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Saturday, July 1, 2017

Rocking Your Staycation - Part 2

Summer is here and lots of people are planning vacations, but it's the most expensive time of the year to do so. You probably already know that. Maybe you're even planning a trip during another time of the year. I wouldn't blame you. We take our main vacations in the fall when flights are much cheaper and most destinations are way less crowded.

staycation tips

We still take a short vacation in the summer, but we aren't opposed to a great staycation, because all the awesome stuff that goes on in Portland is during the summer, and who wants to miss that? If you want to save some bucks this summer and put it towards a more affordable trip outside of June, July and August, read on for how to rock a staycation.

Take a tour of the city

I bet you don't know everything about where you live. I know I don't, and I've lived here for over 20 years. Even natives can learn something about their city when they take a tour and enter from the perspective of a tourist. If that isn't for you, grab some friends and do a scavenger hunt tour of your city instead.

Use the city's transportation options

You're probably used to your normal commute in your car, but if you get off your regular route, you can find some thoroughly awesome things. Does your city have a shared bike option? If so, rent one and take some "back roads" and see where it takes you and what you discover. This is the way I find hidden gems in strange cities, so it's bound to work at home. I take the bus, ride a bike, get on the subway or just walk. I head away from touristy areas and just wander.

Some friends and I have a tentative plan to see if we can ride all of Portland's transit in one day, because why not? 

Head to the park

Not all parks are created equal. Go where others like to visit and see what the rage is. It's even better if you take a blanket and a picnic and just soak in the atmosphere. Look at this fantastic bagpiper I caught up with at Portland's Saturday Market!

Bring a book, walk some trails, turn off your phone, play a game. Just enjoy it!

Tour a winery, brewery, distillery... 

Whatever interesting thing your city has that you haven't indulged in yet, make some reservations to do it already! Maybe it's a chocolate factory or a place where they hand weave blankets. If you've always wanted to do it, put it on the list! You're probably going to see a candy tour from me at some point. 

Grab lunch at a food cart or farmers market

Nothing beats getting local and supporting small businesses and farmers. This is how to do it. You can pick up fixing for a fun meal that you eat al fresco (maybe outside in your yard), grab something from one of those food vendors, or try those couple of food carts you keep wanting to check out, but then never do. Make the drive!  

Check out all the free art

Maybe you love a good museum, and by all means, you should visit those, but don't forget about all the free art around your city as well. From sculptures to murals on buildings downtown, there's probably tons of stuff you're not even seeing when you drive around normally. Open your eyes, bring your camera, pretend to be a tourist.

These are just a few ways to make a staycation awesome and affordable. Stay tuned for part 3, but in the meantime, how do you rock your staycations?

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