It’s that time of the year when everyone is planning for summer vacations. For some families the cost associated with a family vacation isn’t possible, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a summer escape. Staycations are the perfect budget-friendly option to help you enjoy bonding as a family while saving a bit of cash as well. Our staycation checklist will help you organize your staycation ideas and plan for a fun trip to visit your hometown region.
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Tips for Planning a Staycation with Printable Staycation Ideas Checklist
Our family loves to travel, but summer in the Pacific Northwest is quite beautiful and makes us want to stay at home and enjoy all the great things there are to do here. When I’m planning a staycation, it’s a bit different than planning other vacations, but not by much. I’ve put together a staycation checklist so you can help keep track of your staycation ideas easily and plan the perfect escape.
Planning Staycation Activities
I think the first place to start when planning a staycation is to think of what you want to see in your hometown region. Coming up with ideas of what tourist attractions or areas you want to visit is the best way to figure out your itinerary and plans.
This is a good time to get your kids involved in the planning too. Ask them what they’ve heard of friends doing around town that they’d like to do. You can also look at checking out a tourism book from the library for them to browse.
You can also get some great staycation ideas from your local visitors center. Most major cities and tourist towns have these tourism information centers. You can typically find them easily with a simple online search. The other great thing about contacting your local visitors center is that they might have coupons they can share or can help you know of any special events happening around town. If you can’t visit in person, don’t hesitate to reach out with a phone call or email because they can often mail information and coupons to you.
Plan Where You Want to Eat
Staycations are the perfect time to find new restaurants around your local area. Don’t hesitate to reach out to friends or family, ask for recommendations on F facebook even, asking for great restaurants in your town. People love sharing where they love to eat, and you might get lucky and find a new favorite spot.
Another fun way to experience food spots around your hometown is to book a food tour. Food tours often hit popular food spots around town and try often try to showcase the cuisine of your region. I know Seattle has some great food tours, and after going on one I discovered two new restaurants I didn’t know about.
Once you’ve figured out what you want to do and where you want to eat, planning your days becomes a bit easier. Look to match activities with restaurants that are near each other.
Staycation Hotel Tips
Choosing a hotel becomes easier when you decide what you want to do on your staycation. If you notice that many of your activities are all around a similar region, use a hotel booking map to find hotels in that area.
Many hotel booking sites also let you input a specific tourist attraction and find hotels near that attraction, with a “miles from” notation for each hotel. This is one of the most common ways I like to find hotels when I know I want to be near a specific attraction.
When coming up with staycation ideas for hotels, don’t forget to look into transportation and parking costs. Most families will be driving for their staycation, so don’t forget to budget for this. I know overnight parking in Seattle is very high, so knowing that cost in advance helps me in choosing. Additionally, parking costs at attractions can be high, so finding a hotel that is in walking distance or easy to uber to is a big advantage.
Groupon is the perfect way for families to save money when planning a staycation. It’s easy to find things to do in a specific city, and they often run sales. I know friends who have booked helicopter tours in Seattle on Groupon, as well as escape rooms and chocolate tours. Another idea is to contact the specific attractions and ask them if they’re running any deals or offering a discount for locals.
Enjoy the Downtime
Once you’ve gone through all the work for planning a staycation, make sure you let yourself be present with your family! It’s a great time to practice some distance from your electronic devices and get back to the basics. Now is the time to remember how to talk to each other and make an effort to engage and have fun together. Staycations are great times to reconnect since in many ways you’ll feel at home and not have the added stress of traveling for your vacation.
Print off our staycation checklist to help you organize your staycation ideas and write down all the fun things you have planned to do. If you’re looking for some fun ideas to get you started, check out these 3 Awesome Pittsburgh Staycation Ideas.