When the economy takes a bite out of your travel budget or you simply don’t have enough vacation time, why not consider a staycation when vacationing with your family? A staycation is the perfect vacation for travelers of all ages, from singles to families to baby boomers – and yes, for multigenerational family travel.

Day trips and staycations are a great way to get out and explore your own backyard.

Day trips and staycations are a great way to get out and explore your own backyard.

A staycation is vacation spent at home or nearby and is a great way to explore your own backyard with your family. I’m lucky to have 2 of my 6 grandchildren nearby, and I take advantage of showing them the world in Colorado.

Staycation Travel Tips with Your Family

Ready. Set. Go. Make your staycation (or daycation) a real vacation with these staycation travel tips and make the most of your time with family or multigenerational family.

Plan as though you actually are taking a vacation.

According to the 2014 Expedia Vacation Deprivation Study, Americans on average use all but one of their vacation days. Here’s a travel tip: Take that one unused vacation day and turn into into a day trip in your own backyard! Tack it onto a weekend and make a 3-day staycation. Take your lunch break to buy a new outfit, pick out a great book to read, and pack your suitcase – and don’t forget your bathing suit. Take the grandchildren shopping for something new with Grandmom. Build the excitement of the trip just as if you were flying to the other side of the world.

Research your destination.

Just because you are staying “home” doesn’t make your vacation with your family less valuable. Make good use of your time by doing your research. Get local insight and tips – even if you are a local — on what to do and where to stay from local TravelMom.com bloggers. Read about vacation destinations from expert family travelers at TravelingMom.com

Think about the places you’ve always wanted to go, but just never have the time, and try to discover something new to do. Order an official guide to your city or state and have it mailed to you. A good place to start is the local tourism authority – mine is VISIT DENVER .  VISIT DENVER’s web site even offers suggested itineraries in and outside of Denver to jumpstart your staycation planning.

Book a hotel.

A staycation really feels like a getaway when you add a night or two at a nearby hotel. From historic hotels to funky downtown hotels to drivable luxury resorts or mountain getaways, I search for killer deals by surfing the net., i.e., local and state tourism or specific hotels websites, such as The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs. that always lists special deals. LOCAL TRAVEL TIP: Be sure to check out TravelingMom’s Vacation deal page for ongoing deals throughout the world.

An indoor swimming pool provides year-round fun. Photo credit: The Broadmoor

An indoor swimming pool provides year-round fun at The Broadmoor. Photo credit: The Broadmoor

For a different adventure a few years ago, I recently packed my grandchildren in the truck and headed south to Colorado Springs for a 2-night stay at The Broadmoor, a 5-star historic resort as our first overnight getaway together, taking advantage of the summer deals this luxury resort offered. We added a visit to the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, a perfect stop for kids of all ages. This short getaway was a vacation learning experience for me and a reminder of how really busy 3- and 5-year-olds are.

Visit local attractions.

When you are planning your staycation itinerary, include local attractions that you’ve never seen before or haven’t visited in years. As locals, we often miss kid-friendly museums, amusement parks, local or national parks, local theater productions, or little known tours of quirky spots in town simply because we live here. Infusing the local energy of these attractions will put your staycation into overdrive. LOCAL TRAVEL TIP: On a strict budget? TravelingMom to the rescue with their “FREE in 50 States” and “FREE in the Worldwide” activities.

For example, my grandchildren and I love to go to new local Denver museum exhibits, such as Expedition Health at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. Both loved putting on a mini-doctor’s white coat and working the lab of Expedition Health, an exhibit at Denver Museum of Nature & Science. The Mythic Creatures exhibit (throgh September 7, 2015) gave us an opportunity to ham it up and create a fun picture with dragons.  We made it an even better day (and saved money) by packing a picnic lunch together to enjoy after our museum adventure.

The Mythic Creature exhibit at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science gives visitors a fun dragon photo to share on social media.

The Mythic Creature exhibit emails visitors a fun dragon photo to share on social media. Photo: Denver Museum of Nature and Science

Finally, act like you’re on vacation.

Don’t forget the camera! Take pictures, smile at people you don’t know, park yourself and your grandkids at a local park, and ask the locals to recommend things to see, and yes, even buy a cheesy T-shirt for your grandchildren. A staycation is a vacation memory in the making.

Don’t let vacation depravation get you down; plan your staycation with yoru family today with these travel tips. According to that same Expedia survey, “A whopping 80 percent of workers worldwide agreed that vacation time contributed to their overall happiness… Who says people don’t like to travel?”

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