Stay-cation: All you ever wanted

Pardon me while I channel my inner Belinda Carlisle…

It is almost time for the summer vacation season to begin. You can always tell because city and neighborhood festivals start to appear. Here are a few shots from our annual Baltimore Flowermart this past weekend:

Mmmmm. They had us at “Funnel Cake”.

I mention this today, because now is the time to do some vacation planning. And by that, I mean realistic vacation planning. (Read more about Real Living philosophy here.)

The economy is still recovering, no matter how you choose to define the word “recession”. Even if you have survived this economy un-scathed, now is the time for us all to do some conscientious saving. A “Stay-cation” may be just right for you.

Now, don’t go rolling your eyes at the trendy term. Vacations are a great way to re-prioritize…IF you embrace the full opportunities of a good Stay-cation.

The best vacations include:

  • Change of routine
  • Change of scenery
  • A bit of adventure
  • Great pictures and/or souvenirs

We all want to have a good time and no one wants buyer’s remorse (especially at these gas prices). So, how can we find all we have ever wanted in a vacation at home?

Fortunately, we all have some great solutions right in our own areas to ensure all of these priorities are included in our stay-cation. Here’s where to start looking for them:

This my city’s magazine. Your city probably has a magazine, too. Now is the time of year when they print big, glossy spreads about things to do in your city over the next three to four months. Get out your calendar and start filling it up with things that sound fun! Pick and choose from great entertainment while you can still get tickets.

"U2 is coming to Baltimore?! Where is the phone?!....."

Now is the time to find and list all of those neighborhood street fairs and festivals on your calendar. Get out and visit with your own neighbors or explore those neighborhoods you have always meant to get to but never have had the time to see.

Skip cooking dinner a few nights and eat out. You can afford it, since you spent so little of your budget traveling to get there. Besides, half the fun is in the company you keep.

You can almost hear the dog thinking, "Drop it...drop the turkey leg...just let go..."

Don’t get your local city magazine? Most Barnes & Nobles stores keep a nice stack of local magazines, including other cities near you. Expand your local search area to see the best summer activities in other towns. Now is the time to plan, so you don’t miss out on a fun…dare I say it…FREE event!

You can also check out area newspapers around this time of year for summer fun ideas. Nearly every local media source is gonna list some sort of article like this:

You could even find articles on your local media websites. Use your “downtime” or “coffee break” at work to surf the web for events and any possible discounts you can score because it is still pre-season.

So what are you waiting for? Get scheduling your stay-cation!  It’s almost time to re-stock the sunscreen!

Like this idea and want more? Stay tuned for next week’s post on finding more adventure in your area! You won’t believe the deals!

All of the magazine images in today’s post are courtesy of “Baltimore” magazine. “Baltimore” is America’s first city magazine and has been celebrating our city since 1907. To learn more or subscribe, visit here.

Do you have a local festival you love to attend? Leave a comment and we can all share the best ideas with each other!

Posted on May 9, 2011, in Lifestyle. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. This can be a busy time for people in the academic world. I have several graduations to travel for, so I’m looking to save some money this year by checking out what I’ve been missing in my area. Great idea.

    I like your new blog format. It’s very nice to look at and use.

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