July 4 Stay-cation: A Four-day Plan

AAA estimates a record 42.3 million travelers will hit the road between July 3 and July 8, thanks to stable gas prices and the midweek holiday. That’s promising, but not everyone wants to be stuck in traffic or pay $3.74 per gallon for gas, no matter how cheap it seems.

Thankfully, there are cheap and easy ways to have fun in your hometown for the upcoming holiday. Consider this four-day plan for your July 4 staycation; you may find you want to do it again next year.

July 4:
Get outdoors! Grab the kids and go on a hike or city bike ride. Bring a picnic and stop at a local park to enjoy tasty snacks and the company of your family. Later that night, meet up with friends and grab some burgers and hotdogs at a local joint, then stake your place for your city’s fireworks display. If you don’t want to fight the fireworks crowd, head to a smaller town nearby and view their fireworks display instead.

July 5:
Be a tourist. That’s right, grab your sun visor, clip on your fanny pack, strap on your camera and start at your city’s tourist center. Act like a visitor and get suggestions on the best places to visit in your city. Remember to take goofy pictures and flash some peace signs while visiting the sites. You can also check Mr. Free Stuff for free things to do in your city.

July 6:
Get wet! Buy a day pass to a local water park. You can find discounts if you purchase tickets at a local grocer or keep your eye out on group buying websites like Groupon and LivingSocial. If a water park isn’t your cup of tea, head to the movies instead but don’t pay full price; usethese tips from Kiplinger Personal Finance to save on a flick.

July 7:
Be the first of your friends to host a July 7th party! Send out invitations a week before and plan a fun theme complete with games, decorations and food. Spend the day partying with your friends and family, and call it an evening early — you’ve had a busy, fun-filled week!

Maisie Knowles is a working mother of two with three-year’s experience writing on parenting and partner issues. She received a B.A. in Communications from the University of Colorado and co-founded Kinoli Inc. with her husband. Maisie currently spends most of her time at home with her two young girls.