(4.5 minute read) Home for the vacation? Well, you’re in luck. I spent time putting together the perfect staycation plan for families because I believe the staycation is highly underrated. They are relaxing, enjoyable, and budget-friendly. I mean, actual vacations aren’t always realistic. Whether it’s time, money, work obligations, or something else that keeps us from a vacation spent basking in the sun, making our own home a vacation hotspot is a great alternative. In fact, with the right mindset and little bit of creativity, your own home can offer unique adventures and boatloads of fun!
Despite this belief, sadly though, I must admit that with the rise of social media, I have allowed it to taint my mentality. When I’m home looking at pictures, posts, and stories of gorgeous vacations that every person in my town is enjoying (or so it seems), it’s a lot harder to relish – and appreciate – my staycation. As much as I hate to admit it, it does make me a bit jealous. Avoiding social media helps; but I still hear about others’ fantastic adventures. To make matters worse, my kids see and hear all of these same (if not, more) vacation highlights. I cannot help but feel guilty that I am not providing them with these same experiences.
In order to shift back to the right mindset, I have to remind myself that it’s not about what other people are doing, or where they are going. There are always going to be ways for others to superficially top what my husband and I can and choose to do. However, what others do doesn’t need to take away from our own, different experiences. Taking a step back every once in a while, and approaching something as basic as our own house, with a new lens forces us to appreciate and value what we do have…rather than focus on what we don’t. Which brings us back to the many values the good ‘ole staycation offers.
Staycations are a great opportunity to:
- Spend quality time together.
- Create memorable experiences.
- Get stuff done.
But the real beauty? On a staycation, all of these things can be done together and can help strengthen relationships without all of the distractions that come from new destinations. Whether it’s with your partner, with your kids, or between your kids, getting creative with what your own home can offer is a great way to make lasting memories. Are you convinced yet? If so, check out some of my favorite staycation ideas, tips, and tricks! Oh and don’t forget – snap some pics along the way, since we all know you’d never come home from a vacation without those. Why should your staycation be any different?
The Perfect Staycation Plan: Partnering Up For Productivity & Playfulness
- Use your time together to check stuff off your TO DO list.
- Organize pictures. This is something that seems to stay on the list forever! It’s time consuming and never a priority. It doesn’t have to be work. Instead, it can be a great trip down memory lane.
- Swap out pictures. Chances are you have frames around your house with lovely photographs. Is it time for an update? Have your children pick out the latest and greatest, send them on over to get printed and then swap. Voila!
- Make an album or a video. Again, it may seem like a chore. But it’s a great creative outlet and a lot of family fun when you do it together.
- Do an art project together. Maybe it’s just for fun OR it delivers on a need. Whether it’s painting a canvas, creating pottery, or painting old furniture, there’s a sense of satisfaction when you see the end result and know you had a hand in making a beautiful creation. Need gifts for grandparents and teachers, artwork for your walls, or decor for your home? Here is your answer!
- Make a 2019 calendar. Whether you do it on the computer (like with shutterfly), print and color, or buy one to add special occasions to…this can be fun and useful. Not to mention it helps get everybody in the family on the same page, figuratively and literally!
- Clean out rooms / declutter. Who doesn’t feel good when rooms are neat and organized? Having less stuff enables us to think clearly, and then…. donating unused items you’ve outgrown makes us feel good.
- Donate the things you don’t want/ need or have outgrown. Not only do you feel good and so do those who use your things.
Donate clothes and household items by scheduling a pickup from any of these organization:s
Donate books to:
- To children in the NY metropolitan underserved communities through The Book Fairies Org in Freeport
- To those incarcerated, The Books Through Bars Collective
- To support a network of pediatricians’ offices that encourage reading and connect patients and parents with books, Reach Out and Read
- In New York City, to support people with HIV and AIDS, at Housingworks Bookshop
- Through the New York City Public Library system, another way to get your books connected to those in need
- Create memorable experiences and traditions.
- Have your plan a family outing or your next out of town vacation. Give your kids a budget and some details, and let them do the rest (thank you google)! By providing some tips (like using Groupon and checking for discounts/promo codes) you can help them learn to be fiscally responsible!
- Make a meal together. Have your kids find a good recipe, and then go to the store together and cook it together as a family. You can assign each person a different part of the meal, or let one of your kids be the leader. What better way for them to learn about leadership roles than in the comfort of their own home and with people who love them. Add a twist – pick a cuisine and then play their music while cooking. And then watch a movie from or about that country.
- Have simple fun together…staycation style!
- Put together a large puzzle over the duration of your “vacation”
- Binge a family friendly tv show or have a movie marathon (maybe even pick a theme)
- Watch old videos of your kids (it’s hard to remember what life was like – time goes by too fast)
- Read a book together (my recommendation – I Will Always Write Back – moving true story about a friendship between an American girl and an African boy and how they became better people–through their long-distance exchange. Their story will inspire you to look beyond your own life and wonder about the world at large and your place in it.)
- Have a family sleepover / camping trip. Set up sleeping bags in your living room by the fire. Eat s’mores. Sing, dance and play games.
- Indulge in a spa day – give each other manicures, pedicures, massages, facials (you can even make your own products). Bonus: microwave some wet hand towels to make them nice and hot.
- Visit another culture – make a whole day out of it. Art projects, meals, music, games, and more.
- Be a tourist – where would you take visitors? What would you show them? Chances are you might not have done those things yourself. So many great things to do in our own backyard.
- Game night / dance party
- Make a movie, write a script, make costumes, etc.
- Make a scavenger hunt in your home-the traditional way, or you can put a clue with each item that leads you to the next. The kids can do it for adults and the adults can do it for the kids. Then add a timer to see who can do it quicker!
There’s no shortage of ideas for the Perfect Staycation Plan, only a shortage of time. And this time together is priceless. Not only is it opportunity to strengthen bonds and make lasting memories, most of these activities also build character and life skills. Making it w win-win. Just like anything in life…life is what you make of it. And afterall…home is where the heart is. Wishing everyone a happy holiday and a healthy new year. So grateful for the GAALS & PAALS community.
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