Up until a few years ago, I’d never heard of a staycation; now they’re all the rage with busy, young families. Whether you’ve just added a newborn to your family and aren’t up to traveling with an infant or your family’s budget isn’t up to a week-long out-of-town trip or you just really want to have a (relatively) quiet week at home, a staycation might be right for you. Here are five tips to help you plan and prepare:
Set a budget
If you’re not careful, a week spent having fun at home could cost as much as a week away. Set a dollar amount that you want to stay under and then stick to it. Get more bang for your buck by checking for deals to museums, water parks and sporting events on Groupon, and get free gift cards for restaurants by using Swagbucks and MyPoints.
Request a travel guide for your town and state
Sounds funny, right? But you’d be surprised at how many places–within an hour or two of your home–that you don’t know about. A month or two in advance, search online for your state and city’s tourism department and put in a request for free info.
Your staycation is supposed to be relaxing and family-oriented so make some rules such as:
- No outside activities (unless the whole family is participating).
- No recreational TV or computer use.
- Quiet hours are observed from 11 pm-9 am.
- No cleaning or laundry, except what is needed to keep the house tidy.
- No working from home.
Do the necessary pre-vacation prep
Make sure the house is clean, food and supplies for the week is bought, laundry is caught up, bills are paid and urgent work tasks are completed just like you would if you were leaving town. This will help ensure that you have a stress-free week.
Everyone helps plan
Let each child, and parent, have a say in what goes on during the week. Brainstorm a list of ideas, narrow them down as necessary (this can be an executive decision by the parents!) and fit them into the schedule. Browse the travel books that you got to get ideas, search online and consider these ideas:
- Go Geocaching
- Camp in the backyard
- Tailgate and attend a local sporting event
- Have a read-a-thon, movie-a-thon or board-game-a-thon
- Tour a local factory
- Volunteer at a soup kitchen or nursing home
- Work on your summer bucket list (**link to Bucket list post)
- Tackle a family project such as making a playhouse or rearranging the kids’ rooms
Have you ever done a staycation, or are you planning one? Share your tips and suggestions in the comments!