Staycation instead of vacation? Fun close to home needs planning, too!

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So you’ve decided on a staycation instead of a vacation. Before you get into full-on stay-cay mode, consider this: you still need to plan.

Plan Activities

Plan activities

By winging it on your staycation, rather than having some sort of itinerary, you run a strong risk of the kids sitting on the couch all day with devices or video games, which eventually leads to boredom and fighting. And as the mom, you could wind up doing all the same chores/tasks/errands as you normally do, which leads to regret over not getting away. Just like a regular vacation, a loose agenda of the things you want to see and do will help your staycation be fun and stress free.

Even though you’re in your own backyard, pretend you’re a tourist for a few days. Look on Yelp and Trip Advisor for the top and lesser known attractions in your town. Stop and think about a place you haven’t had the chance to explore. Get some input from the kiddos – you may be surprised at what they would like to do. For example, here in Corpus Christi, I plan to check out a Segway Tour. Pro tip: look for Groupons for your hometown adventures. 

Plan Food

Carry extra snacks during your staycation

While on staycation, don’t become a short order cook in your home cafe. Apply the same eating habits you follow on a vacation.

When my family travels, we usually stay at a hotel that offers breakfast, so that is one less meal to pay for. Lunch is often a dish split between my hubby and myself, and a sandwich for the munchkin. Dinner is when we like to try and upgrade a bit and eat at a nicer restaurant.

On your staycation, keep breakfast simple. Eggs and toast, cereal, yogurt are all pretty easy to prepare. At lunch, if you’re going to go to a beach, lake, pool, park, hiking or pretty much anything outdoors, pack a cooler with plenty of drinks, sandwiches, chips and treats. At dinner, try that restaurant you always drive by but haven’t eaten at. If it’s not a place with food the kids would like, consider a pizza night with a sitter – more on that below. Remember, the kids are on staycay too, so relax the eating rules – no veggies allowed, haha! Pro tip: Always pack more snacks then you think you will need. Pro tip 2: Consider using paper plates if eating at home to cut down on dishes. Remember, you’re on a staycation too!  

Plan Adult Time

Plan adult time

Just like an out of town trip, use your staycation to reconnect with your partner or friends. Hire a babysitter for an evening or two. Swap kid duties with another mom – you take hers one day and she takes yours the next. If you really want to splurge, book a hotel or AirBnB for a few nights and ask grandma to watch the babies. Pro tip: Unless checking things off your to do list brings you exceptional joy, resist the urge to run errands, do chores or try and complete house projects. This is a time to unwind

Plan Returning to a Routine

Plan getting back into a routine

All good things come to an end. Two to three days before staycation is over, start easing back into the routine for chores, baths, meals and bedtime. A small period of adjustment will be good for everyone. 

Remember, a staycation has the same goal as a vacation – to see and experience new things, to bond as a family and – most importantly – to relax the rules and recharge your batteries. Have fun!

Have you ever done a staycation? What tips do you have? Drop them in the comments below. 

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Erin grew up in West Texas and met her husband there in college. She and J. have been married for 24 years and have lived all over Texas and the Caribbean. She settled in Corpus about 6 years ago and loves being close to the beach once again. Erin’s son arrived when she was 39, so she’s a late-comer to the mommy party! Erin has been writing in some form for most of her professional career, including for TV news, press releases and commercials. She joined CCMB to learn more about blogging. She also contributes videos of CCMB events. Likes: Weezer, avocados, nerd humor, reading, cooking, eating and wine. Dislikes: people who drive slow in the fast lane and being late.