Holidaying in your own hood

If visiting a far-away city is not in the budget this year, a stay-at-home vacation could open you up to possibilities you previously didn't have time for–or knew existed.

The high cost of living, falling Australian dollar and debt you accumulated over Christmas may already be influencing your annual leave decisions for 2016.

Before you rule out excitement and discovery for the year ahead though, consider the cheaper alternatives such as a stay-at-home vacation, that is, a holiday involving leisurely activities within driving distance of your own home1.

While a staycation may mean you’re bound by location, it doesn’t mean your activities have to be limited.

‘Staycations’ can mean different things to different people.

We take a look at the options on home soil that won’t break the bank.

The thrill seeker

If excitement is what you’re after, abseiling, tree top obstacle courses, and skydiving can be organised in locations across the country.

RedBalloon and Adrenalin can inspire you to try experiences such as white water rafting, quad biking, V8 car racing, and even trapeze lessons.

The water baby

The Lonely Planet offers a range of information on water activities around Australia. You can check out reviews on everything from snorkelling in the Great Barrier Reef to surfing lessons at Bondi Beach.

The explorer

If nature, sightseeing and stretching your legs is up your alley, you can check out short treks or hiking expeditions in various national parks via websites like Great Walks of Australia.

Being home to some of the world’s most magnificent beaches, Australia also has some of the best coastal walks in the world which you can find on websites like Traveller.

The indulger

If you’re keen to kick back and relax, there are countless dining and pamper package experiences to pick from. Or, you might want to check out Moonlight Cinemas which run until March.

The high-brow

An array of concerts, theatre and art shows can be found through Ticketek and Ticketmaster or check out australia.gov.au or the Australian tourism website for information on food and wine festivals and other cultural festivities that run throughout the year.

The creative

If you want to use your hands, Work-Shop, which operates on the eastern seaboard, can line you up with all sorts of quirky and affordable short courses–honey extraction, candle making, and even ukulele lessons for kids.

The eclectic

Australian Markets and Fairs offers a comprehensive list of regular markets and special events in different cities across Australia as does Eventfinder.com.au.

The contributor

If you’re thinking you’d like to spend some time helping others instead–the homeless, the disabled or kids in hospital - GoVolunteer provides a national database of volunteering opportunities, or you may be interested in doing a first aid course with St John Ambulance Australia.

The prepared

Whatever’s on the agenda this year, it’s important to understand debt and budgeting as it will help you do the things you need and want to do.

In the meantime, your city’s your oyster. Get out and have fun exploring. And don’t forget sometimes you don’t have to go far to enjoy yourself.

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© AMP Life Limited. This provides general information and hasn’t taken your circumstances into account. It’s important to consider your particular circumstances before deciding what’s right for you. Although the information is from sources considered reliable, AMP does not guarantee that it is accurate or complete. You should not rely upon it and should seek qualified advice before making any investment decision. Except where liability under any statute cannot be excluded, AMP does not accept any liability (whether under contract, tort or otherwise) for any resulting loss or damage of the reader or any other person.