I am a fan of vacations and stacations. I think the aspect of looking forward to and planning a vacation is part of the fun. And yes everyone needs to take some time off of work and the normal day to day routine and get away for a while even if it is a stacation.
Plan your stacations weeks or months in advance to have something to look forward to. Just the thought of looking forward to time off and fun can be mentally rewarding. Each day or every other day pick a place to take the family while planning.
I love the local water park on a hot summer day. There are usually coupons through our grocery store for a discounted admission.
Trips to the beach, which could be your local lake for the day. Pack a picnic with items in your refrigerator.
Fishing, I actually found that I loved fishing when a grandfather took me for a deep sea fishing excursion in the Gulf of Mexico. Well unfortunately right now, I cannot afford to charter a vessel but I can sit by the dock on a warm day and close my eyes and reach a happy place. Someday in the future I will be able to plan a vacation to the Gulf and know that I won’t be paying for it for years.
Walking in the woods; I think this may be the best zen activity of all and it is completely free. The natural beauty of a scenic trail will uplift and give your senses something to marvel at. My last day trip was to Hocking Hills, Ohio with family. The beauty of nature amazes and refreshes me from the inside out. Our only expense was gas money, however my sister prepared our spinach and turkey wraps and I purchased our breakfast on the way to the trails.
Hang out and have drinks on the river or the lake. We have several restaurants in our area that give you the feel of a tiki bar and with the live music and the grouper sandwiches you get the feel of a florida beach.
Although you may not be able to afford your dream vacation right now if you follow a frugal lifestyle you will someday be able to have many.