If you're planning a stay at home vacation nowadays, you don't actually have to stay home. However, you do need a strategy.
Traditionally, a "staycation" is time off spent locally. With gas prices remaining relatively low, the distance you can travel cheaply opens more options for expensive time away for your time off, according to experts.
"Look at it as though you're new to town. The best way to approach it is you're discovering or rediscovering your own backyard," Jill Gonzalez, analyst at personal finance site WalletHub, told CNBC's "On the Money" in an interview.
"Just because it's a staycation, and it could be very laid back, doesn't need to be," she said, adding that preparation and research were critical to having a good time.
Gonzalez added that the best staycations are when you get creative and make plans in advance, and having no plan is going to cost more money.
A staycation "certainly does not mean you should wing it," she added.