One of the greatest ways to create positive memories for both yourselves and your children is to travel and take vacations. However, you don't have to travel all around the world to make a vacation memorable. Pitch a tent in your own backyard and find things to do at interesting locales close by. Be a local tourist and have a staycation!
Plan a Staycation -- Take Your Vacation in Your Own Backyard
One of the keys of having a successful staycation is to plan it. Make a time line with when your staycation will begin and when it will end. More staycation tips:
- Share your expectations about the staycation with one another. This is another critical key to having a successful staycation.
- Stop at your local Chamber of Commerce or Visitor Center and gather all the brochures you can get your hands on. You can also click your way through your town via the Internet.
- Pretend that this is your very first time in your community. Be tourists in your own town. Drive down unexplored streets.
- Fly a kite in the park. Plan picnics in local parks. Check out museums, zoos, aquariums, factory tours.
- Shop in quaint and unusual stores. Eat in restaurants you've never visited before. Many locales offer discounts for local residents.
- Attend a community theater or dinner theater production.
- Visit all the historical markers in your area. Most states have them listed on the Internet. Look for historical buildings like old stores, homes, or lighthouses.
- If it is in your staycation budget, plan a day at a local spa together.
- A wonderful way to spend an afternoon and early evening is to visit a free wildlife viewing area.
- If you want to camp out, set up a tent in your backyard or use lots of blankets and sleep under the stars.
- Take a map of your state, and draw several circles from your home. Mark the rings at 25-mile radius, 50-mile radius, 75-mile radius, and 100-mile radius so you have an idea of how far you can go and still stay based at home.
- If you decide to drive an hour or so to a neighboring locale and you are on the road with your kids, make sure you stop frequently and have them run laps around the rest area, play imaginary hopscotch or badminton, or jump around on one leg! Actually, this isn't a bad idea even if it is just the two of you on a long drive.
Important Tips on Having an Enjoyable Staycation
- Remember that you are on vacation. Treat yourselves. Don't do most of your household chores or errands. Pretend you are not at home. Some couples hire a maid service for a couple days of their staycation.
- Block out the calendar as if you really are out of the area and unavailable.
- Eat out as much as your budget will allow. You shouldn't be cooking and cleaning up the kitchen while you are on vacation!
- Make sure that you plan for alone time together -- a couple of nights out or a full day together. Perhaps there is a day camp in your area where your kids could stay and have fun while you make time for one another.
- Consider staying one or two nights stay at a motel or B&B.
- Take lots of pictures!
Matt Wixon Quotes About Staycations
"A staycation allows a family to save money while spending more quality time together and helping a local economy. Avoiding the hassle of travel is another big benefit. You’ll be in control of the itinerary instead of an airline that is rarely on time. You won’t worry about what luggage you need to check and whether it will make it to your destination with you. There will be no waiting in lines at the airport, no questions such as 'have you had control of your bag since you packed it?' and no chance you’ll be randomly selected for a baggage inspection or body search. We’ve all heard someone say, 'I need a vacation to recover from my vacation.' The hassle of travel is the reason."
Source: "Tips for the best'staycation' ever." ConsumerReports.org. 5/21/2009.
"... you need to create the environment of a traditional vacation ... It means getting out of the rut of your daily life. It means not planning a stay-at-home vacation that combines leisure time with cleaning out the garage, building bookshelves, and a trip to get the car repaired. That's not a vacation at all."
Source: Matt Wixon. The Great American Staycation: How to Make a Vacation at Home Fun for the Whole Family (And Your Wallet!) 2009. pg. 3.
"One night out, for a concert or show, a nice dinner, or just to talk without interruption, is a great way to reconnect with your partner."
Source: Matt Wixon. The Great American Staycation: How to Make a Vacation at Home Fun for the Whole Family (And Your Wallet!) 2009. pg. 118.