PHOENIX, May 21, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- With the heat in full swing, kids getting out of school and summer plans coming into focus, many families are planning 'staycations' in addition to traveling to see family and friends. Staycations allow a family to save money while spending more quality time together and helping their local economy.
"In planning for the summer, there are a number of suggestions we have to help people save for the family fun that typically begins this time of the year," said Lisa George, Regional Senior Vice President, M&I, a part of BMO Financial Group. "With many of us trying to cut back on expenses, the staycation trend has become very appealing and a great alternative to a conventional vacation."
If you're thinking that a staycation might be just what the doctor (and your budget) ordered and you are ready to make some plans, M&I offers you some great ideas.
Businesses get excited when people want to learn more about what they do. Search the Internet for no-cost tours available at local company museums and factories, as well as at fire stations and police stations. If parents ask nicely, they may also get their kids a tour of a movie theater projection room, the pinsetters at a bowling alley, or other places young people are curious about. Television stations, radio stations, and newspaper production facilities may also offer tours.
Dinosaurs, stars, and sculpture
Art, science, children's, aviation, Native American, history ... there are lots to choose from, and most have areas dedicated to kids. Many offer free or discounted admission on certain days.
H2O for everyone
Combine a day at an area water park with an overnight stay at a nearby hotel. Many local resorts have on-site lazy rivers and water play areas. For an inexpensive option, several cities have recently upgraded their community swimming pools to include water play areas and fountains.
Take a walk on the wild side
Kids love animals and fish. Many zoos offer behind-the-scenes VIP tours and have special camp programs for kids. Be sure to confirm the location's hours of operation, which change during the hot summer. Don't overlook smaller venues such as the Arizona-Sonoran Desert Museum, where they stay open until 10 PM on Saturday nights during the summer months.
Need to get out of the heat?
If you really just want to go somewhere and cool off, you needn't go far. The cool pines of Northern Arizona offer a wonderful respite. Visit the less-crowded North Rim of the Grand Canyon. It's only open during the summer months, and well-worth the drive. Great hiking, scenic lakes, panoramic views, and plenty of quaint B&Bs are yours for the taking.
Pretend you're a tourist and visit some of those places in the state you've always heard about but not yet experienced. Arizonaguide.com, is a great website produced by the Arizona Department of Tourism that is chock-full of places to go and things to do.
"Because we live here, we may forget that Arizona is a great place to vacation. To really make your staycation fun and enjoyable, plan it out, and make a budget. If you stick to your budget, you will be able to really take advantage of all the local activities your community offers," added George.
About BMO Harris Bank
Based in Chicago, BMO Harris Bank N.A. provides a broad range of personal banking products and solutions through over 650 branches and approximately 1,350 ATMs in Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, Minnesota, Nevada, Arizona and Florida. BMO Harris Bank's commercial banking team provides a combination of sector expertise, local knowledge and mid-market focus throughout the U.S. Deposit and loan products and services provided by BMO Harris Bank N.A. Member FDIC. BMO Harris Bank(SM) and M&I® are trade names used by BMO Harris Bank N.A. BMO Harris Bank is part of BMO Financial Group, a North American financial organization with 1,600 branches, and a retail deposit base of approximately $180 billion.
SOURCE M&I, a part of BMO Financial Group