• Staycations can be just as fun but much cheaper than a traditional vacation
  • Outsource household tasks for a relaxed and chore-free staycation
  • Mix up your staycation with outdoor and indoor activities
With all the stress at work, you could really use a vacation.

Not just any vacation either. If money were no object, you’d be booking the family on a luxury vacation to some far off exotic destination.

Trouble is, you’re already stretched thin financially and you don’t have time to plan a big trip.

You’ve got obligations at home and a ton on your plate at work.

Not to mention all the damn debt you’re trying hard to pay down.

Unless you get lucky and hit the lottery, swinging a real vacation to Hawaii to sip Mai-Tai’s on the beach isn’t going to happen anytime soon.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t get away.

A staycation is a perfect way to get the benefits of a traditional vacation. And best of all, it costs a fraction of the price. 

The Benefits Of Staycations Versus Traditional Vacations

If a staycation doesn’t feel like a “real” vacation, you probably need to think about it differently. With the right mindset, you can quickly get into tourist mode and feel like you’re miles from home.

Here are some of the reasons why staycations rock.

1. You Won’t Get In A Ton More Debt

Big vacations are great but they’re also expensive.

The average family is paying off their vacation for months after they get back. And sometimes, they haven’t even paid it off by their next vacation.

Sure, you had an amazing time but reality soon hits when the credit card bill is due.

But since a staycation is much more affordable than a dream vacation, you don’t need to worry about that.

You’re not paying eye-watering hotel and flight costs. Since these tend to be the most expensive parts of a vacation, a staycation can mean big savings. 

2. It’s Low Maintenance

Since you’re staying home, there’s less to plan. And that means a whole lot less stress and trip anxiety.

No frantic packing.

No rushing to get to the airport on time.

No predetermined sightseeing itinerary that you’ve got to stick to.

Not being dictated by when you can check in and out of your hotel.

And not trying to wring out every single second from your vacation (since you’ll probably never go back).

Plus, as most parents know, traveling on an airplane with small kids can be a total fucking nightmare.

With no travel stress to worry about, you only need to think about how you’ll keep yourself and the family entertained. 

3. You Won’t Be Disappointed By The Accommodation

Ever spent a small fortune on a hotel, only to find the bed is super uncomfortable, the elevator never works (and your room is on the top floor) and the view isn’t even that great?

Not to mention the wasted hours you spent researching hotels to find one that seemed like the perfect fit.

We’ve all been there and it sucks.

But it’s not a problem you’ll have on a staycation. You know exactly what to expect from your accommodation. There are no unpleasant surprises or epic disappointments.

Plus, there’s nothing quite like sleeping in your own bed, right?

4. You Set The Pace

If you’ve ever been on a guided holiday tour or a cruise, you’ll know how frustrating and restrictive following a set schedule can be.

You’ve gotta be at this place and this time for that activity etc.

It can feel like you’re being rushed along, with hardly any time to savor the experience. Sometimes, it’s almost as though you were never really there.

It’s the opposite with a staycation. You’re in control. You set the schedule and pace. You can take it as fast or as slowly as you want. 

5. You Can Support The Local Economy

Staycations also allow you to help out your local “main street” economy.

You’ll be supporting small mom-n-pop businesses, especially if you budget for eating out every night, visiting local attractions and shopping at places in and around town.

While it’s probably not going to be a major factor in your staycation, it’s always nice to know you’re making a difference to local businesses by supporting them.

And remember, this is a budget staycation so, it’s all about being thrifty and not going overboard and splurging on lavishly expensive things.

The Secret To The Perfect Staycation - Outsourcing Chores

Want to make sure you have a fun and relaxing staycation?

The trick is to have that same stress-free, chore-free and completely carefree attitude that you’d have on a traditional vacation.

You might be staying home but you can still get that vacation feeling of having day-to-day tasks taken care of.

How great would it feel if you had a super clean home waiting for you at the end of the day with freshly made beds, dishes washed up and put away, a sparkling bathroom and vacuumed carpets?

This can really happen if you outsource tasks during your staycation.

You don’t need to spend a single second thinking about cleaning or running errands. It’s all going to be taken care of just like it would if you stayed in a hotel.

