Sometimes the best vacation is one that doesn’t include traveling anywhere. Taking a vacation at home can be a healthy way to get away from work and the stresses of daily life without the high cost of airfare and hotel bills. Enjoyable Staycations require a certain amount of planning and discipline in order to keep them from being just another Sunday afternoon.
Start Planning Your Staycation! Just as you would with a vacation, schedule a beginning and ending for your staycation to make it feel like an official vacation. Start researching things to do a few weeks before your staycation is scheduled to begin so you have something to look forward to and have a full planner for each day. Decide where you will go, what you will do, how much money you have to spend, etc. Also take into consideration the types of meals you'll eat and where they will be eaten.
Set Guidelines for Your Staycation. The whole point of a staycation is to relax and “get away” from it all much like you would if you left town for a week or two. Set some ground rules for your time at home like no work phone calls or emails; only pick up calls and read emails from friends and family. Stop the mail. A critical element of a successful stay-at-home vacation is to eliminate the cues of normal life and getting the mail and checking on bills will certainly keep your staycation from being a getaway. Declare a "choratorium." That means no chores! Don't make the bed, vacuum, clean out the closets, or pull weeds; you’re on Vacation!
Schedule Events. Just because you don’t leave town doesn’t mean you have to stay in the whole time. Make plans to check out local attractions and Points of Interest in your town that you have always wanted to do, but never have. Join a guided walking tour of your local town or a behind-the scenes tour of your local fire station or City Hall. Check local news for upcoming special events such as art walks or food shows, or book something else you have always wanted to do; a day at the races, go-karting, a riding lesson or even a makeover at the local department store counter can all make for a great day out.
What to Do While On a Staycation:
Although there is typically no packing or major travel involved in a staycation it is important to pack your days full of fun, good food and relaxation (as we have discussed). There is really no limit to the ways you can enjoy your time away from the office, but we’ve put together a list of a few that might help make your staycation a success:
Go on a family picnic to a local park. Take along a picnic basket with easy on the budget meals and refreshments. While you are there, organize a scavenger hunt and hide clues to discovering different prizes for the kids and dad or mom.
Plan a day with the kids at a local waterslide park, community swimming pool or take a trip (or two, or three) to your local beach. Don’t forget to pack an umbrella, lots of sunscreen, towels, and activities for the kids.
Take to the hills and go on a hike or plan a family bike ride. This is a great time to get out, get some exercise, and enjoy your local surroundings. You will be amazed at all beautiful things nature has to offer you in your local mountains and lakes.
Take the family to a local ballpark, field or arena for a tailgate party. For a change of pace, search for local minor league baseball, soccer and hockey teams or go support your local high school or college team. Take your tailgating gear and cook up some dogs and burgers for the whole family.
Make a Home Spa Night part of your Staycation; break out the bath salts, facial masks, and home spa kits. Everyone needs at least one day of pampering; even dad could use a little spa relaxation time.
Add a sense of play to your staycation by dusting off those old board games and card games. Pick at least one game per day/night and add some fun snacks and treats that go along with the theme of each game.
There's nothing like curling up on the couch together as a family on a staycation night to watch a great movie. To get everyone into the spirit of the film and your staycation, have everyone “dress the part” of their favorite movie characters.
Read a book you've been meaning to read; no need to wait for that long flight to Europe to tackle War & Peace. On your staycation, you have the luxury of time to sit back, relax, and immerse yourself in a great book.
Staycation Tips to Remember:
Don’t go to the grocery store or cook meals at home. Instead go out to eat, order in or take advantage of curbside pick-up programs at some of your favorite restaurants.
Avoid doing laundry unless it is absolutely necessary.
Designate a “no-texting” day for the kids.
Tell your company you are taking a trip within the country, but don’t tell them you are staying home; they will be more inclined to call you if they know you are in town.
Don’t set an alarm clock for anyone in the house for the duration of your staycation; everyone wakes up when their internal clock says it’s time to get up.
Take Photos of the different things you do while on your staycation and make a scrapbook of the “trip.”
Relax and enjoy your staycation, you deserve it!
Sources: Articlebase.com, About.com, ABCNews.com, eHow.com