Create Your Own Staycation

The concept of the staycation gained a lot of popularity during the Great Recession, but the idea of vacationing close to home and enjoying the local attractions appears to have a lasting appeal. The economy may be getting better, but smart men and women are still looking for ways to save money without giving up the lifestyles they enjoy.

Smart consumers have realized that they do not have to fly across an ocean or spend thousands of dollars to enjoy quality time with family and friends. They know that every part of the country – including the part they call home – has its own unique charms. Planning a staycation gives you a chance to enjoy all the fun your area has to offer – all without spending big bucks on getting there.

One of the great things about planning a staycation is that there are few rules. The airline might not let you bring your oversized carry-on with you on the plane, but you can put that big suitcase in the back of your car before exploring the local country roads. Those fancy hotels may say no pets, but Fido will surely be welcome on your staycation.

While there are few rules associated with the staycation concept, it is important to set a few ground rules before you get started.

  • No work obligations. The whole purpose of the staycation is to give you time to relax and unwind away from your everyday responsibilities, so a strict no work policy is a must. That means no checking your work email, no checking in with the office and no sneaking a peak at the company web portal. You are on vacation, and both your body and mind need time to decompress.
  • A limited screentime rule is a great idea for your staycation. You may need to check the local weather forecast or use your favorite GPS app, but no one will have real experiences if their noses are buried in their smartphones. Consider collecting everyone’s phones and keeping them under lock and key during excursions and free the family to actually enjoy the experience instead of constantly being distracted.
  • The best part of the staycation is family togetherness, so truly take a break from outside planned activities is another handy ground rule. Feel free to plan all the fun events you want with your family, but avoid outside distractions during your staycation. You are on vacation! In your own town! Do yourself the favor of disconnecting and unwinding from your regular routine.

With these ground rules firmly in place, it is time to plan the staycation of your dreams! You may be staying home, but you still need to plan carefully and think ahead. Plan for easy meals while on staycation, and use disposable dishes to make cleanup easier. You are on vacation – and that vacation should not include doing the dishes.

Don’t eat in for every meal, now is the perfect time to explore new restaurants in town. Chances are there are a few places you have been itching to try – now is the perfect time to take the plunge. Just grab your favorite dressy clothes, put the kids on their best behavior (or leave them at home with a babysitter) and enjoy some great local cuisine.

The possibilities are endless when you vacation in your own hometown. Visit the local amusement parks. Check out the beauty of nature at the National Parks. Drive off into the country with a picnic, find waterfalls, and try geocaching. Camp out in your own backyard. Schedule a horseback riding tour or local historical tour, organize your own tour of local “haunted” places, check out a local ball game. Wherever you go take your camera, and take a whole lot of staycation pictures to enjoy when everything gets back to normal.

No matter how you choose to spend your staycation, you can enjoy it even more by hiring a maid to clean your home while you relax, unwind and get ready for that difficult return to the real world.