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Bring your vacation home! DIY staycation ideas to save money

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Posted at 8:00 AM, May 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-18 11:59:09-04

PHOENIX — A tank of gas used to be the answer if you were looking to save at least some money on your vacation but with gas prices so high, a lot of families are trying to stay even closer to home.

One Valley mom is leading the way on social media with ideas to keep those date nights, family activities, and self-care staycations fresh without leaving your house.

Camile Whiting is the creator of Fridaywereinlove.com and says step one is to transform your environment and mix up an ordinary activity like movie night.

"One great idea would be to make it a fort night. Build a fort, make a new environment and watch the movie in the fort."

She says you could even kick it up a notch and get a projector to take outside.

"A pool dive-in night would be so fun to have the projector and the screen, you can put up a sheet. We've invested in the blowup screen, and it's been so worth it," said Whiting.

She says you can also flip-flop a typical outdoor adventure, like setting up camp indoors.

"Set up a tent, maybe a few string lights to make it romantic or like the stars are twinkling. You can watch a movie in there, you can play games, anything you would normally do camping."

For a twosome or the whole family, you can add some extra flavor to dinner by ordering a cuisine you've never tried or let someone taste sweet victory with a friendly kitchen competition.

"Maybe you do a family chef competition night. So now instead of just cooking dinner, it's a fun activity," she said.

There are also ways to get some R&R in your own home, like creating a spa day. The key is to transform a space from the lighting to the cucumber water. If you have kids and need to let them join in, then trying facial masks is fun and safe.

Whiting says the thing to remember when it comes to enjoying your time off even at home is escaping your routine.

"That shift is enough to change the dopamine spark in your brain, so you think 'wow, this was a much more fun experience.'"

A few other ideas Whiting has are to take a cake-decorating class together online. You can also stream virtual tours of museums and aquariums from around the world.

Whiting says just about anything you can do away from your house, there's a way to bring it into your home.