Taking a vacation doesn't have to mean traveling far away or spending a small fortune. The best vacation memories can be made in our own backyards. From house swamping and bartering for vacation toys to spa days at home in your pajamas, there are many options for frugal stay-at-home vacations.
Bartering and Housing Exchanges
Not every vacation has to involve money. You can create enjoyable times by bartering with friends, co-workers or family members for play-at-home exchanges. For example, if you've got a camper and your friend has a fishing boat, negotiate an exchange that benefits both parties and gives you free access to different types of recreational equipment. Or swap houses with friends across town just for a welcome change of scenery at no cost.
Family Fun Projects
Many active couples and families enjoy working on projects together. Select a home or community project that would benefit and interest all family members and use your vacation time to work on that project. Plant a garden, put up a swimming pool or create a backyard miniature golf course. Not only can it be an exciting vacation project, the resulting home or community improvement can last for years.
Outdoor and Local Adventures
Take advantage of the natural beauty and attractions in your own hometown. Plan a bike ride, nature trail hike, cookout, picnic or trip to a museum. Get out in the sun and be a local tourist for a week or two. Visit free or low-cost exhibits, gardens, beaches and lakes within striking distance of your home for day trips to places you never have time to visit during the workweek.
Special Spa Days
Treat yourself to a series of special spa days right at home. Lounge in your pajamas and enjoy late morning brunches. Take turns giving each other pampering manicures, pedicures or massages. If you've got a pool in your backyard or nearby,or a lake or ocean within walking distance, sun yourself with your favorite cold drink and leave the cell phone and computer in the off position.
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