Everyone wants to have a nice vacation to escape the hustle and bustle of daily life. But vacations, especially out-of-town or abroad, may be out of reach if you are on a tight budget. Probably the best alternative then is to have a budget-friendly staycation just in town or nearby. You’ll be amazed and delighted to know that your own city actually provides a great homeground to have fun with the family without busting your budget.

Here are some fun, practical, and budget-friendly staycation ideas for you to explore.

Find Free Events Close to Home

  • Look up your city (or nearby) website, which usually has the Things to Do or Events tab.  The free events can range from food festivals where you can get free tastes or samples, to art exhibits, dog shows, and even special movie showings.
  • Your local barangay or city hall may also post these events so drop by or call them to get details.
  • Sunday papers usually have the Events section to announce exhibits, concerts, etc.
  • Ask friends or neighbors if they know of any free event in town.
How to have a budget-friendly staycation

Book a Staycation in a Top-rated Budget Hotel Chain

  • Surprisingly, you may be able to spot great affordable staycation deals by just browsing through hotel reservation sites or by asking the hotels directly. Most hotels offer them during off-season periods.
  • Book condotel units instead of rooms. The amenities are just about the same and even more, because these usually have kitchens so that you can buy your own supplies and cook your own food, which will save you a lot from having to eat out.
  • And while you’re at choosing the right accommodation, check out Zen Rooms, a budget-friendly hotel chain operating more than 5000 rooms in eight Southeast Asian countries. For as low as $10 a room per night, you can enjoy amenities such as air conditioning, WiFi access, hot showers, clean facilities, and 24/7 customer support. Zen Rooms is definitely the new standard in economy hotels. There are dedicated tabs to help you find deals in the city of your choice (ex. Baguio, Cebu, and Singapore). Listings per city indicate the locations and room rates, types of rooms, ratings, and also provide pictures of the accommodations. You can even do a live chat with Customer Support if you need to ask more questions. Reservations are either on prepaid or pay-at-hotel basis. And unlike AirBnb, Zen Rooms take responsibility for your reservation because it directly oversees and operates the hotels that it offers. You can find all types of rooms ranging from singles to four-beds-in-one to apartelles. Room rates are all inclusive, so no surprises on your bill upon checking out. How’s that for an affordable staycation?

Use this ZenRooms Coupon Code: STAYCATIONPH to get 20% OFF on your hotel booking.

Take a Tour of Your Own Town

  • Think you already know the ins and outs of your own town?  You’ll be surprised that there’s actually a lot you still need to learn about it.  For instance, your town might have ancestral houses which are open to the public, and these all have their own fascinating stories to tell.
  • Research and read up on your town’s local history.  Get all the key spots and map out your own itinerary and be your own tour guide for your group.
  • To make your local tour more enjoyable, mark out all the local iconic dining spots where you can take meals and snacks during your tour.
How to have a budget-friendly staycation

Go Backyard Camping

  • For a really cheap staycation, just stay at home but plan a backyard camping and cookout.  Let all family members pitch in by planning the menu, shopping for the ingredients, setting up the campfire, cooking, and finally cleaning up.
  • Do activities that you normally don’t on ordinary days.  You could have backyard watergun fights (great on scorchy summer days), mini-Olympics, parlor games, ghost story-telling, and even just heart-to-heart chat sessions. These would really bring the family closer together.
  • To make your home staycation more fun, invite other relatives or friends to join.  To save money, make this a potluck where all guests bring their own food to share with everyone.