7 Cheap Ways To Make The Most Of Summer Without Going On A Trip, Because Staycations Are Just As Fun

The term 'staycation' sounds kind of like something your mom invented to convince you that being grounded wasn't the worst thing in the world. The real definition, or the one I comfort myself with, is the socially-accepted act of staying home and doing fun stuff, instead of going to a foreign country to do fun stuff — I'm a broke twenty-something, what can I say? The truth is that a fun and affordable summer staycation is totally possible. Sure, we're young, and that means our parents think we know absolutely nothing about saving money (they might be right sometimes), but nobody can ration a box of mac-n-cheese quite like a 20-something adult, if you ask me. We know how to get creative when it counts, and no matter what age you are, saving money and still having fun should be a priority.

Summer is all about taking a mental break, and that's hard to do on vacation when you're young, and have to calculate how much every $13 cocktail will set you back. This is where the staycation comes into play. If you subtract the cost of airfare, hotel, and pricey transportation, you have, well, a nice little bit of cash — and the same old apartment you've been itching to get out of. But with a little creativity and a few bucks, you can ditch your boredom and realize that the key to a fun summer isn't about where you are, but how you spend it! And that's doesn't have mean an empty wallet.

1. Download touristy apps and explore the place you live

After living in the same place for years, you probably feel like you've seen and done it all. But with the help of a few trusty apps geared toward hip tourists, you can find some cool local spots you've never even heard of, right from people who live in your city. You might just find your new favorite milkshake shop or how weirdly the cool the Antique Farming Tools Museum actually is. Play tourist for a day (no fanny pack/visor combo necessary — unless that's what you're into) and rediscover how fun your hometown can be.

2. Go to a crazy work out class you've never tried

I'm not joking, things like underwater cycling and punk rock aerobic exist — and people pay money to go to them (think $15 to $30). You'll never truly understand how strange your city is until you attend a Drake yoga class. See what kind of out-there classes your city offers, and don't think, just sign up! Next on my workout bucket list is obviously this dance studio that specializes in Michael Jackson Mondays and Beyonce Bodies.

3. Check out a place at night that you usually visit during the day

The beach, an amusement park, a gorgeous view of the city skyline: Some things take on a new personality in the dark. Bring along a group of friends to your favorite daytime hangout after the sun sets and see how new it feels. With a bottle of bubbly and some cozy blankets in tow, even your most visited spot feel fun again. As long as it is decently lit and you feel safe, of course!

4. Find all the weird things that deliver in your area

You'd be surprised (and maybe a little confused) by what you can have sent right to your doorstep. If you live in a major metropolis, you probably have access to everything from condoms to cupcakes with the swipe of an iPhone. In New York alone you can have late night cookies, any kind of noodles, and a cure for your hangover delivered in under an hour. At the very least, in most places you can most likely have a few bottles of something delicious brought to your door.

5. Don't forget about nature


It's summertime, and that means perpetually good weather constantly reminding you that you should be outside enjoying it — at least until that six months worth of apocalyptic darkness we call winter sets in. Take advantage of whatever kind of landscape you live in and literally stop to smell a rose…or cactus, or whatever kind of flora you have available for your sniffing pleasure. Do a little research and visit any beach, national park, or wildlife reserve in your area that you haven't made time to check out in the past.

6. Go rummage through people's old stuff

No, I am not condoning dumpster diving. Unless, that's what you're into — then by all means, go for it. I'm talking more about hitting some estate sales, because old people's stuff is hilarious. And sometimes pretty cool. Everyone knows that thrifting is any excessive shopper's way to avoid being broke, but nowadays some flea markets have gotten more expensive than stores that actually sell new stuff. Hipsters have truly cashed in on our love of vintage stuff. So, it's time to go to the source and scan the paper for actual estate/garage/yard sales (whatever it's called where you're from) and peruse through some authentic, cheap goodies. Vintage dresses, picture frames, and jewelry galore!

7. When in doubt, make cute cocktails

I don't know about you, but nothing boosts feels quite as summery as sitting on a porch while drinking something that is equal parts adorable and delicious. Crafting cocktails at home is the perfect way to save a little cash on expensive pre-made drinks, plus it helps put some of that fresh summer produce to good use! Try out a new drink recipe and soak in the summer feels — right from your own personal paradise.

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