The thrill of a vacation isn't always where you are going, but the ability to relax and get away from your normal life. A staycation can not only accomplish those goals, but can enrich your life more than an actual vacation, as you can learn more about the area around where you live and can learn to appreciate it the whole year round.

Nine Ideas for the Perfect Staycation

  1. Explore your home base. Go through your local city magazine and pick things to do from the calendar section. You might find a new nightclub, a dance or cooking class to attend.

  2. Go to a local winery. Where there's land, there's wine. Perform an internet search to find where your nearest winery is and go for a tour and a tasting.

  3. Attend local concerts. Delve into your local music scene, and pick a few concerts to attend over a weekend.

  4. Pamper yourself and be lazy. Get a limo on your night out, hire a maid service to come at the beginning and end of your vacation week, and/or order take out every night. It's important to do things differently during a staycation to make it feel like it's a real break.

  5. Act like a tourist. Whether you live in Las Vegas, New York or Tulsa, someone else thinks you live in the perfect vacation spot. See what the fuss is about by taking a guided tour of your home town or follow tour guide pamphlets from your local tourism bureau.

  6. Get a local suite with a fabulous view for the weekend. It may seem like a vacation to stay in a hotel, but you'll still manage to save on travel costs. Package deals for weekends filled with spa treatments, shopping, adventure or romance are available at the nicest hotels in your closest downtown area. Go to the website for the places that have caught your eye and made you wonder what it would like to be a hotel guest for the weekend.

  7. Experience the nature around you. Take a trip just outside of town to go to the beach, mountain bike or have a picnic. No matter where you live, just around the corner there's an area that's just a little more rural.

  8. Use your vacation budget to enrich your whole year. If you've saved up vacation money and then decided to stay home, you are sitting on a goldmine waiting to be spent on items that will better your life. Depending on your budget, you could buy a cappuccino machine, a foot massager, a monthly maid service, a gym membership, patio furniture, an outdoor grill, a mountain bike or a whirlpool tub. This way, instead of one week of relaxation and better living, you can make it last all year.

  9. Sign up for a yoga retreat. Many yoga studios offer in-town yoga retreats at parks, gardens, in the mountains or on the beach. Weekend retreats also may bring in teachers from around the country or even combine yoga and chocolate.

A staycation doesn't have to be boring, and can even be more life-enriching than leaving town. Use your time off to get to know the area around you and take advantage of everything that it has to offer. (For further reading on budgeting for vacations, check out Stay On Budget With An All-Inclusive Vacation and 7 Ways To Save On Summer Getaways.)