Summer has officially arrived! There is no doubt that the summer of 2020 is looking a bit different than any summer we’ve seen. The COVID-19 pandemic has consumed virtually every aspect of our lives, and it will obviously have an impact on vacation planning, given the need to limit travel as well as the financial impact the virus has had on individuals and families. As a result, we need to shift our thinking, get creative and consider what options we have in our own backyard.
For many, a staycation may hold the answer by providing an opportunity for true relaxation, with the added benefit of filtering money back into the local or regional economy. So why not take your unused vacation money and put some of it towards having a great staycation this summer.
Here are Coast Capital’s top tips on how to make summer 2020 memorable without breaking the bank.
Rediscover Your Own Backyard – BC is home to some of the most beautiful scenery in the world and for many of us it’s in our own backyard! Walk, cycle, or drive to one of your favourite outdoor settings that you may not have had the chance to venture to recently. It’s a great, budget-friendly way to give yourself some time away from your home, while enjoying some of the province’s most spectacular beauty.
As rules and restrictions begin to relax, it’s also a great time to rediscover some of your favourite destinations in the city that are starting to reopen. Some great options that have recently reopened include the Museum of Vancouver and Britannia Mine Museum. Start making a list to hit up some of your favourite spots all summer long.
Support Local – Our small businesses have been through the wringer over the past several months and there is no better time to discover some local favourites while also helping business owners come back from a historically devastating time.
Farmer’s Markets are aplenty in BC and it’s a great way to support local, family owned businesses. Pick up some of your favourite farm-to-table ingredients and make a delicious dinner for you and your family.
Find adventure locally (and right on budget) by visiting your local rental shops – bikes, kayaks, paddleboards, there is no shortage of options and we’ve got one of the most beautiful natural playgrounds out there.
Take a Road Trip – Although this summer we will likely have to keep within our provincial borders, British Columbia is vast with endless possibilities for exploration. With gas prices in a more wallet-friendly range right now, a road trip is a great way to get out of town for the day or two. Pack up the minivan, line up your favourite playlist, grab the snacks and head out on the highway.
Discover Deals – Most businesses are now open again with COVID precautions in place. To welcome customers back and make up for the loss of business during the mandatory closures, many hotels, restaurants and other businesses are offering great deals, reduced rates and coupons for you to enjoy your city.
Do your research and see what they might have on sale, or even head to Groupon or similar businesses to see what you can find for a bargain.
Bonus tip: Now is a great time to find out what you may be eligible for and to use your credit card redeemable points or other point based reward programs to add more fun to your staycation.
Find the surprise savings – There are a lot of ways to find fun AND observe your household budget. At a time when so many British Columbians are struggling financially, it is time to get creative so that you enjoy the summer while also getting back on your feet financially. Here are our top three surprise ways to balance an epic summer and your budget.
1. Did you know that breweries allow you to bring your own food into tasting rooms? Why not grab some goodies from home and check out some of your local breweries?
There are also a lot of outdoor spaces popping up with tables and chairs for you to enjoy the sun. While it’s encouraged to shop local while utilizing these new spaces, if it’s not in your budget, you can still take advantage by bringing snacks and drinks of your own.
2. Summer birthdays? Go on a freebie scavenger hunt. A free meal, a free gift, free admission…the list goes on and on and on. So, although we can’t have our traditional birthday celebrations, make a day out of living for free. A simple google search will help you discover all the great freebies that birthday revelers are eligible for.
3. Invest in your backyard. Sprinklers, pools, slip and slide, loungers, a picnic table, perhaps, you don’t have to spend a ton of money to build your own oasis that will give you and your family a place to slip away without going anywhere at all.
Just as you would prepare a spending or budget plan for a vacation, you should do the same for your staycation activites to keep you on track. Whether you decide to stay in town, travel locally embark on a short road trip, a proper financial plan is still important. And, as you will likely not be spending as much as you would on a typical summer vacation, it’s a great time to put the extra money aside for next year’s vacation or right into your emergency fund.
For more tips and tricks to make the most out of your staycation, visit https://blog.coastcapitalsavings.com/managing-your-money/staycations-101/