summer beach 300KENTUCKY (7/6/13) – When the economy took a turn for the worse several years ago, many families had to cut costs in order to make ends meet. For many families, that meant leaving vacations on the cutting room floor. While the economy has rebounded, uncertainty surrounding that comeback has prevailed for many families, who remain hesitant to book a traditional vacation for fear of spending money they might be better off saving.

The sacrifice of traditional vacations has led many families to embrace the "staycation," wherein families still take time off to be with one another but do so largely at home rather than heading off to an exotic locale or resort. A staycation is a great way for families to rediscover their own communities and spend quality time together without the hustle and bustle of airports or interstates. Families who still find themselves hesitant to commit to a more traditional vacation can heed the following tips to ensure their staycation is a success.

* Go out to dinner. Part of the fun of a family vacation is getting to enjoy some nights out on the town. But even if you're not straying far from home this year, you can still enjoy the cuisine your community has to offer. Dine out a few nights during your time off, making sure to enjoy a few different restaurants instead of relying on one your family frequents throughout the year. Dining out on a weeknight will create the feel of a more traditional vacation, and you might just find a new restaurant you and your family love and can revisit in the years to come.

* Absorb the local culture. The daily grind has a way of making life hectic, and chances are you and your family don't get to enjoy your own community's culture throughout the year. Take advantage of the time afforded you by your staycation to soak up all the culture and recreational activities your community has to offer. Visit nearby museums, take in a performance at your local theater or explore a nearby park, be it for a day of hiking or a more laid back picnic in the sun. This can help everyone reacquaint themselves with the reasons you chose to settle down in your community.

* Go camping. Just because you're having a staycation doesn't mean you have to stay home. Spend a few nights away from home by taking the family on a camping trip. The fee to stay at a nearby campsite is negligible when compared to the cost of hotel rooms for an entire family, and you won't spend nearly as much on food because you'll need to bring your own to the campsite. Camp during the week instead of on the weekends, and you might have more of the campground to yourself.

Staycations have become a staple for families looking to avoid expensive resort vacations. But staying close to home can still be just as fun as traveling abroad.

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