When I became a stay at home mom six years ago, I knew I would have to give several things up. One of those things was fancy family vacations. For several years, my family just did nothing fun during my husband’s vacation time. Last year, I learned about staycations and decided that my family could still have a great vacation just by staying at home and finding fun activities to do. Here are some ideas from my family’s first staycation that may help you when planning your frugal family staycation.
What is a Staycation?
A staycation allows a family to have a vacation by staying at home. This means there are no expensive hotel nights and you can budget less for travel since you will not be flying or traveling very far from home. I was really worried last year that our staycation would not be as fun as a real vacation. I was really surprised that my family was able to have fun, rest, and make some great memories.
Planning a Staycation
One of the biggest differences in a staycation and a vacation is that you have to be a little more creative to find fun things for your family to do. This means you will need to make a plan. Write down the dates of your staycation and plan something for every day. We planned activities that got us out of the house most days of our staycation, but we also allowed some time at home to just relax, sleep in, and enjoy our yard. We also had a flexible schedule so if it rained we could change some things around. I was really surprised to find so many fun things to do right here where I lived. When trying to decide what to do, consider yourself a traveler and search for fun things to do.
What to Do on a Staycation
There are so many things that you can do on a staycation. I like to take advantage of free things already going on in our community. We had our staycation during the 4th of July and there were lots of free fireworks shows to attend. We also had free movies in the park during our staycation that made a nice activity. We took advantage of our local park for our kids to play and to grill out a dinner. My family also saves money by buying a family pass for the summer at a local pool. We took advantage of this and used it a lot during our staycation because it was fun and did not cost us any extra money. Also, look around for trails and State Parks to take your family to that are close by. We visited Natural Bridge State Park and walked the trail to the bridge and it was all free except for our gas and food. You may be surprised at all the fun things there are to do that are close to your front door.
Being in your home environment will make it harder for you to not do things that you usually do every day; like make you bed, vacuum, clean your bathroom, etc. You will have to set rules for yourself such as limited chores. This will help you relax more knowing you don’t have to worry about those things.
My 2011 Staycation
Here are some of the things my family has planned for our staycation this year. We are going to a fireworks display, going to a park we usually don’t go to, grilling out away from home, swimming at the pool we have a family pass for, walking a trail, visiting Cumberland Falls, resting, sleeping in, reading some books while my kids play outside, playing family board games, and having an outdoor party with a family that our kids like to play with. We also plan to go to the movies. With a family of six going to the movies is very expensive for our whole family, but since we are staying home we can afford to do this activity. These are just a few things my family has planned for our staycation. The ideas are endless when looking for things to do. One thing I did last year was take pictures of the things we did on our staycation. I plan to do this again as we had lots of great memories from our first staycation.