You don't need to travel to have vacation fun

10 Fun Things to Do In Your Hometown

by Jeanine DeHoney

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Has the lack of funds prevented you from going on vacation? If so, take advantage of a vacation hotspot right in your backyard. It won't cost a lot of money and you won't need a ton of suitcases and neither will you get jet lag.

Here are some tips on how to create precious vacation memories that are also budget friendly for you and your family on the home front.

  1. Plan an outing to your local farmers' market. You will get a chance to see a bounty of the best tasting fruits, vegetables, artisan breads, preserves, etc. Use this time to share with your children a great environmental lesson on locally grown food, how it goes from farm to the table, and how buying it supports local farmers. Buying from a farmers' market will get you more bang for your buck since the middleman is eliminated.
  2. Related: A Buying Guide For Shopping at Your Local Farmers' Market

  3. Visit flea markets. Every great city has an indoor or outdoor flea market. Get there early when vendors first put their goods out. You can get countless deals and also hone your bartering skills.
  4. Go to an outdoor festival or public theatre event. During the summer, there are always music festivals, art festivals, and food festivals that you and your family can enjoy. If there is a fee, it is usually nominal and they usually have giveaways and free activities for children, such as face painting.
  5. Introduce your children to the games of your childhood. Have a nostalgic game day at home both with board games like Operation or Twister and playground games, such as Dodgeball, Tag, or Simon Says. Share your memories with your children about those times and how fun they were.
  6. Reacquaint yourself with your neighbors. They may also be looking for ways to have inexpensive fun in their hometown. Brainstorm with each other to come up with ideas or even plan a block party.
  7. Find out what free activities your local and state parks offer in the summer. Many have nature trails for hikes and horseback riding, splash pads, and tennis, basketball, and skate parks.
  8. Learn a new language. If you can't afford to go to another country, go to the library and get how-to books on speaking the language of that country.
  9. Pay it forward as a family for your vacation. Bring hope and encouragement to someone less fortunate on your vacation by volunteering at a soup kitchen or woman's shelter. The returns you get from helping someone less fortunate are priceless.
  10. Related: How Your Family Can Make a Difference on $5 or Less

  11. House swap with close friends. Swap houses for a day with close friends. Maybe they have a Jacuzzi or a beautiful view of the mountains, or they can see the skyline at night from their rooftop or some other perk. Offer them free babysitting or a home-cooked meal in return.
  12. Start planning for that dream vacation. Sign up for hotel discounts and start a vacation fund savings jar that your children can contribute to by giving a part of their allowance. Open up a vacation bank account. Do your homework and shop around early for the best all inclusive travel packages for your family.

Spending your vacation at home can not only be fun and save you money, but it can also strengthen your relationship with your family and renew your appreciation for your hometown.

Reviewed March 2018

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