Are you looking to escape the hustle and bustle of your everyday life? Do you want to take the family on a vacation, yet don’t have the finances to actually go out of town?
We all know that the cost of transportation, hotels, restaurants, tourist attractions, and other travel-related expenses can add up pretty quickly.
Well, instead of planning an out of town vacation, why not opt for a staycation. I mean, we all know that you don’t have to travel across the globe to enjoy a great time with your family.
There are plenty of things to do in your very own neighborhood or nearest big city. With a little bit of creativity, you and the family can become tourists in your own town.
A staycation will allow you to save money, sleep in your own bed, and spend quality time with your family or friends all while having fun.
Set The Ground Rules
The purpose of a staycation is to make it feel like an actual family getaway, without leaving the comfort of your own home.
Thus, to make sure the whole family is on the same page, it is good to start with some ground rules that each and every family member agrees upon.
First, you’ll want to start by setting an actual vacation start and end date. Then you should set a few guidelines for what your family may and may not do during this time. These could include all or some of the following:
No smartphones, television, video games, checking emails, working from home, doing housework – you get where I’m going.
The only thing your family should be focused on at this time is plain old FUN!
Be sure to set aside funds for eating out, and different activities. You can even splurge on a house cleaner if need be.
Here are several ideas to help get you started with planning a staycation for you and your family.
Find a Local Beach
You don’t have to be in the Caribbean to enjoy the beach. Visit a local beach in your area and become “beach bums” for a day.
Visit a Nearby National Park
National parks offer a variety of family-friendly activities to choose from. Most park fees are nominal, but you can also check out this page to find free entrance days.
Enjoy Your Local Theater
Check your local newspaper or theater website to see what plays, musicals, concerts, or family-friendly comedy shows will be playing during your planned staycation, then book your tickets accordingly.
Enjoy a fun-filled day of rides at a nearby amusement park. Check out this list to find an amusement park in your own state or town.
Check out the Local Library
Most libraries have family-friendly events and activities happening every weekend.
I even got my son his very first library card this past summer. Check your local library’s website for details.
Pay A Visit To The Children’s Museum
A Children’s Museum is definitely in order if you have younger kids. This is one of my son’s favorite places to visit.
Most have a variety of fun and interactive activities that will keep you busy the whole day.
Check out the Association of Children’s Museums website to find one in your area.
Visit the Zoo or Aquarium
Are you an animal lover? Why not pack up a lunch and spend the day at the zoo or enjoy the aquarium with the fam.
Check out the Association of Zoos & Aquariums to find a zoo or aquarium in your area, then be sure to also check what special programs your zoo has available.
Play In The Water
Spend the day at a local pool or splash pad. This is actually one of my family’s favorites. If you let him, my kiddo would spend the entire day at the splash pad.
You can also turn on the sprinklers in the backyard and have a family water day at home.
Enjoy a game of bowling with your kids. If your kiddos are small, try bumper bowling.
Many bowling alleys around the country even participate in a free bowling program that allows kids to bowl free and parents to join them for just a few dollars more.
You could even invite some close friends and make it a competition. Your family against theirs. The winner receives bragging rights.
Camp in Your Own Backyard
Why not enjoy the great outdoors in your own backyard? Set up a tent and sleeping bags, light the fire pit (or use the grill) to cook hot dogs and s’mores, and take turns telling funny or scary stories.
Go Paddleboarding or Canoeing
If there is a river or lake near you, chances are pretty good there is also a paddleboard or canoe rental facility nearby as well.
Both are a fun way for you and the family to enjoy the water.
Create Your Own Art
Spend an afternoon getting creative at a nearby paint-your-own-pottery facility.
Not only is it fun, but you’ll also have your own gorgeous creative masterpiece to take home when you’re done.
Fly a kite, take a leisurely walk, go for a bike ride, or how about a nice hike. Head to your local park (most state and national parks have a few walking, hiking, or biking trails to choose from). Be sure to pack plenty of water and snacks for everyone.
Break Out the Board Games
A staycation is a perfect time to play a few of those board games you remember from childhood! Whip up several snacks, and spend the afternoon playing all of your favorite games.
The goal of a staycation is to relax and decompress all while having fun. For a lot of people – especially those of us who are moms, the hardest part of trying to “relax” at home is letting go of our everyday obligations.
Give up the chores for a week, and instead kick back, relax, and enjoy some quality time with your family. Doing so will allow you to create memories that you and your loved ones will cherish for a lifetime. I promise you, you’ll be glad that you did.
Have you planned a staycation before? What are some of the things you love to do with your family?