A staycation shouldn’t be a punishment, though not being able to brag about our latest, greatest trip can feel like it.  We decided to stay home over the recent 4-day Easter holiday and forego our bragging rights.  The result was discovering some fun things in our own backyard, taking a break, not only from our normal routine but from the hustle and bustle of travel, and most importantly, it was an opportunity to bond as a family. 

Taking a staycation did teach me a few things. The trick to having an enjoyable vacation at home is to treat it like any other vacation. Some ways to do this are by planning for your staycation ahead of time, and by using some of the money you would have otherwise spent taking a traditional vacation – in terms of travel and lodging – and splurging on something special close to home, whether it’s a fancy meal, amusement park or event.

Here are a few more tips to consider to help make the most of your next family staycation.
1. Don’t over schedule
If you’re anything like me, you have a tendency to try to do and see as much as possible while on vacation, so make a conscious effort not to over schedule your staycation. That being said, you should, however, have a schedule.
While it’s a good idea to plan a few days with activities that will take you out of the house, don’t forget to balance that with a couple of days of lounging in your pajamas, watching movies and playing games.
2. Keep outings close to home
Anything further than a 45-minute drive or 30-minute train ride is too far and unnecessary. There are undoubtedly an infinite number of things that you haven’t seen or done before within a 25-mile radius of your home.
3. Get out of a rut
Pass by the place you’ve gone to for brunch every Sunday for the past 15 years, and try something different instead. You are on staycation after all.
4. Be a tourist
Go to the places people come to your town to see. Discover what’s good in your hood and get a new appreciation for where you live.
5. Say Cheese
Take lots of pictures, and upload them onto Facebook, documenting this “vacation” just as you would any other.
Have you ever had a staycation? If so, what are your tips for making it memorable and fun?
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