July 18, 2008 -- A stay-at-home vacation? Why not?
"Staycations" are all the rage this summer, but not necessarily because people prefer staying at home to going to Biarritz during their time off. Nearly off-the-chart gas prices and a shaky economy make staycations unavoidable for millions of American families.
If you and the kids can't go to the great outdoors this summer, why not bring the great outdoors to you? In Idaho, the Worrell family cleared out its calendar and living room to create a unique camping vacation — tents inside the family home.
"The kids love it. Our neighbors thought we were crazy," said Stephanie Worrell about their non-traditional vacation.
In Texas, Jennifer and David Passerella's family found an offbeat staycation bargain only a few miles from home. They stayed at the Tyler, Texas, Holiday Inn for a fun family package that included room cost, breakfast, toys and a poolside movie for $100.
Look in your own backyard for bargains. Whether it's a trip to the zoo or a picnic in a local park, remember to bring your camera, because no matter where you are, you'll want to hold on to your memories. Experts also say that it's important to choose an actual beginning and an end to your staycation. Just because you're staying at home, it's still a vacation and it's really important to get into that mindset.
Ideas for your own "staycation:"
Citypass Booklets. City passes work in cities across the country: Boston, Chicago, Seattle, San Francisco, Hollywood, Atlanta, Houston, southern California, and Toronto, Canada.
On average, adult ticket booklets cost about $54, and youth booklets cost about $37.
Call or visit your city or town's chamber of commerce to find out more information.
Throw a themed neighborhood party or cookout. Don't just invite friends; invite all the neighbors! Meet new people.
Create a whole new environment, right in your backyard … or maybe even in your house. "Good Morning America" set up a teepee from giggle.com to change our perspective. For more information on the teepee tent, Click Here.
"The Lodge Weekend." You can go hiking, swimming and fishing in your own back yard.
Pick up "The Pocket Guide to Games," by Bart King. This new book coaxes readers away from TV and computer screens and outside to enjoy the summer. "Good Morning America" tried horseshoes, bocce balls and popcorn bowling. What's popcorn bowling? This game requires taking ten empty soda bottles, filling them with unpopped popcorn kernels, lining them up like bowling pins and knocking them down! This game works best on a lawn and away from traffic to keep kids out of the way of automobiles.