from the worlds of finance, academia, politics, business and elsewhere).

      Our Reporting

      We take great pains to ensure that the articles, video and graphics you see on Credit.com are thoroughly reported and fact-checked. Each story is read by two separate editors, and we adhere to the highest editorial standards. We’re not perfect, however, and if you see something that you think is wrong, please email us at editorial team [at] credit [dot] com,

      The Credit.com editorial team is committed to providing our readers and viewers with sound, well-reported and understandable information designed to inform and empower. We won’t tell you what to do. We will, however, do our best to explain the consequences of various actions, thereby arming you with the information you need to make decisions that are in your best interests. We also write about things relating to money and finance we think are interesting and want to share.

      In addition to appearing on Credit.com, our articles are syndicated to dozens of other news sites. We have more than 100 partners, including MSN, ABC News, CBS News, Yahoo, Marketwatch, Scripps, Money Magazine and many others. This network operates similarly to the Associated Press or Reuters, except we focus almost exclusively on issues relating to personal finance. These are not advertorial or paid placements, rather we provide these articles to our partners in most cases for free. These relationships create more awareness of Credit.com in general and they result in more traffic to us as well.

      Our Business Model

      Credit.com’s journalism is largely supported by an e-commerce business model. Rather than rely on revenue from display ad impressions, Credit.com maintains a financial marketplace separate from its editorial pages. When someone navigates to those pages, and applies for a credit card, for example, Credit.com will get paid what is essentially a finder’s fee if that person ends up getting the card. That doesn’t mean, however, that our editorial decisions are informed by the products available in our marketplace. The editorial team chooses what to write about and how to write about it independently of the decisions and priorities of the business side of the company. In fact, we maintain a strict and important firewall between the editorial and business departments. Our mission as journalists is to serve the reader, not the advertiser. In that sense, we are no different from any other news organization that is supported by ad revenue.

      Visitors to Credit.com are also able to register for a free Credit.com account, which gives them access to a tool called The Credit Report Card. This tool provides users with two free credit scores and a breakdown of the information in their Experian credit report, updated twice monthly. Again, this tool is entirely free, and we mention that frequently in our articles, because we think that it’s a good thing for users to have access to data like this. Separate from its educational value, there is also a business angle to the Credit Report Card. Registered users can be matched with products and services for which they are most likely to qualify. In other words, if you register and you find that your credit is less than stellar, Credit.com won’t recommend a high-end platinum credit card that requires an excellent credit score You’d likely get rejected, and that’s no good for you or Credit.com. You’d be no closer to getting a product you need, there’d be a wasted inquiry on your credit report, and Credit.com wouldn’t get paid. These are essentially what are commonly referred to as "targeted ads" in the world of the Internet. Despite all of this, however, even if you never apply for any product, the Credit Report Card will remain free, and none of this will impact how the editorial team reports on credit and credit scores.

      Your Stories

      Lastly, much of what we do is informed by our own experiences as well as the experiences of our readers. We want to tell your stories if you’re interested in sharing them. Please email us at story ideas [at] credit [dot] com with ideas or visit us on Facebook or Twitter.

      Thanks for stopping by.

      - The Credit.com Editorial Team