Who said you have to travel somewhere to have a great time? Sometimes staying home and having a "staycation" is something you can look forward to just as much as getting out of town for a few days. What is a staycation? A staycation is when you take a few days and plan activities for the family that you don't normally do. If you're trying to save money by not traveling out of town or you just don't want to deal with the hassle of packing bags and arranging transportation and lodging, a staycation can be the perfect solution for you this summer.

How do you plan for a staycation?

In order to have a successful staycation, you need to have a plan for what you will do. If you don't have a plan, you'll end up doing what you do every weekend, the kids will get bored, and it won't feel special. Think outside the box and come up with some fun activities the whole family can enjoy. You don't have to stay in your house, either. Plan a few activities in your city that you don't do often. It will give you a greater appreciation for the city you live in, and everyone will have a fun time. Make sure you also come up with a budget. If one of your main reasons for not taking an out-of-town vacation is because it just isn't in the budget, this is especially important. Even though you're staying home, you can quickly rack up a large bill if you aren't watching what you're spending.

What are some ideas for staycation activities?

Have a campout... in your backyard. Kids love camping, and pitching a tent out back will make it seem like you really did leave town. Have a campfire, make s'mores, and tell some spooky stories!

Have a family game night. Get together a few fun games that the entire family will enjoy and spend the night playing! You can even keep a tally of who wins each game and the winner can receive a small prize at the end of the night.

Have a movie night. Select a movie (or two), have everyone put on their pajamas, and pop some popcorn! Who wouldn't enjoy a movie night?

Take a nap. One thing you must do while on vacation is relax, and this is also true of staycations. Make the most of your time off by getting in some much-needed R&R.

Have a craft day. Find a few fun craft ideas the kids will enjoy and spend the afternoon getting creative. After you're done, display everyone's creations so they can be admired!

Explore your city. No matter where you live, there is probably something fun you can do that you've never done before. A few possibilities: see a ballgame, visit a zoo, visit an aquarium, attend a festival or concert, visit a museum.... the possibilities are endless.

One of the best parts of having a staycation is getting to spend some much-needed quality time with your family. Don't think about work and only use your cell phone if you really need to. Your staycation might just be one of your all-time favorite getaways!