It's time to take a break from your hectic life and spend some quality time with your kids. A family staycation may be exactly what you need.
A staycation is when you leave work, school or any other responsibilities behind for a few days and enjoy the company of your family. A staycation offers many opportunities for fun activities like going to parks or museums or even staying at home and doing things that have nothing to do with travel. Since there will be minimal travel expenses involved, you can have a blast with your family without breaking the bank.
We've got some great tips to help you plan a fun family staycation. Here are 6 ways to ensure that every member of your family has a wonderful staycation experience.
What is a Staycation?
First of all, let’s clarify what exactly a staycation is.
A staycation is a vacation that you take at or around your home. You can choose to stay home and plan the entire staycation there. Otherwise, you can go on day trips or participate in leisure activities nearby and return home for a good night’s sleep.
A staycation is different from a typical vacation in that there are no flights involved, which will save you time and money. It's also an opportunity for the family to get out and explore the area without any obligations, stressors, or worries about forgetting anything. A staycation is all about exploring and having fun with family while creating memories together.
How to Plan an Unforgettable Family Staycation
1. Decide on a Destination for Your Staycation
There are many great places to take your family during their staycation. Perhaps there are places that you have always wanted to visit around town but haven’t gotten a chance to yet.
Keep your family’s interests in mind when choosing a destination. Make sure there are activities for the whole family so that everyone can enjoy themselves.
To help you choose a location for your staycation, here is a list of some popular places to visit with kids:
National parks (check out local national parks like Yellowstone National Park)
Of course, you can always choose to stay home! One of the best ways for any family member, young or old, to enjoy their time together is by just relaxing at home. Being in an unfamiliar place can make it hard for young kids to relax and parents might feel overwhelmed by the responsibility of making sure everyone is safe and sound.
2. Pack Accordingly
Make sure you bring all of the necessary things along for your staycation with your kids! For example, for an outdoors adventure, you may want to pack snacks such as fruits and granola bars, water bottles, hats, a first-aid kit, and sunscreen.
Wherever you go, I recommend bringing board games, cards, coloring books, and puzzles to keep the kids busy during downtimes. Playing games can bring all the family members together for some precious bonding time.
3. Prepare the House
There are several ways to make housework easier while you're on your staycation. Doing a bit of advance planning can help make the entire process much smoother and more efficient.
Make sure that the house is clean enough so that it doesn't turn into too much of a chore during your staycation. Piling things up in random places in your home just makes it more difficult to tidy up later on, so do some decluttering before your staycation begins. Simply putting away a few toys or stashing some old magazines in boxes can save your sanity later on.
Or even better, if your budget allows, hire someone to help out with cleaning before your staycation starts.
4. Create a Schedule
Creating a tentative schedule will help keep everyone calm and stress-free knowing what's going on, where they're going, and who they'll be with while on the staycation.
It's important to consider how many days you will be staying home vs. going out on adventures. For example, if you go all out for three of the nights, you might not have enough energy or money left over for the rest of the staycation. Consider spreading your activities out so you can take some time to just sit back and relax.
I suggest coming up with a list of activities that you’d like to do during your staycation. After you complete your list, simply pick and choose which activities you would like to do each day. You could plan: going to the beach, renting kayaks from a nearby lake, having regular game nights, playing mini golf, having a water balloon fight in the backyard … the possibilities are endless.
While you want to have a schedule, you also want to keep a flexible mindset. If something doesn't go as planned, don't let it ruin your staycation. In fact, use it as an excuse to try something different or exciting!
5. Set a Budget
While you don’t need to spend money on flights, you shouldn’t empty your bank account on a staycation. Decide how much money you want to spend on food, souvenirs, entry tickets, meals, etc. prior to going on your staycation to ensure that the trip doesn’t end up costing more than expected.
With so many options available today for family activities, there is absolutely no reason you can't plan something fun at home. By opting for free activities or inexpensive entertainment ideas, even if you're on a tight budget, you can still create memories every family member will cherish.
Do some research ahead of time to find discounts on activities around town. For example, a lot of museums offer free admission on certain days of the month.
6. Document All the Fun
Take lots of pictures to document your staycation! You can even turn them into an album or scrapbook once it ends to preserve the memories.
Kids love to take pictures, so why not have them be in charge of taking photos of the staycation? This is a great way for them to explore their creativity and learn about photography.
My children love using the VTech® KidiZoom® PrintCam™ to take awesome pictures and videos of all our adventures. This kid-friendly camera allows you to take photos and preview your photos on its 2.4” color screen. It also has an option for stitching together two to four photos for a panoramic image.
With a quick flip of the lens, your kids can now take selfies with the camera! Taking a picture of yourself has never been so easy.
Your kids can add adorable stickers, filters, and borders to any image or video. My daughter especially loves putting the different stickers on the background.
The most unique part of the VTech® KidiZoom® PrintCam™ is that you can click and print your photos instantly! The paper roll that you insert into the camera allows you to print up to 80 regular or panoramic photos in black and white.
One of my kids’ favorite functions of the VTech® KidiZoom® PrintCam™ is the Print Shop. In this mode, you can do fun things like Costume Party, where you select a costume and hairstyle for your character.
Then you simply take a picture of your face so that it looks like you are wearing the monster costume.
Then just hit print! Now your kids have a photo that they can color themselves. This is a great quiet activity after a long day outdoors. There are also three games on the KidiZoom® PrintCam™ that are perfect for car rides or playtime between photo shoots.
After your staycation is over, you can simply transfer the photos and videos to your computer using the included USB cable. Your whole family will love going through the contents of your VTech® KidiZoom® PrintCam™ together and chatting about the good times you had on your staycation.
Final Thoughts on Planning a Family Staycation
Now that you’ve learned how to plan a fun staycation with your family, it’s time to start researching! Whether it’s an overnighter, a few days away from home, or just hanging out at home, the tips we provided should help ensure that everyone has a great time and ends up feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.
What are you waiting for?
Betty Boiron is a homeschooling mom of two and the brains behind the blog Mombrite. She spends her days designing fun and educational activities for her kids. She aims to share all the creative crafts and magical science experiments with other families and make learning fun!