staycation tips

5 Tips for a Staycation You’ll Never Forget

Cashing in all your hard-earned money for a vacation to an exotic paradise or a popular destination isn’t the only way to build memories this summer. If a traditional vacation won’t work this year, don’t worry! You can have a fabulous time at home and keep money in your wallet.

Staycations are increasing in popularity for good reason. They don’t involve travel plans, and typically don’t require housing expenses. Since those are two of the most expensive parts of a vacation, you can see how the savings add up quickly.

But without some planning, your staycation can quickly deteriorate into just another week of normal! So take some time to plan and intentionally make your staycation great. Here are five tips to make it happen.

1. Think Like a Tourist

When was the last time you purposefully explored your area? Pull out a map, do some quick research, and think like a tourist.

Look for:

  • National landmarks or parks
  • Museums
  • Theater
  • Amusement parks
  • Active activities — hiking, laser tag, paintball, etc.
  • A zoo or aquarium
  • Sporting events

While you might not have all of these right in your town, expand your search to include nearby areas. You can easily travel a couple of hours for an attraction, and still make it home at night.

Once you have your list, talk about the options with your family. Select a couple and go explore your neck of the woods. No matter where you’re located, you’ll be amazed at how much it has to offer!

2. Plan Your Meals

A staycation isn’t a break if someone has to spend hours in the kitchen each day to keep the family fed. Instead, plan a mix of meals. You’ll want a variety of:

  • Easy to prepare meals
  • Make ahead meals
  • Intentional meals out or with friends

These will keep you fed for less than eating out each meal, and will give the cook a well-needed break as well. It’s okay to use paper plates for the duration of your staycation.

3. Have Lazy Time

Vacations aren’t refreshing without time to rest. Make it a point to not overschedule your time together. Leave plenty of time for hanging out in the backyard or snuggling on the couch with your favorite flicks.

Here are some suggestions for maximizing your down time:

Designate Tech-Free Zones

During your staycation, make some tech-free zones. These could include the backyard, the living room, and the dining room. When in these areas, all members of the family are forbidden to use technology.

Get Outside

Schedule plenty of outdoor time on your itinerary. Connecting with nature, even if it’s just running through the sprinklers in your yard, is a fun way to enjoy your time together.

Ditch the Chores

It’s not the time to catch up on housework or clean out the gutters. Make sure the toilet is clean, and let everything that you can go, you can catch up later!

4. Get the Family Involved

Don’t do all the planning and create all the rules on your own—that’s a great way to cause dissent in the family. Instead, talk through options with everyone and take a vote. You also can let everyone pick one activity or destination to explore.

5. Play Some Games

Spending time with your loved ones is what a staycation is all about. Playing games is a great way to get everyone together. Here are some ideas for fun family games:

  • Apples to Apples
  • Guesstures
  • MadGab
  • Scrabble
  • Pictionary
  • A deck of cards to play:
    • King’s Corner
    • Slap Jack
    • Poker
    • Solitaire
    • Tons of other games!
  • Settlers of Catan
  • Uno

If you’re looking to add a new game to your collection, trade your iRazoo points for a gift card to Amazon or Wal-Mart. Those partner stores often have great deals on games!

Is a Staycation in Your Future?

Stop by our Facebook page and share your favorite ways to enjoy a staycation. Our readers give each other the best tips!