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Thursday, January 27, 2011


I need and want a vacation!!! For the past several years we've had staycations for a couple of reasons. One, it's economical (duh!) and two, with a lot of little kids it's hard to go somewhere where there is something for everyone. We have had a few fun vacays away from home--Bear Lake, Disneyland and Green River, but staying at home is kind of our thing, at least until my money tree grows back or the money fairy comes off her hiadus.

Our local areas have a lot to offer and other people come here to enjoy them, so maybe we should too.

Like I've said in the past, I am a planner. I love to be organized and know what I am doing. I realize not everyone is like that, but I am. Otherwise why would I be planning to spend a week with my family when our vacation is likely 5 months away?

Here are some tips for planning your staycation.

1. Search out local attractions you've never been too, or not been in awhile. Include surrounding cities in your search of things to see. If you live near a big city you've probably seen a lot of the sites, so pick a neighboring city. Even small communities have some fun local parks or pools to enjoy.

2. Let each person pick one thing they'd like to do. Those who don't want to do something just need a gentle reminder that they get to choose an activity to, and everyone needs to be supportive.

3. Vary the activities. We've visited museums, parks, pools, bakeries, new restaurants, recreation centers, craft stores,theaters, and new grocery stores.

4. Plan your days. I like to have a theme for each day. We like to do an "Arts Day" which could include a trip to a theater or museum and the craft store. We also love "Water Days" which usually include a trip to a local water park or pool, picnic and then water balloon or Super Soaker fight after dinner.

5. Eat in a different way. Ditch the dining room table and have a picnic at a park, in the backyard or on the floor. Choose a new type of food or a new restaurant. Let the kids help in making a meal of their choosing. I swear they eat new things better if they have a hand in the preparation.

6. Sleep in a new place. Check into a local hotel for a few nights, camp in the backyard or let the kids sleep in a homemade fort. It will be a new adventure!

7. Look for discounts and coupons. Use the website or book, local ads,, google and check out restaurant's websties for specials and discounts.

8. Remember it's all about MAKING MEMORIES. Take your camera, allow for small souvenirs, journal your days, or do whatever will help your family remember the experience.

This can be as economical or pricey as you make it. The planning is very flexible and is in your control. We have done anywhere from 2 to 6 days. They've all been memorable and we learn what we can really do and like to do as a family. We've learned skipping out on Cherry Hill is BAD. So we'll be putting it in our plans this year. Smores in the backyard is a must for us. We love a good pizza parlour and redbox rental.

Choose what makes you happy and go for it. Until the sun returns to our nation, I will be happily daydreaming about ice cream at the splash pad.

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