And since it’ll cost a lot less than paying airfare and hotel costs for a traditional vacation, it’s a totally justifiable expense, not an extravagance.

This is what will make your staycation a truly relaxing experience.

So, ask your neighbors or friends for any recommendations and referrals or check out sites like Yelp, Angie’s List or any of the numerous task apps out there.

Find a good reputable and reliable house cleaner, yard care company, handyman, random task-doer, etc. and unload all of those annoying and undesirable chores.

Family-Friendly Staycation Ideas

Whatever you like to do on vacation, you can replicate it on a family-friendly staycation.

If you’re a family that loves the outdoors, take the opportunity to get out and about in your area. Or if you prefer the idea of a cozy indoor staycation, there’s plenty of choices for this too.

Think of things to do and/or places that you’d normally never consider going to during the weekend. This is the time to open up to new experiences. 

Outdoorsy Staycation Ideas

If you spend a lot of time outdoors on an average vacation, you can do the same on a staycation. This is a really fun way to explore and be active.

1. Take A Day Trip Nearby

When you’re on vacation, you probably plan day trips to nearby areas, right?

You can do exactly the same on a staycation.

Maybe you live near a beach or aquarium and you can have a fun day there. Or maybe, you’re not too far from an adventure park or ski resort. Check for weekend specials or family deals and make a day of it.

Taking a short 1-2 hour road trip to another city closeby can really change up the scenery and break the dull routine of life.

A short drive to a nearby destination is a great way to introduce some newness for the family and doesn’t require a whole lot of prep and planning.

2. Be A Tourist In Your Own Town Or Another Closeby

Looking at your area through a tourist’s eyes can uncover a lot of surprises.

You might be used to thinking of museums, galleries, parks and other local attractions as ordinary, especially if you see them every day.

Maybe you’ve been too busy to embrace them or you’ve seen it as too touristy.

A staycation is a great opportunity to explore what your area has to offer. You might discover lots of new things to do in your hometown that you never knew existed.

If there are any special events happening nearby, you can plan your staycation around them. Check to see if there are any festivals, concerts, outdoor movie nights, sporting events, or exhibits you can check out.

Taking in an event or doing something that you normally wouldn’t do can help you feel like a tourist, rather than a local. In fact, experiencing new things is one of the best ways to not only make your weekends feel longer but also make your staycations more enriching.

Of course, this one doesn’t work so well if you live in a truly boring place. You’ll need to look a little further afield in that case. 

3. Go Backyard Or Basement Camping

Camping is the ultimate adventure in your own backyard and most kids will love it. It can feel like you’re miles from home, even though you’re barely setting foot outside.

You can up the fun factor by toasting s’mores and telling super spooky ghost stories after dark.

Or if you don’t have the outdoor backyard space at home, set up your tent in a local park - check for permits and fees.

If mother nature isn’t cooperating, try indoor camping in the basement with a tent or for those that don’t have a basement, a living room fortress of pillows-n-blankets is always a crowd pleaser. 

4. Do A Scavenger Hunt 

Kids will love the idea of a scavenger hunt. You can place clues around your home and outside around the yard.

Or you can go a lot further and include local landmarks for an in-town or in-city hunt. You’ll learn a ton about where you’re staying and it’s a fun way to explore.

The trickiest part will be creating the clues. Kids will soon get bored if they can work them out in seconds but you don’t want them to be unsolvable either. 

5. Go For A Day Hike Or Bike Ride

Getting out in nature is perfect for a budget staycation. Most of the time, it’s free. Hit the local trails for a family hike.

If your family doesn’t usually do a lot of walking, look for an easier trail that won’t be an epic challenge.

You’ll need decent walking shoes but other than that, it’s a cheap activity. Pack a picnic and plenty of water.

Not a fan of hiking?

Dust off your bikes and check out local bicycling paths.

Either way, the entire gang will be getting the benefits of exercise.

It’s great for your physical health. And it doesn’t need to be some crazy workout. You can get most of the benefits with easy workouts.

And it can help manage stress, improve your mood and help you sleep better.

Plus, getting your kids used to being active can help them to be happier and healthier over the long run. And your weekend staycation is a great opportunity to positively ingrain this behavior. 

