Looking into our bank accounts and at the receipts for our expenses on bare necessities has stopped being agreeable a while ago. For some more than others. And as always, I won’t become political about it. Suffice it to say, that these days, I’m lugging home one bag of normal groceries at the same price of once three. Which also means that for some people, this year’s original vacation plans will have gone bust. Even if you have an RV, moving it somewhere fun is now probably a matter of affordability and whether it’s really worth it.
But that doesn’t mean that our staycations have to be without any joyful experiences. After two Covid summers, it’s an inflation summer – but we can still have fun. Let’s just look into what possibilities we still have in our vicinity.
Lucky are those who own or rent a home with a garden, of course. There is endless activity to be had just there. Plant seeds for fruit and veggies. It’s not too late for some of them yet. And the pride in seeing something grow, to harvest it, and actually have it on your plate is really priceless. Think beans or peas – they grow fast. Or herbs – they add so much fun to dishes. If you have kids or grandkids, it will be a wonderful experience for them to grow something in their own little patch. If you don’t own a garden, maybe there is a community garden in your neighborhood? Try to find out. When I was a child, my family had neither – but I grew things in terracotta pots.
How well do you know your neighborhood? If you are living in a safe one, why not take an after-dinner walk? It will give you wonderful time to think over your day and plan for tomorrow, even if you are living alone. If you have a partner or family, it turns this into a time of communication, exploration, and joint experience.
Are there any museums in your town? Check their opening times and make sure you visit them. You might discover some fun facts about history, nature, art – whatever the topic is. And the museums are so happy to receive visitors, since many of them rely on grants based on their visitor numbers.
Is there a beach close by? Or a park? Think picnics. It doesn’t have to be a weekend either when they are full. Just go there any day and celebrate your vacation with home-made dishes. The sky is the limit – from sandwiches and an apple to a full-blown BBQ. Or, if you are close to your neighbors, have a pot-luck fest going on in a driveway. Or have each neighbor provide one course in theirs and walk from driveway to driveway.
Come up with a place you would like to go to if neither time nor money were an issue. Now, look it up together on TV on demand or on the internet. The larger the family the more the fun! If everybody gets an assigned day for their dream destination, this might go a long way. Maybe you can even cook a meal together based on the destination.
Have reading time together. Choose a book from your local library and take turns in reading it out loud. Craft together. Make music together. Explore each other’s musical taste by listening through your old vinyls, CDs, even tapes if you can. Explore your taste in art. Maybe even learn a foreign language together.
Staycation doesn’t mean we have to be bored or to focus on what we could have had if circumstances had been different. My husband and I are having a staycation summer this year, too, by the way. As in the past years, though, admittedly, without the worry more vulnerable citizens have. Still, I hope that some of the ideas mentioned will help you out enjoying this summer even on a budget.