With unemployment rates high, the fear of job loss in the back of minds, and the high cost of gas, the prospect of a pricey vacation isn’t an option for many people this summer. But everyone needs a vacation, a time to disconnect from the daily routine and reconnect with the people who matter most.
How can you make fun memories and spend quality time with your loved ones without heading to an exotic destination? An increasingly popular idea is a staycation, or staying close to home for vacation. If you look hard enough, fun activities can be found in your own backyard.
Here are some tips to make your staycation a fun experience for all.
To enjoy a staycation, you must create a vacation atmosphere. Staycations may save you money and the hassles of travel, but they make it more difficult to distance yourself from work. If you’re around the house during your time off work, you’ll be tempted to combine leisure activities with household or work duties. Perhaps you’ve been putting off chores such as cleaning out the garage or clearing out the gutters. Maybe it’s difficult for you to leave work behind and you are tempted to check work email and phone messages.
But chores and work are not part of a true vacation atmosphere! So be on your guard. Set guidelines and boundaries for the entire family when it comes to regular chores and work. Remember - mom and dad need a break, too.
In addition, staycations shouldn’t consist only of sitting around doing nothing.
While this may be your ideal vacation, chances are it’s not your children’s. Staycations require planning ahead of time, just like destination vacations. Come up with a day-by-day plan for fun things to do, whether around the house or around town.
Staycations look different for every family. Spending quality time together, relaxation, and rejuvenation are the goals of any vacation, so whatever that looks like for your family, go for it. Explore your town by becoming tourists in your own community. The Internet is a storehouse of fun and interesting attractions to visit. Here are some ideas to get you started.
Visit local the local museum, whether it be art, science, children’s, or history. There’s something for everyone. Or visit a museum, factory, fire station, television station, or newspaper facility for a behind-the-scenes-tour. If there’s something your kids are interested in, find a way to learn more about it.
Amusement parks, water parks, zoos, aquariums, scenic train rides, or other local tourist destinations are additional ideas. What child doesn’t enjoy an amusement park? Some zoos or aquariums even offer fun camps or behind-the-scene activities for kids.
If your family is into sports or music, visit some local sporting events or concerts. Bowling, go-karts, miniature golf, fishing, the movies, and laser tag are also fun activities. How about organizing a backyard sports competition or relay race? Throw in some water balloons or water guns and it’s sure to be fun!
Maybe your family enjoys spending time in the great outdoors, so check out local parks. In the event you’re close to a camping site, grab the tent and get out there! If you’re not that brave or prefer sleeping in your bed, hiking, biking, lake swimming can be enjoyable as well.
After a long day of fun, come home to relax. You might enjoy a movie marathon or a family game night. Order in pizza and fix a bowl of popcorn. During your staycation, fix easy family-favorite meals or eat out if your budget permits. Of course, grilling out and picnics are always popular choices, and feel free to invite friends to join in on the fun.