8 tips for planning an inexpensive family staycation.

Sunshine and warm weather are right around the corner, and it’s natural to be dreaming of a vacation. To find the joy and relaxation you’d usually experience while traveling without leaving home, plan an inexpensive yet memorable family staycation. 

8 tips to get you started:

1. Put it on your calendar. Great vacations don’t just happen without advance planning. Choose a start date and an end date to your staycation, and get your family on board. Each family member should write down things they want to do. It will be rewarding crossing the activities off the list.

2. Take a break from household chores. Just like you would before a vacation, get all your household chores, laundry, and yard work done before your staycation. Prepare your deck, patio, or backyard for a few days of outdoor activities and lounging.

3. Set the scene. Temporarily transform your surroundings. Create a festive ambiance – indoors or outdoors -- by stringing some lights. Pull out the disco ball from your closet. Put up that hammock you’ve had languishing in the garage. Fill a baby pool for your kids – or your pups!

4. Disconnect. At the beginning of your staycation, make a commitment to limit unintentional screen time. If you’re a news junkie, now’s the time to unplug. You wouldn’t be checking your news feed every hour if you were traveling, so don’t do it now.

5. Get creative outdoors. Take local hikes, walks, and bike rides. If you have little ones, create an obstacle course in your yard with toys and games from your garage. Roast marshmallows over a backyard campfire. If you’re extra ambitious, pitch a tent and go backyard camping. Remember to sing songs and look at the stars!

6. Have an indoors back-up plan. The weather may not fully cooperate, so have a back-up plan. Virtual museum tours and virtual concerts are red hot and easy to access online right now. If you have little kids, plan an indoor scavenger hunt. Or take family movie night up a notch by having all your kids’ favorite movie theater treats on hand.

7. Eat like you’re on vacation. If you’re financially able, support your local restaurants by ordering your favorite takeout. If you’ll be prepping meals yourself, create your own faux restaurant. One family member could be the waiter, another could be the chef, and the rest of the family could be the customers. Be sure to play it up with menus, candles, and costumes!

8. Find the silver lining. A staycation may not be what you were expecting for this summer, but the advantages are plentiful – you won’t have to deal with delayed, crowded flights or that dreaded post-vacay credit card statement.

Happy staycation-ing!