Staycation Ideas

Best Kid Vacations

A lovable new word for the dictionary is staycation.  Obviously a compound word of sorts formed by the blending together of "stay" and "vacation", the word tells of a respite from work enjoyed at home or close to home.  Set the scene for why families take staycations instead of vacations.  Money is tight.  Limited time is at hand.  Physical limitations of one or more of the vacationers make traveling distances an insurmountable challenge.  Just for fun, vacationerGameboard Night for Staycations wish to get to know their own city better.  Whatever the reason for making a staycation a choice, one of the best kid vacations imaginable is at hand in doing so.

A Background for the Staycation Getaway Plan

Between Christmas and New Years, our family's tradition is to take a vacation to New York City. Three or four families travel together on the trek, so finding activities for everyone in the Big Apple reigns supreme as a goal.  Over the past few years, the plan is a simple one that works.  We listen all year-long for new, fun things to do in NYC.  Each person minus those too small to do so, chose one activity or one restaurant they would like to visit. We set a group agenda.  Everyone has one special thing that is uniquely theirs on the plan.  Past trips have seen us participating in everything from  a tour of Yankee Stadium and hitting golf balls out over the water at Chelsea Peer to dining at Bobby Flay's four star restaurants.  Days were delightfully spent on a subway going to a pickle shop and then straight away over to a donut shop, both featured on the Food Network.  Vacations are about having fun and as much so about memories that live forever.  OK, enough about New York City.  Take the plan from a staycation from the NYC plan.  That is exactly what we did last year when a new grand baby made traveling to New York less than a great idea.

The NYC Plan Turned Local

Some choose to stay in a hotel close to their home while on staycation.  Personally, I say make a staycation a cheap and fun vacation indeed by using home as lodging.  Make a broad plan for each day of the staycation.  For instance, choose different categories of activities such as family board games, favorite DVD movie night,  favorite venue for live performances, favorite park, favorite restaurant, favorite spectator sport activity, best friends, favorite shopping spot, etc.  Then, let each person chose their favorite in each group.  No, unless weeks and weeks are available for the staycation, all activities will not land on the agenda.  Neither are they in our NYC example.  Put together an activity plan for the staycation, day by day. Add a couple of items that the family has not experienced before.   Empowering the vacationers by their being involved in the planning works every time.  With the money being saved on travel and lodging, everyone might even be given dollars to buy something up to a certain limit on the shopping excursion.  Invite those favorite friends to join in on an activity or two.  After all, unless they traveled with you, their company would be impossible on a traveling vacation.

The Dangers of That Fun and Cheap Vacation

One positive aspect of away from home vacations is  home chores not begging for attention as they do when one is home.  To have a successful staycation, keep that important aspect in mind.  If the emails would not be checked while on a traveling vacation, turn that Blackberry off for the staycation as well.  Spend a few dollars of the money saved by rewarding the family with  professional  housecleaning and lawn services at the end of the week.  The temptation to revert to chores lessens in that act.  Schedule the days full of "want to do activities as would be done on an out-of-town vacation.  Remember, this is still a getaway, just one without the travel costs.  Consider putting the mail and newspaper on hold.  Do everything possible to make this a real vacation. 

Staycations, The Best Kid Vacations?

Yes, this just might be the best vacation ever for children.  Few children enjoy the act of traveling.  Sitting in a car, airplane, or train for hours does not typically qualify as fun for children.  The activities done do rank as great and memorable.  Having a staycation takes the best of both those worlds and rolls them into one customized, great possibility for a memorable and yet fun and cheap vacation. Creative thinking brings forth true staycation deals!