Get the Vacation Vibe While on Staycation
Ah, vacation! How often do you wish you could escape the hustle and bustle and the day-to-day responsibilities of our normal lives for a week of fun and relaxation somewhere away from life’s reality?
A traditional vacation is not always an opportunity we can seize. Between restaurants, hotels, and transportation, travel costs can add up, especially when you factor in cost per family member. Sometimes, cost isn’t the factor and life “just happens” disabling us to stray far from home.
However, that does not mean that you can’t enjoy Spring Break or summer vacation when it rolls around. It does not mean that while the kids are home from school you can’t still have a great time. Why not plan a vacation in your own backyard; a “STAYCATION”. A true staycation is an intentional time of fun and relaxation with the whole family while remaining home and participating in leisure activities within driving distance, while sleeping in the comfort of their own homes. It does take a little effort to do reach maximum satisfaction, fun, and relaxation, but can ultimately be just as satisfying as going away.
During the financial crisis of 2007-2010 the popularity of staycation increased, allowing individuals and families to save money. The American Automobile Association said the average North American vacation will cost $244 per day for two people for lodging and meals. Add children and other family members into that equation and airfare; a 10-day vacation could top $8,000.
Common activities of a staycation include use of the backyard or public pool, visits to local parks and museums, and attendance at local festivals and amusement parks. Some staycationers also like to follow a set of rules, such as setting a start date and end date, planning ahead, and avoiding routine, with the goal of creating the feel of a traditional vacation.
Staycationers can finish a stay-at-home vacation feeling unsatisfied if they allow themselves to fall into the daily monotony and include household projects, errands, and other menial tasks in their vacation at home. It is important to treat a staycation as a vacation away from the home. You can unwind within your own four walls.
Put the world on hold and stash away clocks to help wipe away the stress of the daily grind. Turn off the telephones and mute the answering machine (you wouldn’t be answering your home phone if you were away on vacation). Do an “out of the office” automatic reply message for your email and turn off the computer. Skip the news and don’t get the mail for the week.
The point of a staycation is to make it feel as much like a real family getaway as possible, without leaving the comfort of your own home. A few guidelines for what your family may and may not do during this time could include all or some of the following:
· No smart phone
· No email
· No computer or video games
· No television
· No working from home
· No worrying
· No fighting
· Family time only – no independent activities or outside plans
· No cooking
· No cleaning
· No laundry
The more you plan for fun, the more successful your staycation is likely to be. Start by setting a reasonable, realistic budget for your week of fun at home. Set some money aside for activities, eating out, and perhaps even paying for a splurge or two such as paying for a house cleaner or treating yourself to a massage or pedicure at a local spa. Have a family meeting to decide what you are going to do on your staycation and get ideas from the family and see what they would like to do.
Prepare the home and kitchen for “vacation” to make the week as simple as possible. Do what you would do if you were out on a destination vacation; dine out, order in, simple cooking. You can prepare meal ahead of time to minimize the cooking process.
The following are some creative ideas to do while on staycation:
· Paintballing or Laser Tag
· Visit a nearby National Park
· Go to the theatre
· Visit an amusement park
· Visit local museums and/or art galleries
· Attend a major/minor/college league sporting events
· Host a family board game tournament
· Go bowling
· Camp in your own backyard
· Tour a local factory
· Visit a nearby tourist spot
· Go to a themed restaurant or dinner theater
· Create your own art
· Have fun a getting wet in the pool, water park, or on the slip and slide
· Host your own film festival
There are thousands more ideas to be found on the internet. Simply type in “staycation” into your search engine, press enter and explore the wide array of staycation ideas.
The key to having the best staycation ever, ultimately has nothing to do with the activities you choose, but with your own attitude and commitment to making your week a time of fun and relaxation.
4. The Great American Staycation: How to Make a Vacation at Home Fun for the Whole Family (and Your Wallet!), Matt Wixon