Every now and then, everyone needs a few days away from work to unwind and spend quality time with loved ones. If you stay home during your vacation instead of traveling far, you won’t have to stress over reservations or elbow other travelers aside at the airport. Plus, a staycation is a low-maintenance, easy way of having plenty of fun using your own house as your home base.
Try Something New Every Day
Have everyone in your family choose one thing they’ve always wanted to do but haven’t accomplished yet. Maybe you’ve longed to check out that art exhibit one town over, but every time you mention it your spouse rolls his eyes and your kids snicker. Here’s your chance. Plan one excursion for each day for each family member — his or her own choice — and then have the whole family attend together. They’ll have their chances to choose later, so you may find yourself sitting through a semi-pro wrestling match in exchange.
Dine Somewhere New Every Night
The same idea can work with restaurants and dining out. Have everyone pick their own favorite dining experience, preferably somewhere you haven’t been before. It doesn’t always have to be dinner. Maybe one of your kids really would like to try a breakfast smorgasbord. New local restaurants can be just as much fun as those on the road.
Enjoy a Single Night in a Hotel
One of the coolest things about a vacation is leaving duties and chores at home to spend time at a place with maids and room service. Take the family to the poshest nearby inn you can afford. Spend the night somewhere that leaves candy on the pillow, and maybe offers a spa, indoor pool and sauna. Call it a one-day mini-vacation. This can work particularly well if there’s something nearby for the kids to do during the day, so you might combine it with your try-something-new-everyday plan.
Camp Out at Home
You can also try a true staycation: Staying in at home for a day or two, no errands allowed. Camp out with the whole family in the living room. Make tents with blankets and comforters secured over furniture, and lay out some sleeping bags to snooze in. But remember — camping means no electronics. Leave the television off, and set aside the laptops, tablets and cellphones. Introduce your kids to the old-fashioned concept of board or parlor games. If you have a fireplace, you can really rough it, roasting hot dogs and marshmallows. Otherwise, order pizza or other takeout food. The important thing is that you don’t toil away in the kitchen, because there are no kitchens in the great outdoors.
Organize Your Own Film Festival
One exception to the no-electronics rule might be the television. Put together your own family film festival in lieu of or in addition to games. Pick a theme: scary movies, chick flicks or maybe superhero films. Have everyone select a movie in that genre. You can host a movie binge, watching all the selections in one genre in one day, or have each family member select one movie per genre per night. Then rent some DVDs, hunker down with popcorn, and get cozy with your loved ones — which is really what a vacation is all about.
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About the Author
Beverly Bird has been writing professionally since 1983. She is the author of several novels, including women’s fiction and children’s books, and has an extensive background in family law.