The Secret Recipe for making a Staycation Actually feel like a Vacation


What’s the secret recipe for making a staycation actually feel like a vacation? 

First let’s look at the ingredients that make a vacation yummy. 

  • Seeing/experiencing new things. 
  • Being away from school and work.
  • Not doing chores
  • Not rushing around to extracurricular activities or other obligations
  • Dining out
  • Jumping on the bed in the hotel room. (Or is this just me?)

Combine these ingredients in any order to make a great staycation. 

There are different variations on the typical staycation. 

Sometimes it means taking a weekend road trip to your nearest national forest or state park. 

Sometimes staycation means doing day trips from home exploring different parts of your city or state. 

But sometimes a staycation means not leaving the house. Literally staying at home.  

Things to do during your staycation at home to make it more tasty.

  • Go camping in your own back yard. 
  • Have a marathon movie day/night.
  • Create an outdoor movie theater in your yard. 
  • Turn your back yard into a beach resort. (After a day of playing lawn games, put your feet in the kiddie pool, get a drink in one hand and a book in the other while the kids play in the sandbox.)
little girl by kiddie pool

Key ingredients for making your staycation actually feel like a vacation for EVERYONE in the family.

  • Get the whole family involved in the planning. 
  • Decide on a realistic time frame. (a whole week? a long weekend?) 
  • Pretend you’re a tourist, and head to the sites in your area that visitors would want to go to. 
  • Visit your town/state visitor center (either online or in person) to get ideas about things in your area that you may never have visited before. 
  • Bring out the camera, and take cheesy vacation pictures.
  • Attempt to plan the staycation around local festivals, so you can make them part of your entertainment. 
  • Try to minimize the cooking by making freezer meals ahead of time, using the crockpot, or ordering take-out. Some restaurants are even offering curbside pick-up of wine and other adult beverages.
  • Consider relaxing the household rules a bit. Maybe the kids can have more screen time or later bed times or a little more junk food than usual. 
  • Eliminate as many chores as possible during the designated stay-cation (just like when you stay in a hotel). Do all laundry and deep cleaning ahead of time, and save the clean-up of any newly created mess for after the family time ends (within reason). Use paper plates so you can skip dishes.
  • Include quiet time. Vacations can be exhausting, and if you plan events for every part of every day, family members are sure to become tired and grumpy.
  • Think about the little things that make your family vacations fun, and try to include those things whenever possible in your stay-cation.

Now that you have your ingredient list, go cook up a great staycation!

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