6 ways to make your money saving staycation better than travel

Holidays are great - you can chill, you can catch up with friends and you can travel. But if travelling isn’t on the cards for this year's holiday, having to hear, “We’re off to Europe!” from your friends can be unbearable.

However a staycation is not only way cheaper than travel and lets you stay positive about your family finances,  it can also be more fun than seeing that one pointy tower, or that one slanty tower, or that particularly tall tower in that one city. So when you are facing a staycation remember the fine words of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, “There’s no place like home”. (Or was that Dorothy? Nah, definitely Franz)

Here’s 6 ways to make your finance-friendly staycation a better time than your overseas bound counterparts.

Break out the board games

You remember board games, like Scrabble, Snakes and Ladders and everyone’s favourite 12 hour argument starter Monopoly. Most people have a secret cupboard filled with a collection of not just the classics but the actually-good new ones that you’ve kind of played once, but not really. Well now’s the time to throw your kids’ iPad out the window (or ask them to put it down) and set up a fun family night of board games, where you can explain how back in your day, these were all the rage. Or if you don’t have kids, invite your friends, you’d be surprised how many are down for a cheeky wine and board game night.

Start a new habit

We all wish we were doing something we’re not. Whether it’s improving your breakfast routine, reading more, starting your frugal fitness regime and on and on and on. “I would totally meditate if I had more time,” you say, never intending to actually do it. Well on your staycation all you’ve got is time. Take that opportunity and start working on your new habit. If it takes 21 days to make a habit stick, then this week or over the next 3 weeks, or however long you have is a great time to get on top of that thing you’ve been saying you’ll start doing everyday but haven’t.

Actually chill

Travel holidays are great, sure, but they’re rarely properly relaxing. Most are filled with itineraries and activities and non-stop action. Well now's the time to chill, like a proper, actual, feel your body de-tensify chill. For some people, doing nothing is as easy as, well, doing nothing. For others this may be the hardest thing there is. Either way getting a chance to relax, regroup and regenerate can really help you re-calibrate in a way that will help your focus, motivation and general mental health. So run the bath, grab a bottle of red and put on your favourite Nora Jones CD, because you’re about to do some high-level chilling.

Hit the bush and take a walk

Australia is one of the most beautiful, well-maintained and vibrant environmental landscapes and engaging with the great Aussie bush is always an amazing experience. There are so many national parks around Australia that hours of exploration and cardio are mere minutes (ok maybe an hour or two) away. And with all the paths already in place you don’t need to spend a fortune at Kathmandu to be prepped and ready. Just chuck on some shorts, runners and an old band t-shirt from your teen years and you’re ready to hit the hiking trails.

Movie or TV marathon

What are kids saying these days, ‘Netflix and chill’? While we’ve heard that has a whole other meaning, the literal phrase itself is a strong staycation tip. Whether you’re about to endeavour on a solo 102 hour ‘I’m going to finally watch Lost’ adventure (good luck), or you’re going to introduce your kids to all the classics you love, but they’ve never seen, bundling up in front of the TV is something we all wish we could do a little more than we’d like to admit.

Explore your hometown

Wherever you live might seem a bit boring, after all, that’s ‘just home’, right? But there’s so much more to your town, city or suburb than you probably realise. Now’s the time check out all those random stores you’ve driven past but never gone in, peruse some parks that have always been a bit too out of the way, and go to the museums and galleries that you haven’t been bothered to go to so far. At the end of the day you’ll be able to say, ‘hey, I know my home a little bit better than I did before,’ and that’s kind of cool.

So there’s no need to be put off that you aren’t kicking it in Sicily, hanging in Bangkok or rocking out in the US. You’re not only saving a tonne of money with your staycay, but you can have just as a good a time. Or do I dare say, a better time?

If you’re home with your kids over the holidays, find out 5 fun activities for kids you can do to cut down on your energy bill.