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Image of a family having a picnic overlooking a mountain range.
If a vacation in the Swiss Alps isn't in the budget this summer, you can still find plenty of mountains around here to take the family to.

5 Family Staycation Ideas That Won’t Break Your Budget

TRAVEL & RECREATION — Family vacations are a great way to bond and take a step back from the hectic schedules that accompany everyday life, but sometimes time or money (or both) make planning an elaborate trip a non-starter.

However, a staycation – a vacation you take right in your hometown (or nearby) – can be much less expensive and fit into nearly any amount of available time with the added bonus of skipping out on potentially stressful travel.

Consider these staycation ideas to take advantage of your local area’s attractions and prove you don’t have to go far to spend quality time together.

Image of a waterfall at Yosemite.

Image by Jeb Buchman.

1. Visit Local Landmarks

Just because it’s not a traditional vacation doesn’t mean you can’t pretend to be tourists. Start by visiting the places you recommend to friends and family from out of town or pick up a city guidebook to uncover hidden spots you may not even know exist.

Make a plan to seek out historic sites, visit local landmarks like museums or try an out-of-the-way restaurant (or two) you’ve never eaten at before.

2. Visit an Amusement Park

No matter where you live, there’s probably an amusement or water park within driving distance. A quick online search before you arrive can help prepare a strategy for hitting the most popular thrill rides and waterslides while skipping those that may not provide quite the same entertainment value.

Image of a carousel in an amusement park.

Image by Gábor Adonyi.

3. Set Up a Picnic in the Park

Pack a basket with sandwiches, fruit and other treats and head to the park. You can enjoy a casual meal then take advantage of the open space for a family walk or game of tag before retreating to the playground to let the little ones expel any leftover energy.

4. Have a Home Spa Day

If you’re looking for some relaxation but don’t want to splurge on the full spa treatment, plan an at-home oasis instead. Light some candles, run a bubble bath and break out the facial masks and fingernail polish.

5. Camp Out in the Backyard

Camping doesn’t have to be done far from home. In fact, it can be done right in your own backyard. Pitch a tent to sleep under the stars and plan a night full of traditional camping activities like roasting s’mores, telling spooky stories by flashlight and trying to identify stars and constellations.

Find more tips and tricks for enjoying family time together at elivingtoday.com.

Image of backyard camping.

“Some national parks have long waiting lists for camping reservations. When you have to wait a year to sleep next to a tree, something is wrong.” — George Carlin

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