Post by Contributing Writer, Rachael
Over the last several years the term “staycation” has come into play as a way to spend a vacation. Basically, taking the time you would normally spend traveling to stay home but making your time at home unique.
With rising gas prices, increased food prices and possible unemployment a staycation can be the perfect frugal vacation for your family!
Here are some guidelines and ideas on how to make your week at home memorable and fun!
Rule #1: No Chores!
One of the hard things about having a family staycation is the familiarity of routine, the nearness of the washing machine and the visual of a house unkept. Put it aside for one week.
Clothes: Pull out enough clothes for everyone for your staycation before it begins. If it helps, stack it all in a suitcase or on an empty shelf. Make sure there are enough towels, sheets and clean clothes to put laundry aside for the week.
Food: Even if you are staying home there are still meals to cook, which means there are dishes to wash. Here you have some options. Plan your meals ahead of time so the cooking is minimal. Also, assign each family member one set of dishes (plate, silverware, cup, etc.) that they are responsible for cleaning. This will cut down on work for mom and will keep dish use to a minimum.
Cleaning: Even in a small household things get out of place. For this week consider letting things go just a little. Hopefully you will be so busy on your staycation that the inside of your house won’t see very much of you. If you don’t want to let it go entirely, consider assigning a room to each person or enjoying the majority of your staycation in one area of your home.
Remember that your home can always be put back together and the chores will be there when your staycation is over!
Rule #2: Plan Ahead
In order to make your staycation feel like a traditional vacation take the time to plan ahead. By planning ahead you can involve the whole family, be prepared for a fun week at home and know exactly what your budget will look like.
A great staycation starts with blocking off your calendar. Give your staycation a start date and end date. Make sure the calendar is free of work commitments, family activities and that everyone working has asked for time off.
As you plan ahead don’t forget to think about your budget for the week. A staycation may include some special meals, entertainment or art projects. A staycation can be very inexpensive but is rarely free, consider what you are able and willing to spend.
Planning ahead will make the experience fun for everyone, especially the person planning!
Fun #1: Where to Stay
One of the fun things about taking a vacation is being able to stay somewhere that is not home. When planning a staycation consider room arrangements! Here are some ideas:
Switch Beds: Have everyone switch beds for the week. Maybe draw from a hat where everyone will sleep or rotate every night. It might be really fun for the parents to sleep in the kids’ room and the kids to sleep in the parents’ room. Some great conversations about how space belongs to everyone and how each person is thankful for something in their own room might be had!
Camp Out: (Outside that is.) If you are an outdoor family, consider pitching a tent and roughing it in your yard. Pull out the sleeping bags, kerosene lamps and bug spray for a week of outdoor fun. This also helps to decrease the amount of mess created inside. Also – you have the perk of an indoor bathroom instead of a bug-filled camp outhouse!
Communal Sleeping: Have an indoor camp-out. Pick a room, grab some sleeping bags or pull out your couches and all sleep together. Maybe everyone sleeps in mom and dad’s room or the whole family has a sleepover in the basement. Wherever it is, make sure you have enough linens and pillows to sleep as comfortably as possible!
Fun #2: What to Do
Now that the chores are done, the days are picked and the food and clothes are prepped make sure you have a plan for each day! Here are some ideas to consider:
One Person, One Day: Let each person in the family plan one day of activities. Make sure to have a budget so the planning is reasonable and lend a hand to smaller children. Planning your days this way encourages each family member to find something they enjoy doing and involve the whole family. What a great way to get to know each person in your family just a little better!
Theme Week: Pick a theme for your week. For example you could choose water as your theme. Every day you could then do something water related. Visit the community pool, have a water balloon fight with the whole family, visit a nearby water park or spend time delivering water bottles to fire fighters and other civil servants in your town or city.
Be Explorers: Every city or town has hidden gems, places you’ve always wanted to visit or behind the scenes tours. When you are planning ahead consider spending time around your town doing those things or visiting those places you have always wanted to go. A lot of places are free or have a discount for community members and you might just discover your favorite new spot right around the corner!
Remember the rules, enjoy the fun and report back! If you have planned, taken or plan to take a staycation let us know about it in the comments!
Rachael shares financial tips from her kitchen table surrounded by her two active toddlers and her husband. God has called her from corporate life into His grace as an at-home wife! She shares about her passion for motherhood and life five days a week at To Be a Mom…
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