Indoorsy Staycation Ideas 

What if the weather isn’t great or you don’t want to have an outdoorsy staycation?

Making indoor staycation plans can be fun too. Plus, it’s a great opportunity to kick back and relax and not fight crowds, traffic and other mayhem. 

1. Bust Out The Board Games 

Grab some board games and get ready for some old school unplugged family fun.

These days, kids are more likely to jump on an online video game than break out a board game. A staycation is perfect for introducing them to board games from your youth.

Plus, they can give your brain a mini workout too.

Need some inspiration?

Classic board games like Monopoly, Risk, Scrabble and Uno are sure to bring out a little bit of friendly competition (or rivalry!).

You can even make a tournament of it. The winner gets a prize, or can nominate someone else to run errands after your staycation.

2. Catch Up On Netflix Or Have A Movie Marathon 

The family doesn’t even need to get dressed for this one. Snuggle up in your pajamas, grab some snacks and get settled in for some big screen entertainment.

Mix it up with action, drama, comedy and horror and experience the entire spectrum of emotions.

Got a ton of Netflix shows to watch or a reading list that never shrinks?

When you’re constantly stressed out by work, family and other obligations, finding “me time” can be super tough.

Before you know it, the rest of the world is on season five of that must-watch series and you’ve barely been introduced to the characters.

That’s one of the great things about a staycation - you can do exactly what you want with your time.

And that includes catching up on anything you’ve not had time for until now. 

3. Indoor Olympics

Stage your own mini Olympics with a variety of indoor games and competitions.

Play a bowling tournament with empty water bottles and tennis balls.

Practice target shooting with paper targets and rubber bands.

See who can fly paper airplane the furthest.

Juggle with balled up socks.

Play miniature golf.

Throw an indoor discus (round plastic lids).

You get the picture.

You can even have an opening and closing ceremony. Create your own flags and get creative.

The winner of each game gets major bragging rights. They can even crown themselves the gold medallist.

You can mock up some medals from the empty Amazon shipping boxes you have lying around and even use them as a makeshift podium for the mini medals.

4. Build A Giant Lego Project Or Makeshift City

Lego isn’t just for kids.

Have you seen some of the crazy expensive complex Lego sets?

They’re like 1,000+ pieces and the directions come in a book that is as thick as a paperback novel.

If you’re not up for spending several hundred dollars on a big Lego set, we totally get it.

Instead, gather up all the random lego buckets scattered all over the house and make a huge pile. Then, let the family construction creativity begin.

Build a gigantic Lego city. Keep going until every piece of Lego in the house is playing its part.

If you’ve got the baseplates to keep expanding, there’s a ton of scope for building a super city. You can create buildings and vehicles, and mimic real-life city scenes.

You can get super creative with what you build. Just make sure it’s on an epic scale because seeing a completed monster build is really satisfying. 

5. Let The Kids Play & Have A Day To Yourself

Grab some nail polish and raid your refrigerator for ingredients to make face masks.

You can also give each other massages, pedicures and foot rubs for a mini spa experience.

This one is probably not going to appeal so much to the guys but it can be fun to get kids involved with.

And for that serene spa environment, have the kids play with their friends elsewhere in the house. Or even better, arrange for them to play at a friend’s house and enjoy a mini at-home spa day all to yourself.

Or, for the guys, the uninterrupted block of time can be dedicated to man-cave activities, like watching the game.

Staycations Can Be Real Vacations Too

You may not be going on a “big” vacation (not unless you win the lottery!) but with a staycation or even just a long weekend, you can get most of the benefits and none of the huge expenses.

In fact, you can easily maximize a long weekend staycation and make it feel like a week-long retreat and not break the bank.

And that’s great news when you’re living paycheck to paycheck and don’t have a budget to blow on your dream trip.

You’ll have plenty of time to act like a tourist in your own city and you might start seeing your hometown through fresh eyes.

If you prefer a more relaxing staycation, there are plenty of options for keeping the fun factor while staying indoors.

And if you outsource key tasks around the home, you can tap into the hidden secret for making sure your staycation is truly relaxing and fun - Mai Tai’s optional. 😉

Feel Better,

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