5 inexpensive staycation ideas for Memorial Day Weekend

You might feel a little disappointed if you haven’t scheduled a Memorial Day getaway this year. But don’t worry. There are a lot of fun things to do at this time of year and plenty of advantages to taking a “staycation,” which is a vacation taken at home. It’s less expensive, you can support your local community and you can discover new things in your own backyard by playing the role of a tourist.

Extend the long weekend even further by taking advantage of a few personal days to get into the vacation mindset.

Here’s how to plan an exciting staycation for Memorial Day weekend.

MARATHON, FL - SEPTEMBER 19:  Patricia Spencer hangs up laundry as she tries to salvage what she can from her home after it was damaged by hurricane Irma on September 19, 2017 in Marathon, Florida.  The process of rebuilding has begun as the Federal Emergency Management Agency has reported that 25-percent of all homes in the Florida Keys were destroyed and 65-percent sustained major damage when they took a direct hit from Hurricane Irma.  (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Take a break from household chores. Just like you would before a vacation, get all your laundry and household chores done before the holiday weekend. Spruce up your yard or deck the week prior, so you can enjoy it during nice weather. Another way travelers often relax on vacations is by not cooking or preparing meals. Just because you’re home over the holiday weekend doesn’t mean you have to spend hours sweating over the stove. Prepare meals ahead of time by searching “meal prep recipes” online for ideas. That way, the slicing, seasoning and thinking about your meals is done ahead of time. All you have to do is heat them up. For those who enjoy grilling, have a few simple side dishes or marinades ready to go in the fridge, then head outside with a cold beverage to enjoy the weather while you grill. If you’d prefer to dine out for a meal or two, make the most of it and order something that will be enough to bring home for leftovers. That’s another meal planned. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images) (Getty Images/Joe Raedle)
Cherry tomatoes are displayed for sale with summer fruits and vegetables at a farmers market in Falls Church, Va., Saturday, July 28, 2017. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Head to farmers markets and craft fairs. For many communities, Memorial Day weekend is the kickoff to a season of weekly farmers markets, festivals, craft fairs and outdoor concerts. Check the community calendar for your town and neighboring areas to see what’s on the schedule. Depending on the event, there might not even be an admission fee. You can simply walk through and check out wares from local artisans, try delicious samples from food vendors, listen to live music and pick up produce, meat or cheese from area farmers. Not only are these local goods likely to be less expensive than what you would get at the grocery store, you’ll know exactly where they came from. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
NATIONAL PARK, SAINT HELENA - OCTOBER 27:  Hike guide Val Joshua walks on Diana's Peak on October 27, 2017 in the National Park, Saint Helena. Following the introduction of weekly flights to the island, resident St Helenians, known locally as "Saints", are preparing for a potential influx of tourists and investment as well as enjoying the possibilities brought by much faster transport links with South Africa. Previously, travel to the island involved travelling for a week by the Royal Mail Ship (RMS) "Saint Helena" from Cape Town. Saint Helena is a 46 square mile island in the South Atlantic which has been under British control since 1834.  (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)
Take local hikes and walks. Have you explored what your area has to offer for hikes and walking trails? You might be surprised by the number and types of offerings. Resources such as website AllTrails.com will list nearby walks appropriate for all levels of ability. This activity is not just for those who live in rural communities. City dwellers can find historical walks, city walks, beach walks and bike rides. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images) (Getty Images/Leon Neal)
Geocachers Bob Rathbone, left, Robin Bright, right, and new geocacher Sang Park, center, program the next destination into their GPS units, while searching for caches in the New Munster Wildlife Park, Friday October 21, 2005 in New Munster, Wisconsin.  An estimated one million people worldwide have played the scavenger hunt game that has a high-tech twist. In fact, geocaching is becoming popular enough that numerous states now post online the coordinates of local sites of interest to encourage state tourism. (AP Photo/ Ron Kuenstler)
