While people might be used to traveling over fall break, external factors have a lot of people deciding to stay home this year. However, it can be difficult to think of things to do in your home town, especially on a budget. So, for people trying to look for affordable fall break staycation ideas, here are 11 suggestions.

Go Apple Picking

A favorite fall activity that can be found in many parts of the country is to take part in an apple or pumpkin harvest. Not only does apple picking and pumpkin picking provide the perfect photo opportunity for the family, but it’s affordable. Most farms charge people by the weight of the fruit they choose to bring home.

Additionally, many farms have other family activities such as corn mazes, hayrides, and small theatrical shows. Therefore, you can spend a day at the farm enjoying activities, then bring some apples or other items to enjoy later in your fall break.

Have a Backyard Campout

Plenty of people are going to campgrounds this fall to help them socially distance. If you want to go camping on a budget, you can pitch a tent in your backyard instead. If you have a grill or a fire pit, you can make camping meals, but have the comforts of home as well. Backyard camping is a win-win, so don’t forget the s’mores.

Host A Movie Festival

Another affordable fall break staycation idea is to host a movie festival with a partner, friends, or even your family. Select a movie or a series of movies, and then make inexpensive appetizers and drinks to go along with the movies you choose. If you’re doing a movie festival with your family, you can have it span over several nights and theme each night’s meal to go with the movie. 

Visit an Indoor Water Park

Although cooler temperatures are upon us, you might still be able to get a swim day in. Many cities have indoor waterparks or other pools for families to visit. Head to a nearby indoor pool, waterpark, or wellness center to splash around and celebrate the end of summer. But, if you’re worried about your health and safety, call the park ahead of time to verify their health precautions.

“Travel” Around the World

Although international travel is currently restricted, there are plenty of ways to travel in your hometown. For example, you can visit restaurants with cuisines from around the world or visit museums that feature artifacts from different places. You might even want to make it a goal to dine at a different nationality’s restaurant each night of fall break to get a new experience every day. 

If you’re feeling especially adventurous, you could spend a day traveling the world while supporting local businesses. You could visit a local French bakery for breakfast, then grab an Ethiopian coffee and have Thai food for lunch. After an afternoon of fun, you could spend the evening enjoying Mediterranean food, and even treat yourself to Italian gelato for dessert. How many nationalities’ food can you fit into one day?

Do Some Armchair Traveling

Head to your local bookstore or library to pick up books that make you feel adventurous this fall break. If you prefer to stay at home, you can read books to take your mind to new and exciting places. Many libraries offer additional programs for students during breaks, so be sure to inquire about any events going on in your neighborhood as well.

Visit Local Sites

Many people go years without visiting some of the best attractions in their hometowns. If you live in or near a city, check out what day trips you might be able to take. For example, you might want to check out zoos, museums, or even create your own walking tour. Apps like Visit A City allow people to select pre-planned trips and alter them to create custom walking tours that they enjoy.

Additionally, some museums and other attractions have free or discounted days a few times a month, so be sure to call ahead or check the website to see if you can enjoy these places on a tighter budget.

Host A Competition

Does your family like to get competitive? You can recreate a sporting event or other competitive event in the comfort of your home this fall. For example, you can create an obstacle course in the backyard, invent a new board game, or play a family favorite. You may even want to create a point system or reward for the winner – in addition to bragging rights, of course.

Do an at-Home Spa Day

Spa days can get pricey, even during a staycation. If you don’t have an affordable spa in your city, you might want to purchase items at your local supermarket or drugstore to create a spa day at home. Items might include bath bombs, face masks, or an aromatherapy machine. Be sure to put your phone away and set some mood lighting to create the full spa experience.

Explore Your Backyard

Some people have never given themselves time to explore their cities. Many municipalities have websites that give maps to parks, trails, and other free recreational areas. Additionally, county, state, and national parks are a great way to explore the outdoors near your home. Now that the weather is becoming milder, take the time to get out for a bike, hike, or walk near your home.

Do Arts & Crafts

Do you have a long Pinterest list of craft ideas that you’ve never started because you don’t have time? A perfect affordable fall staycation idea is to make all of the crafts you’ve put on the back burner. You can take items from your house or yard to repurpose or go shopping for craft items instead. Depending on your skill level, you might want to take this opportunity to get ahead on making this year’s Christmas gifts as well.

The Bottom Line

If you need to plan an affordable fall break staycation, there are plenty of things that you can do on a budget. If you’re trying to spend as little as possible, do what you can to spend time outdoors and maximize the space you have available to you. Remember, it’s all about spending your time in a way that makes you happy, so enjoy your fall break!


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