A staycation can be the best vacation. From backyard fun to those hidden gems in your own community, city, or state, there are lots of ways to make a staycation fun and memorable. Use these tips and ideas to turn your staycation into the best non-getaway ever.
Adults and kids alike love contests, and this is a great way to have fun for a staycation. Consider having a cooking contest, creating a mock-up of popular cooking shows or coming up with your own rules such as time limits or ingredients. Younger kids will love having a coloring or art contest, or older kids might want to have a short story or poetry contest. See who can build the biggest or most elaborate creation out of legos or clay, or hold a bake-off and hand out the extra items to friends in the neighborhood. Plan scavenger hunt or treasure hunt with fun clues.
Not matter where you go, you can make it a little more fun and festive by having the whole family wear matching shirts or hoodies. You can order them in matching or coordinating colors and get the family’s last name, family logo, or photo on them. You could also opt to get the same tops or sweatshirts and get each person’s name or initials monogrammed into it. Not into matching shirts? Get matching personalized backpacks to wear for going out instead. This helps make everyone easy to spot when you go places, and less likely to lose that hoodie or bag when out and about.
To make the most of a staycation, write down or create an inspiration board or collage with all the local places you want to visit. There are so many options, depending on where you live. From beautiful wineries and scenic parks to museums and sports events, everyone’s hometown and local area usually boast many things to do. For more fun, pick one or more places randomly to visit each day of your staycation.
There are lots of little ways to make a staycation great, like sprucing up the house and doing small things that make it extra special. Pick up a portable fire pit for the backyard and spend an evening making S’mores and stargazing. Buy a few inexpensive throw pillows and throw blankets to brighten up the den or media room and rent a new movie. Spend some time sprucing up the yard and putting in some new outdoor decor and then spend the rest of the day playing yard games. Get some new beach towels and lounge by the pool - the options are endless!
Whether you’re visiting local places or actually staying in your home, coming up with a theme for each day of the staycation is another way to make it memorable and fun. Maybe it’s a spa theme that calls for a relaxing massage and dinner at a refreshing and healthy new restaurant. Maybe it’s an adventure theme that is complete with a hike at a state park and a barbecue. Create a holiday mash-up by pulling out decorations from all the holidays and making dinner with a traditional dish from each one of them. Make it a pajama, complete with watching a movie with the kids in children's sleeping bags. A little creativity can go a long way.
From zany selfies to fun family photos, there’s nothing that relives the memories of a great vacation like photos. Take creative pictures at home during the different activities, stage funny photo backgrounds, or snap pictures at all the local haunts you visit.
Share your unique staycation (and give inspiration) with friends and family throughout the week or weekend. Post pictures or fun sayings and quotes. Older kids can get creative and use social media to share their experiences, while younger kids can draw pictures and write short journal entries that will make great future memories.
In today’s day and age, people of all ages are glued to their devices. For your staycation, plan to designate at least a portion of each day as device downtime when couples or family members put away their devices and just focus on having fun together. This can be a challenge, but adults need to get into the game, too. Turn off the phone and computer so you’re not tempted to answer or respond to work or other emails.
When planning a stay-at-home vacation, it can be just as important to plan out the details and develop an itinerary as it is with a vacation somewhere far away. To make the most of your time, however, it’s important to keep an adaptable and flexible mindset and not be too stuck if things change. If it rains on the day you planned for a walk in the park and an ice cream outing, make Sundays inside and watch movies about the great outdoors or take a virtual tour of a national park, for example. Be willing to let the little stresses go so you can relax and recharge for the best staycation ever.