When you add up airline tickets, hotels, dining out and entertainment, travel gets expensive very quickly. Many individuals prioritize travel while others do not. Regardless of the importance of travel in your life, the truth is we all need a break at some point. Time to relax and recharge the batteries.
If travel to a new city or country isn’t for you, you can have a staycation. Not only does a staycation provide you with the opportunity to explore new attractions in your city, it can be very easy on your budget. Our family takes a staycation every few years and has some tips that can help make it a success.
▪ Break-up your routine. When you are staying in your own town or your own home while taking time away from work, you need to do something to break up your daily routine to make sure that you don’t just have a week at home but an actual vacation. Go on a big walk in the morning. Leave your phone at home. Plan activities every afternoon. Leave your phone at home. Cook something new or eat out at a new restaurant. Leave your phone at home.
▪ Overnight somewhere new. Our last staycation lasted an entire week and staying at a hotel wasn’t feasible so we chose to stay at home for all but one night, when we stayed at new hotel. Hotel Tonight is an app that lets you book hotels last minute at a discount, which is helpful. VRBO or AirBnB will help you find a home to rent in a different part of town.
▪ Plan activities each day that are new and exciting to you. Kansas City is full of amazing places and things to see and experiences that are most often visited by tourists. Below is a brief list of fun and budget friendly activities. It is certainly not comprehensive and visitkc.com can provide more fun ideas.
Boulevard Brewery tour
One of the nation’s largest microbrewers provides daily tours for visitors to meander through the compound and learn about the brewing process. The tour finishes in their new beer hall where you get to sample Boulevard’s famous ales along with their latest concoctions. These tours are free but fill up quickly, so arrive at 10 a.m. when all the daily tour tickets are released.
The small and mighty Street Car is a huge attraction, especially if you have young kids. You can park at Union Station (a site to visit in its own right) and hop on the Street Car for free. There are so many great places to visit along the line I can’t list them all. A few of our favorites are Central Library, YJ Snack Bar, Carollos and Taste of Brazil in City Market. Travel to City Market on the weekend to experience the farmers market. If you have not been in several years, you must have this on your list.
The Nelson-Atkins Art Museum and Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art are both well known treasures of Kansas City that you can visit for free. The Hallmark Visitor Center and Kaleidoscope may not technically be museums but are free to visit and offer great history and activities for kids. The Jazz and Negro League Museums in the 18th and Vine Districts are simply amazing and worth their small cost of admission. The World War I Museums and Steamboat Arabia in City Market both offer a look back in time and are hidden gems of our town.
Festivals and fairs
Fall is the time for festivals in Kansas City. Most come with a small price tag but are a great way to experience something new in the city. Kansas City Irish Fest, Dancefestopia, The American Royal BBQ, and Louisburg Ciderfest are all big hits in the fall. The Westport and Plaza Art Fairs offer an opportunity to walk and shop from regional artists or just enjoy a nice fall evening.
Fun and free
The observation deck at City Hall downtown offers spectacular views of the City. Deanna Rose Farmstead delights children and adults with their frontier farm attractions and activities. First Fridays art tours in the Crossroads combined with antique shops in the West Bottoms make for a great weekend meandering through the streets between exhibits and shops.
Design your staycation to meet your own needs, whether it is experiencing something new or spending time relaxing. Your home town has much to offer.
Patrick Amey, CFP ® is a financial planner at KHC Wealth Management where he works with clients to clarify their goals, create plans and take action.