Dear Ms. Plaid:

I’m working so hard to save money, but I really need to take a vacation from work to recharge. Do you have any suggestions?

– I NEED a Break

Dear I NEED a Break,

I completely understand both struggles. I too like to take breaks from work because it recharges me. In fact there have been multiple studies proving that disconnecting from work can actually be beneficial for your productivity when you return (Huffington Post, Forbes, Inc.).

The easiest way for me to save money is not working because it seems like if I am not working I am spending. Enter the much needed – STAYCATION. I did this a few years back and at first I hated the idea because I was working so hard and deserved a vacation. However, my financial goals won out and I planned a Staycation and it turned out great. Check out the visitor’s bureau of your city or the nearest large city (Directory of Visitor’s Bureaus). When I viewed by city through the lens of a visitor I realized there was so much I had not done in my home town.

I made a list of all the fun things to do:

  1. Attractions
  2. Museums
  3. Historical Sites
  4. Zoos, Aquariums
  5. Restaurants
  6. Parks and trails
  7. Events during my Staycation

Then I made an itinerary for each day of my Staycation just like I would for a big trip. It turned out my city had lots to offer I had never seen and I definitely enjoyed my week. When eating out I gave myself a daily budget like I do for trips and even made specific plans to meet up with friends. I also had time to go to the movies which never happens.

In addition to the tourist stuff, I also treated myself to a little self-indulgent spa day. This is not something I normally do so I got a facial, massage and my brows got the treatment (I really looked like a new person). While I didn’t get to go to the Caribbean I was just as relaxed as I would have been.

I also planned naps, just saying. So you can see there is lots to do and you can still disengage from work and get the benefits of vacation without breaking the bank.

Has anyone else taken a successful Staycation? Let us know your favorite things.

Ms. Plaid