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Looking for a Getaway? Plan Your Staycation in Montana!

Aug 09, 2018 - Posted by: Rocky Mountain Credit Union

It's the time of year where everyone needs a little break from the daily grind of work, school, or after school schedules. If all of your friends are talking about their big vacation plans, it can be easy to get jealous. But while they are busy planning their vacation, you can plan your own staycation and you won't even have to hop on a flight. Basically, you get to have all the fun of a vacation, but at a fraction of the cost. Pretty much a win-win. 

There are a lot of reasons you might want to take a staycation. One is that you desperately need a vacation, but you can't afford a full trip - a staycation is a great option. Another reason is that you need a vacation but are a little short on actual vacation days that you can take from work - consider a weekend staycation. Think you would benefit more from several small breaks instead of one long vacation? A staycation is great for you! No matter what your reason for needing a staycation, you have plenty of options in your hometown to have a great time and make great memories. 

One of the biggest advantages about a staycation is saving money. If your budget is tight or you are saving for some other item, a staycation will help you meet your financial goal but still give you the break you deserve. 

Staycation Advantages

Imagine enjoying vacation adventures without the stress of flying. Seems insane right? When you go on a staycation, you completely eliminate all of that stress. Say goodbye to airport security. And the stress of delayed flights or navigating an unfamiliar airport? You can say adios to that, too! 

Hate packing? Then a staycation is great for you! By not traveling for a vacation, you get to stay in your home. This means that you don't have to pack at all! Extra bonus: you won’t have to unpack when you get back and all that extra laundry will not need to be done.

Another advantage? Your pets will be far happier now that they get to stay at home and your wallet will be happier now that you don't have to pay for a sitter. No matter which way you spin it, this is savings. With happy pets comes a happy home and now you don't have to worry about all the expensive kennel and sitter fees. And you can rest easy knowing your pets are still well taken care of during your staycation! 

Still looking for advantages? Okay, fine, we have one more for you! You will be better rested at the end of your staycation. There will be no long drives or long wait times in the airport. The comfort of your own bed means no tossing and turning on a hotel mattress or adjusting to pillows that guaranteed to put a crick in your neck.

All these advantages really boil down to one thing, the money you save and the happiness you gain. Remember how much your last vacation cost? Look back a couple of years to really appreciate how much you will be saving and what a bonus it will be to your budget.

Staycation Blunders

If you want your staycation to be a success and not a bust, plan ahead. Be aware of all of the distractions that lie close to home that could make your staycation be less of a break and add more space. 

Like work. Typically, we all have two kinds of work: work that earns the paycheck and work that fills our “to do” list. You know, like that list of things to do that you try to tackle every weekend. Don't let either of these work scenarios suck you in. Plan ahead and get those to-dos off your list the weekend before. Or, if that is not feasible, split your list of things to do into the weekend before your staycation and the weekend after. That way you can let yourself fully enjoy your staycation rather than losing your weekend before your staycation ever happens. 

While you are working on planning ahead for work, turn on your Out of Office notice on your work email. Anyone sending you emails will get a response and know you are only away for a few days. After you turn on your response email, put your computer away and make it a point to not check it. You wouldn't check it if you were on a full vacations, so you shouldn't check it while on staycation, either!  

To have a bomb staycation, you need to plan how you are going to spend your time AND money. Yes, you will still spend some money while on a staycation. The trick is to plan ahead and budget so that you know exactly what you are willing to spend and plan accordingly. When you think of your activities, keep the budget you just created in mind. Think about what activities interest you. If you are looking for a spa day, but your staycation partner wants a hike, find ways to combine the two interests. Make a list that has everyone's choices and then work together to prioritize your list so that everyone involved is happy. 

Project Staycation

Now that you know all the benefits of a staycation and have planned ahead for any hang ups, you can get to the fun part... planning your events. Think about the things in or near your town that you have been wanting to do for awhile. These are great options for your staycation. You might have several different rivers that you have wanted to fish or other outdoor experiences on your bucket list. Make that your staycation destination and hike to a different fishing spot every day. 

Another idea is to head to one of the many hot springs in the state. Montana has 15 different commercial hot springs and four undeveloped hot springs. Use this site to plan a staycation that includes hiking and soaking so you can enjoy Montana's beautiful scenery and still get a chance to relax. You could even set aside one day to splurge on a massage or herbal wrap at one of the developed locations.

If you are history nut, there are plenty of staycation opportunities for you near your home. If you live in Butte, you already know all of the historical opportunities that exist in your town, but with a short 1 ½ hour drive to Bannack State Park, you can expand your historical knowledge and even try your hand at panning for gold. Don't live in Butte, but live in Helena or Bozeman? Don't despair! Virginia and Nevada City are a short drive away. You can explore all the old mining history, visit the candy store, enjoy a tasty meal, and try out a beer from the local brewery. 

Looking for more entertainment? Try the theater! There are options all around. Spend one day at the movies and enjoy that large popcorn and soda, you are on a staycation after all. The next day you can head over the the Grand Street Theater Company in Helena. With their shows changing frequently, you can almost always see something new. Currently, they are performing Disney’s Newsies and Every Brilliant Thing will start in September.

You can't enjoy a staycation without food. So lets talk about it. If you have been dying to try some of the new restaurants in town, your staycation is the perfect reason to check it out. Not cooking in your kitchen is a perfect staycation getaway. Or, if you see cooking as fun but the normal work week doesn’t allow you to explore new techniques or cuisines make it part of your staycation. Olivelle in Bozeman offers cooking classes. Some of the classes in August are Italian and Cajun. Take a class one night and cook for a couple of friends the next night.

Look for additional savings through Groupon or LivingSocial. Once you have chosen an activity check out their website and see if there is a discount when you sign up for emails. Costco has restaurant and movie theater gift cards that give a price break when purchased in a bundle.

You now have all the tools you need it to plan your staycation getaway. What other ideas can you think up? A few tips before you head off: Don't over schedule your time, be sure you save some time for relaxing as well. Plan ahead, so you don't miss something you want to do. And finally, make sure you have a great time on your staycation! 

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