It’s not always possible to be whisked away to an exotic destination for the holidays. It might not be practical, and there’s the fact that family vacations can cost a whole lot. However, you can plan a wonderful, memorable “staycation”, which is exactly what the word implies – having a vacation while staying at home! It’s an intentional time of fun and relaxation as well as a marvellous opportunity to do all the activities you don’t ordinarily have time to do, together!
The Rules of Having Fun!
Like all good vacations, a little planning goes a long way to making it fun, stress-free, and memorable. Start by setting a budget for your “staycation”, so you know how much you can spend on eating out, takeaways, and other activities like movies. If your children are old enough, ask them what they want to do and make sure you include some of their ideas within your plans.
Set some ground rules first – the rules for having fun and relaxing! These can include putting all the clocks in a drawer or only checking cell phones or email once a day, or not at all. It’s time to put the world on hold and relax. Want to wear your pj’s until lunchtime? Go for it! Want to eat dinner for breakfast? The answer is yes. Staying up late tonight? No problem. Play music, open all the doors and windows, roll back the carpet and make your home feel like the holidays! Make it as easy on yourself in terms of housework and cooking, so that you get a break, too. Get all the local takeout menus together, and maybe cook up some meals in bulk and freeze them beforehand. Using paper plates as well will mean no dishes and no stress.
And then there are your planned activities. Maybe you would like to try out a couple of these?
This is the global game of hiding and seeking treasure hidden in containers all over the world. Geocachers hide a container with ‘treasure’ in a location, pinpoint the location using GPS, and then share it online. Participants navigate to and locate the geocache container, sign the logbook and share their experience online. Sometimes they contain ‘gifts’ but you have to replace anything you take out with something of equal or greater value. Find out how to get started on http://www.geocachingsa.com/
Visit Your Local Theatre or Music Festival
Take in a little cultural entertainment by finding out what theatre shows or music festivals are on in your area that would be suitable for the whole family. You can usually search online or consult your local newspapers and magazine publications to get this information.
Host a Family Game Session
Choose about three or four games that your little ones will be able to join in on, such as SNAP, snakes and ladders, Uno, Junior Pictionary or Monopoly. Get the games all set up, with loads of snacks and drinks of course, and have a marathon game session.
Become a Tourist in Your Own Town
We hardly ever get to see the beauty around us through the eyes of a tourist seeing it for the first time. What are the major tourist spots near you? Make a list, and act like a tourist – you will probably learn things about your hometown that you never knew before.
Family Home Improvement Projects
Pick one of those projects that you have always wanted to do, such as build a tree house, or paint a mural on a bedroom wall. You can then research and plan the project, purchase the materials you need, and tackle it together; you’ll be so pleased that you did.
Insist On An ‘Outside Only’ Day
Whether you remain at home or go to a local picnic spot, create a day that consists only of outside fun such as flying a kite, swimming, fishing, riding bicycles and picnicking, or maybe even camping in the garden that evening.
Visit a Zoo or Aquarium
Delight the kids and learn about animals and marine life, with a day out at a zoo or aquarium. Go early so you can be sure to get the best out of the whole day.
Have you planned a wonderful “staycation” for your family? Please share your tips with us below!