It’s that time of year. Summer’s right around the corner this means it’s time to plan the annual vacation. While some families may spend thousands of dollars on their getaway, an increasingly popular trend is choosing a stay-at-home vacation or Staycation.
Just think about it. You’ll save money on airline tickets, hotels, and meals. No precious vacation days wasted spent traveling to your destination. No stressing about airlines overbooking or missed connections. Or worrying about who’s watching your house while you’re away.
Just because you’re staying close to home doesn’t mean you won’t have a blast. Here are some tips for the best staycation ever.
The trick is to step far away from your daily routine and take a vacation from ordinary life.
Get the whole family involved. Brainstorm local places you’ve always wanted to see and things you wanted to do but never have the time. Set a comfortable budget for a few fun activities.
Treat it like a vacation.
Do what you’d do on a vacation, just from the comfort of your own home. If you usually dine out, try a new restaurant. If you want to relax, book a spa day. Do things that make you happy, take naps, binge watch Netflix, read a book, go for a bike ride, do a craft, and just relax. (FYI – cleaning the garage isn’t a craft.)
Turn off your electronic devices, phone, computer, and alarm clock. Change your outgoing phone messages and set an auto-respond for your email to say you’re on vacation and will return their calls and emails when you get back. You’d do that if you were going to the Caribbean, right? So, do it for this vacation, too. Your family will appreciate you dropping everything to focus on being together.
Make your own amenities.
Love hotel housekeeping service? Take some money you saved and hire a cleaning service for an afternoon. Use paper plates and disposable bakeware to cut down on dishes. Like room service? Leading up to your vacation, stock your freezer with crockpot or other frozen meals so you hardly have to cook. And once or twice, treat yourself and have dinner delivered. Get the number of your favorite restaurants that deliver and keep them handy.
Here are two freezer friendly recipes you’ll love!
Be a tourist in your own town.
For local tourism information get on the google machine and type in Your Town and Tourism. A comfortable day trip is anyplace less than 75 miles from your home base. That’s at most 90 minutes’ drive time each way.
Where I live, Pahrump tourist information is available at the Pahrump Chamber of Commerce at 1301 S. Hwy 160 on the second floor and online at visitpahrump.com to explore dozens of attractions and day trips. Visit your local museum, tour the wineries, go golfing, high speed car racing or try your luck at the casinos.
Think like a tourist.
Take advantage of coupon books and internet bargains (like Groupon) intended to lure tourists. Who says tourists can’t live in the neighborhood? Many places offer “locals only” discounts so you can save even more.
DIY Summer Camp.
Remember summer camp? Recreate the experience in your own back yard. You can set up a tent, sing camp songs, tell ghost stories while you roast marshmallows for s’mores on the BBQ. You can make DIY Slime for the kiddies here. Nothing says “I Love You” like Slime!
Set up a sprinkler, fill the wading pool and bust out the swimsuits. Get squirt guns, bubbles and popsicles. Remember sunscreen!
Family Film Festival.
Everyone picks a film and you settle in for the day with snacks and lots of popcorn. Darken the room for a theater experience.
Whatever you choose to do, I wish you a week of fun, rest, relaxation, and the best Staycation ever.