So, I decided to take my birthweek off work because well, I deserve it! I had no big plans, kids are still in school and my love is still working so I was super excited to have a few days to myself. It’s a rarity, and here’s what I learned on the first two days of staycation:
- Idle hands get my antsy…. and 3 new cacti
- I’m not a sit around and do nothing gal.
- I get bored pretty easily.
It got me thinking, summer is coming and that means vacations for some people and staycations for others! After the first few days, 3 cacti and a “maybe I should just call and see if I can go back to work now?”, I realized I need to figure this staycation thing out a little more. I still had 6 days left!
Last year we took our first real family vacation, but one thing I had done in years before was a staycation for us all. We planned adventures, we did things around the house, we did whatever our hearts desired. But this time, I’m a bit more alone than that.
Before, I begin though, let me tell you about last time I tried staycationing alone: I thought “oh, I’ll hit the beach,” where I alone, stayed for less than an hour awkwardly burning in the sun before saying F-this, buying a bottle of my favorite wine and reading on my porch… ahh, memories.
Here we are a few years later, and if you’re the girl I was awkwardly getting sun burnt on a beach or about to become that girl, I’m here to save you! Whether you’re staycationing alone or as a family, hopefully this will help you have fabulous staycation!
Why Staycations Rock.
First, there were (are) people that were like “oh”, when I said I was excited for vacation and my plans were to do nothing at home. Seems boring I guess. But if you play it right, it can be pretty fantastic, here’s why:
- Minimal Planning Requirements. Hotels don’t need booked, routes and drive times don’t need to be planned, no wondering if there’s a Five Guys and Fries near the hotel, no meal/snack planning, will the room have a fridge, how much ice vs. snacks will fit, on and on and on. Vacations rock, but they’re also a lot of work.
- Comfort. Oooh, sweet comfort of home. My bed, after every trip I take note to “i love bed.” Food is in the fridge, my comfy pants cannot be forgotten because I’m not leaving. And neither can my daughters stuffed dog, because ohh, my. I thought we forgot her and literally planned to have her mailed to us. (luckily, she was just under the seat!)
- Money. I know, that dirty word. Finances, it should be a cuss! But it’s a thing and it is real. While I recommend setting aside some adventure cash, it’s not nearly as much as a vacation out of state/country/planet sums.
The Do’s and The Do Not’s
- Plan every little detail
- Make your staycation about anybody other than you/your family
- Stay at home the whole time. Unless that’s really what you want to do.
- Use it as a time to be “productive”.
- Schedule any appointments, meetings, etc.
- Discover what’s around you: landmarks, museums, parks, etc.
- Leave work at work. It will still be there when you get back. (I’m really struggling with this one as I write this, because right before I left a big project dropped! Oy!)
- Splurge. go out to dinner, see that movie twice, get the good wine and chocolates, whatever you’re doing, over enjoy it!
- Have a party. I guess this goes against making it about anybody else – but this way you can gather all your friends and family and enjoy their company at once. Have a back yard cookout. Eat, drink, mingle and be merry.
- Find some “you time”. Even if the kids are with you the whole time, splurge on a baby sitter, find a few hours to get away yourself. You deserve it!
- Prep your house for your “arrival”. I hate clutter and disorganization. So I cleaned the whole house before my vacation officially started. I packed the fridge of things I love. I washed my bed set so it was perfectly comfy… it’s still a vacation.
Not sure what to do?
Here are some ideas we’ve done/plan to do. Some are geared more towards family, others towards just you or you and a significant other/friend… you get the idea.
- go hiking (I went Chasing Waterfalls)
- see a midday movie, play mini golf, visit the arcade, go bowling
- visit the local farmer’s market (or one a few towns over)
- read a book outside with a glass of wine
- take a long drive to wherever, a day trip to somewhere new
- check out local events, festivals and/or fairs
- go star gazing, sleep beneath the stars, chase northern lights or the milky way
- play tourist for a day, visit special landmarks and attractions, take a guided tour
- take a trip to a farm, volunteer at a shelter
- get all the snacks and have a movie marathon
- go swimming or skiing/snowboarding (depending on the season)
- parasailing, skydiving, zip lining, canopy tours
- go to the ball field and play catch as a family
- catch a game. whether it’s little league or the MLB. Or not baseball at all.