As much as we’d all love to travel to the far reaches of the earth, seems like it just doesn’t always work out. Perhaps it’s finances, time constraints or work and school schedules that are stopping you from long-distance or extended vacation traveling. Our Day Trips Traveling Mom is a stay-close-to-home pro and is sharing her tips for having the ultimate staycation.
8 Tested Tips for Planning the Ultimate Staycation
Experiencing travel envy because you don’t have the time or money for an extended vacation to a far off land? No worries! You can still have a fantastic vacation. Forget about booking expensive airfare or piling into the car for a long and boring drive. Take a second look at your own area and you’re sure to find a great way to spend your vacation time (maybe even in your own backyard!). Even though I live in San Diego, a certified tourist city, there are certain to be places near your home to explore as well.
Have a Solid Plan
We’ve all had those three-day vacations that were over before they started. You know the kind where you think back and can’t remember anything you did! Though spending time in your pajamas at home, binge-watching Netflix is okay, if you want to have a true staycation, best to work out a solid plan and schedule.
Our Empty Nest TravelingMom Cindy Richards suggests that staycationers, “Have an agenda for each day, just like you would if you were on a vacation away from home. Otherwise, it’s too easy to let the day slip away.” Plot out your plan on a calendar or have a checklist of things that to accomplish that can be crossed off as you go.
Ask For Recommendations
Many local websites will be able to offer you suggestions on events in your area that might help you with planning your daycation. If it feels like you’ve already done everything and you’re fresh out of ideas, ask a friend. Or put out the call for recommendations on Facebook. Someone in your circle is bound to have a great idea that will work for you and your family.
Something You’ve Never Done
A staycation gives you the opportunity to go out of your box! Rather than hitting up your usual favorites, try something you and your family have never done before. Try new restaurants in your neighborhood and order something you’ve never had. Go inside that shop you always pass by but never seem to have time to shop at. Have four days to roam? Try north, east, south, west and go a different direction each day to explore what you find as you take your mini roadtrip.
Local Resident Deals
Looking for a local deal? Active TravelingMom Kimberly Tate has a money-saving recommendation for staycationers: “Ask if there are local deals for residents. Some pools or attractions offer discounts for residents of certain zip codes. A quick phone call can also sometimes score you tips on when they’re least crowded or how to avoid any day care groups that might be on the schedule!”
Take a Self-Guided Walking Tour
One of my favorite things to do when vacationing is to choose one area (ie: a “micro-community”) and explore all to do here on foot. Try a location that has several restaurants to choose from, shops to explore and events that are happening from morning to night. My husband and I spent time in San Diego’s Little Italy, an area neither of us had deeply toured before, despite being San Diego natives. We are looking forward to planning more of these self-guided walking tours of other micro-communities in our area.
Clean Up Before Your “Trip”
Nobody wants to spend staycation time tidying up the house. Empty Nest TravelingMom Cindy Richards has the right idea: “Spend a little money to have someone come in to clean your house before the staycation. That way, you won’t feel like you need to spend time cleaning when you should be ‘vacationing'”.
Make Your House Like a Hotel
Since you’ll be saving money by staying home instead of spending the cost on a hotel room, invest a bit of your vacation fund towards making your place of rest more vacation-like. Purchase elegant new sheets for the bed (or at the least, new pillowcases). Have several bouquets of flowers in the house to add to the ambiance. Buy your favorite bottles of wine to enjoy back home after your outings.
If you choose to stay in a local hotel, look for amenities you can’t get at home, like a gym, pool or sauna. I’m a big fan of the complimentary breakfast (and no dirty dishes to wash afterwards!). Active TravelingMom Kimberly Tate agrees, suggesting, “If we’re staying at a local hotel, I like to find one that serves late breakfasts. One of my favorite parts of a staycation is getting to sleep in and have lazy breakfast mornings!”