If your budget is tight this year, you may be wondering how to plan a great staycation instead of traveling.
Since becoming parents, we have only gone on two overnight vacations as a family — once to attend my Dad’s wedding in the south in 2009 (when he remarried after my Mom’s death) and once when we got a Make-A-Wish vacation for our oldest daughter in 2012 and were granted a RV rental for 1-week (and I was first pregnant and feeling sick both times!).
The other family vacations have been done in the form of “staycations”. Or in other words, by having fun at home or by visiting local attractions. Staycations are a great way to have frugal family vacations. Staycations are often more relaxing, too!
How To Plan A Great Staycation The Whole Family Will Love
Pick a date. Just like any family vacation, you will need to choose a date that works best for your family. Whether it is for a few days or a week, job schedules for yourself/your spouse and the weather will be major factors in planning your staycation.
Budget. Determine the budget you have for your family vacation, factoring in any time off work (unpaid), food, travel/fuel, admission costs, etc. Once you have your budget accurately determined, you can move on to the next steps.
Choose what kind of staycation. Do you want to actually stay home the entire time, visit local attractions, or travel short distances? You can also do a mixture of both. The flexibility of staycations is great!
Plan activities. Once you determine whether you will stay home most of the time or not, you can start planning fun activities to do as a family. The world wide web is going to be a great resource during the planning stage. You can look up local area events, search Pinterest for fun ideas, and map out your entire family vacation.
Prepare. As the date of your family vacation approaches, be sure to prepare a to-do list and shopping list to work on so that you will not be rushing around last minute. Or worse, during the vacation time!
- Plan meals. Will you be ordering take out for every meal or will you do some batch/freezer cooking beforehand to make meals easier while on vacation? Will you stock up on paper products to eliminate some of the household chores? Be sure to factor in these costs accordingly.
- Pack Clothes. Well, maybe not pack into luggage, but you can (and should) prepare everyone’s clothes for the staycation to make each day go as smoothly as possible. You may be leaving home early in the morning or have activities planned that will require quick dressing/changes (water balloon fight, etc.). This extra step right before the vacation starts will save time later.
- Shop. Do you have special meals planned, fun games or projects, or want to watch a new movie while on your family staycation? Be sure to shop and have everything on hand before the vacation starts.
- Plan several ‘day outings’ such as going to the local zoo or family-friendly farm to learn about the animals, science/art/history museums, the beach or ocean, etc. Pack lunches to eat at a park and audio books to listen to in the car.
- Plan family games & activities to do at home. If the weather is cooperative, have water fights or other water-related fun planned. Set up a badminton area. Do a relay race. Or plan art and craft projects.
- Have a movie night or two. Rent or buy a new movie or choose a family favorite. Have fun snacks on hand or even plan activities around the movie theme.
- Visit local conventions — homeschool conference, RV or outdoor/sportsman expos, etc.
More Family Fun
Going to the zoo? Here is a huge list of ways to learn while at the zoo! Zoo Learning Activities
Do you create seasonal family bucket lists? Check out this list of Spring Activities!