From the meals to the memories, here are 5 ways to make the most of your staycation Associated Press
(AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Summer is here, and given the increase in the number of people traveling this Memorial Day, vacations look to be a priority for many.

Now, a standard vacation can be an expensive proposition. However, a staycation is the perfect way to take a break without breaking the bank.

According to American Express, eight in 10 Americans are planning to travel his summer. They will spend an average of $941 per person on their summer getaway, AmEx found.

It’s easy to overlook the many great attractions in our proverbial backyards, but part of the fun of a staycation is seeing one’s hometown in a new light. Here are a few tips for making the most of a staycation this summer.

1. Explore a part of town where you never go

Part of the problem for many people is they become incredibly familiar with the parts of town they frequent. Thinking that is all the town has to offer, they don’t step outside of the box and explore. So, one key is to focus the staycation on a part of town rarely explored. Try that upcoming and suddenly trendy neighborhood, for starters. You might be surprised at what you discover.

2. Find a room at a trendy place to stay

Whether a unique AirBNB or an interesting boutique hotel, opting to stay somewhere other than home will make a staycation feel a little more like a vacation. Many websites offer great last-minute deals that don’t require a second mortgage. Once there, check with the concierge to see what he or she says are some of the fun things to see and do in the area. They probably see the opportunities through a different lens.

3. Find the truly great places to eat

Part of the allure of visiting a new city is trying new and unique food. The good news is that experience is possible at home. Good food can be found in so many places. Part of the trick is scouting out the great restaurants. As a first step, hit up local blogs and websites to find a unique restaurant or even a different type of cuisine. Ask your friends, and don’t say no to the off-the-wall suggestions they will no doubt make.

4. Hit up local museums

For some reason, many people seem to only see the sights on a vacation. In the process, they sadly neglect the many great attractions in their own backyard. A staycation is the perfect time to remedy this needless oversight. Better yet, go find a random statue in the town square or some strange oddity on the side of the road and snap a selfie. People might just think you hit up some exotic destination.

5. Grab drinks at a bar with a great view

Many cities have observation decks or rotating restaurants at the top of a tall building. More than anything, they offer incredible views of life below. Make it a point to add one to the itinerary. If nothing else, it’s the perfect way to close out a trip to the most exotic location of all: your backyard.

Todd DeFeo About the author:
Todd DeFeo is a writer, marketer and wanderer. Follow Todd on Twitter and check out his blog, The Travel Trolley.
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