Summer is here! While most will plan for outdoor activities, some are thinking of doing something new.
Does STAYCATION sound like a good idea? You bet! With the unstoppable gas price increase, although a road trip seems more exciting, many will give it a second thought. Or, flying out to another city or state is pretty much a far-fetched idea at the moment.
Start with your timelines: when does it start, and when should it end. As you begin the staycation, your brain should be turned off – meaning no business calls or e-mails to make or answer. In other words, it's as if you are stranded on an island without any internet.
Fret not if you have a little or a lot of time to spare but with a limited budget. Several staycation ideas will make your summer truly special. PLUS: it spells fun and adventure in several unique ways.
What to do first? Plan your activities well if you want to have an unforgettable staycation. Well, if you don't - you would not want to end up cleaning your backyard, doing extra chores around the house, browsing your social media, or just lounging in front of the TV. These are stuff that would not make for good memories.
Consider your different activities – make a vacation budget to decide which to prioritize with your hard-earned money. Then, start with a household budget, including what needs to be put up for the intended staycation. What can you afford?
There are ONLY two primary goals to follow:
• Have fun and adventure!
• Do NOT spend more than what's planned!
Staying home does not mean you will not be able to enjoy as much as you can if outdoors. On the contrary, it could be a bit different and more exciting. Sell the idea to your kids who have been used to a theme park, beach, or camping site and see how it works!
We've come up with these NINE budget-friendly ideas which you can do for a splendid summer staycation that could be as impressive and worthy of any trip.
Check them out:
1. Plan a Movie Night With Your Family
This activity must be exciting for those with little ones, especially with the classic Disney movies. Prepare the usual stuff: cushions, throw pillows, and blankets. Have some popcorn or chips and turn off the lights. Bond with loved ones as you spend the night watching movies together.
2. Camp Out in Your Living Room or Backyard
Camping? Yes, do it in your living room or backyard. Or maybe stay at a campsite nearby. If you're a little more adventurous, you may want to camp for free along a river or a lake, somewhere on the off-beaten track.
Go and pitch a tent, grab some camping chairs and other stuff. Then, get your sleeping bags and flashlight while you play some nature sounds to have that camping ambiance in your living room. But if you have a backyard, pack up all those camping stuff and head to your yard, hoping the weather will be fine.
Do a bonfire, roast marshmallows and hotdogs, tell some great stories, play board games, and watch stars in the sky at night.
3. Put Up a Treasure or Scavenger Hunt for Fun
Another outdoor activity your kids will love is the treasure or scavenger hunt. Prepare a series of clues that your kids will follow. These may be clues around your home, in the front or back yard, and maybe even in your immediate neighborhood. You can make up your clues or check online for inspiration regarding location ideas and good rhymes.
The most exciting part here is after the hunt when you give out the fun prizes, and these can be anything from a toy or trinkets, a box of chocolates or cupcakes, or a long-desired book. You can be a little extra if everyone dresses up and appear as pirates or explorers.
4. Set Up a "Family Carnival"
Want to experience a carnival atmosphere in your home? Create your fair, spruced up by bright and colorful buntings, balloons, and festive decors. Then, whip up the usual carnival food like French fries, corn dogs, cotton candy, ice cream, and barbecue. The kids will love it. Next, plan and develop popular DIY games like balloon darts, fishing holes, cakewalk, and more. Don’t forget to prepare prizes, too.
5. Learn New Skills
Arts and crafts are also great pursuits. So, let those creative juices flow and do some creations that will make for great memories in the next few years.
You can make beaded bracelets, do some crochet pieces such as glass coasters or beanies, tie-dye plain shirts, or maybe create watercolor paintings. Find the inner artist in you.
Things can be more straightforward, though, like building a birdhouse using popsicle sticks or try doing finger painting.
Learn a new hobby or skill. Other options include creative writing, photography, woodworking, gourmet cooking, or just studying a short course you’ve wanted. There may be accessible online courses available, or look for those courses with deals you can take. Whatever it is, get your skills to a new level as you enjoy your staycation.
6. Create a “Spa Experience” At home
Do you like visiting spas when you are on vacation?
You may be able to replicate the same ambiance right in your home. Gather the following: scented candles or oils, bath salt, and clean bath towels. Do a hot bubble bath putting up some relaxing background music, dim lights, and quiet surroundings. You may bring a book while sipping a refreshing fruit juice. Then, spend the day doing the perfect manicure, pedicure, facial and exfoliating body scrub. This will do wonders to soothe a tired body, quiet the mind, and refresh the soul.
7. Play With “Cool Down” Activities
Cool down and temporarily build a mini water park in your backyard to beat the hot summer days.
Put on the sprinkler and splash all around. For those with kids, get your kiddie pool and join your little ones to play in the water. Spend an afternoon having fun with easy water games that will cool you off.
There could be a local/community pool or water park where you can bring your kids around. But, again, this is a money saver --- it might come out free or with discounts.
For the older ones, you may try kayaking or canoeing. This is a good form of exercise and peaceful activity, too. You may want to borrow with friends rather than buy what you need.
8. Be a Tourist in Your Neighborhood
There are several great places to see in your community. We usually take the things around us for granted. Take a day or two to explore your town by visiting tourist attractions and parks. There might be interesting local business establishments you’ve never seen before. Every family member can take turns choosing where you want to go and what you need to do.
Having a great staycations means you act like a tourist in your city or hometown. What sights and activities do you suggest for visiting family and friends? Check those places with the eyes of a tourist. Visit local museums. You may also consider the festivals, fairs, and other events regularly happening in your community. Try volunteering if there are opportunities for you. Share your skills and services. Check your social media to get ideas for things to do. You may also get deals for some events you wish to attend. Some cities offer recreation programs, and you may want to enroll in one.
Other exciting activities you can indulge in:
• Go and hike to a quiet place within your neighborhood, if there’s one. Hiking or walking is the best way to explore and enjoy nature.
• Spend a day at a lake - you can swim, fish, or maybe rent a small boat. Soak up some sun, enjoy the cool breeze, and explore the surroundings.
• Find exciting parks within a 30-minute drive. For example, you may go biking together. Try rollerblades with your kids if it’s a flat park.
• Create your wine tasting tour if you live within a distance of some wineries. Take lots of pictures.
9. Bring the Vacation Destination Home and Recreate the Experience
What's your bucket list or a dream destination? A trip to Italy is not happening, so why don't you bring Italy to your home? There are several ways to recreate the Italian experience. Watch a movie with a setting in Italy, eat Italian food, drink Italian wine, play some Italian music, and read books about Italy. Learning to cook and whip up your favorite Italian dishes is also an option. If you can spare some cash, you can import goods direct from Italy.
Wherever you'd like to go, try to recreate the environment at home as closely as you can. The slight shifts in the atmosphere will have the effect of being in your dreamland for a while. The relaxing vacation vibes can also help strengthen your mental health and decrease stress.
As you take your staycation, treat it like any other vacation—power down your computer and limit the use of your phone. Enjoy the time with your loved ones. Get the most out of your holidays. Make sure this staycation is an opportunity for everyone to enjoy, have fun, and create beautiful memories together. Priceless!
If you want to limit CoVid-19 exposures due to more contagious variants cropping up now and then and perhaps, your other personal reasons, having a staycation versus traveling can undoubtedly help you with that goal. It is the safest way to spend leisure time at the moment with your family.
You can still score that summer vacation feeling happy and fulfilled without spending too much, leaving your house, and looking at your community for some of the best treats.