Try geocaching. While you’re out exploring, you might want to add in a little more adventure with geocaching. The concept of geocaching is similar to a treasure hunt. There are thousands of areas around the country, and even the world, where participants have hidden little “treasures” called geocaches. It might be a box full of knickknacks, goodies or someone’s sentimental item. The fun is really in the hunt and what you might discover when you’re searching, such as a beautiful park, trail or lookout point. To participate, simply download a free app from the official geocaching website. There, you can see all the geocaches in your area and how to find them. Using your GPS, you can search for the item and log when you’ve found it. Not only is this a fun way to spend an afternoon, it’s a great way to get the whole family out of the house, working together and getting some exercise. One bonus initiative of the game? Participants are encouraged to “Cache In, Trash Out” and remove any trash they find in the area where they are geocaching. That way, kids can learn a valuable lesson about protecting the environment while they’re having fun. (AP Photo/ Ron Kuenstler) (ASSOCIATED PRESS/RON KUENSTLER)
FORT MYERS, FL - SEPTEMBER 10: A family plays dominoes in a hotel as Hurricane Irma arrives into southwest Florida  on September 10, 2017 in Fort Myers, Florida. With businesses closed, thousands in shelters and a mandatory evacuation in coastal communities, the Fort Myers area is preparing for a possibly catastrophic storm.  (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
Host a game night. Have some fun with friends and family by hosting a game night. Do it after dinnertime, so you’re not on the hook to provide a meal, just dessert or snacks and beverages. Depending on the crowd, you could even set up a game room for adults and another game room for kids. Don’t feel like you need to buy more games. Ask your guests to bring what they have so there’s plenty to choose from. Whatever you do, kick back and enjoy the unofficial kickoff to summer. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images) (Getty Images/Spencer Platt)
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MARATHON, FL - SEPTEMBER 19:  Patricia Spencer hangs up laundry as she tries to salvage what she can from her home after it was damaged by hurricane Irma on September 19, 2017 in Marathon, Florida.  The process of rebuilding has begun as the Federal Emergency Management Agency has reported that 25-percent of all homes in the Florida Keys were destroyed and 65-percent sustained major damage when they took a direct hit from Hurricane Irma.  (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Cherry tomatoes are displayed for sale with summer fruits and vegetables at a farmers market in Falls Church, Va., Saturday, July 28, 2017. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
NATIONAL PARK, SAINT HELENA - OCTOBER 27:  Hike guide Val Joshua walks on Diana's Peak on October 27, 2017 in the National Park, Saint Helena. Following the introduction of weekly flights to the island, resident St Helenians, known locally as "Saints", are preparing for a potential influx of tourists and investment as well as enjoying the possibilities brought by much faster transport links with South Africa. Previously, travel to the island involved travelling for a week by the Royal Mail Ship (RMS) "Saint Helena" from Cape Town. Saint Helena is a 46 square mile island in the South Atlantic which has been under British control since 1834.  (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)
Geocachers Bob Rathbone, left, Robin Bright, right, and new geocacher Sang Park, center, program the next destination into their GPS units, while searching for caches in the New Munster Wildlife Park, Friday October 21, 2005 in New Munster, Wisconsin.  An estimated one million people worldwide have played the scavenger hunt game that has a high-tech twist. In fact, geocaching is becoming popular enough that numerous states now post online the coordinates of local sites of interest to encourage state tourism. (AP Photo/ Ron Kuenstler)
FORT MYERS, FL - SEPTEMBER 10: A family plays dominoes in a hotel as Hurricane Irma arrives into southwest Florida  on September 10, 2017 in Fort Myers, Florida. With businesses closed, thousands in shelters and a mandatory evacuation in coastal communities, the Fort Myers area is preparing for a possibly catastrophic storm.  (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

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5 Inexpensive Staycation Ideas for Memorial Day Weekend originally appeared on usnews.com

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