Sometimes our summer plans get derailed or paused and a staycation is in order. Staycations have become very popular… No packing everything you own into a carry on bag because the airlines have gone nuts with baggage fees. No playing checkers with seat positions on the plane – hoping you can find the right seats with enough leg room – especially if you are booking for a family or party of 4 or more. The worries of planning enough snacks and rest stops for the road trips are non existent and lets not even start on the task of trying to find the cleanest best priced hotels on said road trip. Staycation sounds pretty good and many families are opting for them.
Let me just say- staycations do not neccessarily mean that you stay home for a week or two and vegitate. Here is a list of ideas to make the most out of your designated family time.
1. Choose the Dates-
Time to grab the ol’calendar! I know in my family, finding a few days that are not dedicate to activities and prior commitments is rare. I am sure you are in the same boat- so once you have located your “free days” – hightlight them, mark them up, plug them into your phone calendars. Declare to your family that said days are officially spoken for. Otherwise…you will plan right over them… you know what I mean. Seize the days – literally!
2. Research Local Fun –
I have to admit- when we lived in So CAl- finding fun was super easy. Seriously – we walked out our door and had the beach 5 minutes away. Camping, theme parks, mountains- were all easily within a few hours drive. Moving back to Texas has made the research part of planning all the more valuable. We have many fun and unique opportunities here- just had to find them and increase the time we were willing to “day drive”.
3. Set a Budget-
This step and step number 2 are really like the old saying, “Which came first – the chicken or the egg”. Budget is vital and realistic – a staycation’s primary goal is to have fun without busting the bank. A few questions to ponder:
What day trips do we really want to do as a family? Pick one or two.
- Will (or can) we pack a picnic lunch for the road?
- Where do we want to eat?
- Will we need to pay for tickets to attractions?
- How far away are we going? Estimate the cost of gas.
While at home-
- Will we prepare simple meals? Will we eat out?
- Will we buy new or refurbish outdoor furniture or grill?
- Will we purchase our fun? Such as a movie projector for outdoor movie time?
- Will we have a party?
4. Decide on at Home Family Fun Ahead of Time and Prepare.
This is a big one. You do not want to spend a 1/3 of your day off deciding on what to do then another 1/3 of your time going to the store if needed. I have learned (the hard way) the power of making lists and sticking to it. Here is an example:
Swim in pool during the day and have a outdoor movie at night.
To Do List-
Check pool chemical balance and adjust
Check to see if pool toys are in decent shape – if not buy accordingly
Check to see if beach towels need replacing
Furniture around the pool – what shape is it in
Check Sunscreen supplies
Breakfast- granola, fruit, yogurt, bagels, juice
Lunch- wraps with veggies and watermelon (great for staying hydrated)
Dinner- grilled chicken, salad and homemade popsicles
Movie time- popcorn
Set up beverage containers with cold water (replenish when needed). Assign plastic cups to everyone.
Work out the logistics of outdoor movie.
Pick family friendly movie
Maybe Tuesday is another day in the pool – a pool hopping party day! The night could consist of fun family games! Who knows! You and your family decide!
5. Plan a Family Meeting
Create your initial staycation agenda and meet as a family. Be honest and realistic while keeping it upbeat. We have been programmed to think vacation = big fancy trip. We have all assumed that major coinage has to be spent to have a great time.
Staycations are great for getting back to basics- spending quality time with friends and family. Getting to really know your kids is priceless.
Allow all your family members to put their two cents in one the activities. Everyone will be excited for what lies ahead if they feel they had a part in it. Obviously, you are keeper of the budget and time frame- so you will make the ultimate call on the agenda.
6. Be Flexible
We are all well aware of Murphy’s Law. Go with the flow- adjust your activities accordingly. Move things around to accomodate life.
In closing this post, I hope you take away the idea of what ever you do- spending time with your family is priority one, everything else will fall into place.
**Linking up with http://makingtheworldcuter.com/2015/07/indoor-summer-activities/
and with http://jembellish.blogspot.com/# and here:http://www.myjoyfilledlife.com/2015/07/06/mom-2-mom-monday-link-up-41/