Your summer vacation doesn't have to be a traditional vacation. But before we can talk about how to plan a staycation, the first question we have to answer is "What is a staycation?" In its broadest definition, a staycation is a trip in which you don't leave your home country. A slightly narrower version defines a staycation as a vacation in which you don't leave your state, province, or county. But in its narrowest, and I think most accurate definition, a staycation is a vacation in which you stay in your hometown (or close to it).
Read on to see 7 Fun Family staycation ideas.
With the cost of gasoline going up worldwide, now is a great time to get to know your hometown a little better. Here is what to do during a staycation!
1. Find a hotel or B&B in a different part of town, or in the next town over.
Sometimes all it takes to feel like you're in a whole new world is to change the view from your window and to sleep in a different bed. Kids tend to love the idea of staying in a hotel room.
Don't have a pool at home? Find accommodations with a pool for fun for the whole family!
Mom has been hinting that she would love a mani-pedi? Find a resort with a spa and treat her to some pampering!
You can also grab the tent, camper, or RV and take a short road trip to a nearby campground. Nothing says "family fun" like a family camping trip in the great outdoors! Take some board games and plan some scavenger hunts that even the smallest family member can participate in.
If you are fortunate enough to live near one of our fabulous national parks, a tour of the park is a great way to spend your staycation, with fun for the entire family!
If you don't want to splurge on a hotel stay, day trips to nearby towns are also great ways to spend your staycation. Pick one or two local attractions like an amusement park or natural history museum, enjoy a nice lunch, and make beautiful memories!
2. Research top attractions.
Instagram and Pinterest are my go-to places to search for things to do in a certain place. You can also talk to your local friends and neighbors about their favorite things to do in and around your city. You never know what hidden gems you'll find that way! Whatever your favorite way to search is, you're sure to find some inspiration for fun staycation activities.
3. Take the opportunity to see your town in a different way.
If you usually drive around town, change things up by walking, biking, or taking public transportation. Your city will look so much different when you slow down and really see it.
4. Play tourist in your hometown.
That water park you keep promising to take the kids to? Let them take those water slides by storm!
That petting zoo you haven't been to since you were a kid? Go love on some animals!
That walking trail by the river that you never have time for anymore? Get out into nature and let the sounds of the river soothe your soul!
Those Insta-worthy photo spots you keep seeing? Get your selfie-queen self down there and snap some pics!
Dad's golf swing is getting a little rusty? Send him off to the local golf course!
Whether it's a local park, local library, or local museum (especially a children's museum for your little kids), whatever you're into and whatever your hometown offers, I'm sure there are fun things you would do more if you had more free time. Those are the things to do on a staycation!
5. Pick new restaurants to try.
Whether you spend hours researching the best restaurants in town or just pop into the first place you find as you walk around, use your staycation time to get to know the cuisine of your hometown. Support local businesses, expand your horizons, and make great memories.
6. Join a tour group.
If you live in a big enough city, you will probably find local tour groups that offer tours for photo ops, ghost tours, food tours, hop-on hop-off bus tours, historical building tours, and a host of other tours. What better way to get to know more about your city during your staycation?
7. Stay Home.
If the budget is super-tight, have your staycation at home. Pitch a tent in your own backyard, set up a couple of hammocks, and go camping in the backyard. Build a little fire in the fire pit, roast hot dogs on sticks, play backyard games, make some homemade ice cream, eat watermelon, toast marshmallows, play card games, and tell ghost stories.
Now that you know what a staycation is and you have some ideas on what to do on a staycation, I hope you'll take some time to get to know your own city better.
Make sure you have a backup plan for rainy days. Choose activities that both your small children and your older kids will enjoy.
Your family trip doesn't have to be to far-off places in order to relax and have a good time. The key ingredient to a fun family staycation is quality time together as a family, and the possibilities are endless! Have a great staycation, y'all!
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