Taking family vacations are not just fun, they have some surprising benefits for your children. In fact, they can actually help with your child’s long-lasting happiness, according to research by the Family Holiday Association.
But vacations can also be very expensive. When money is tight, does it mean you have to skip the vacation and sacrifice your children’s happiness?
There’s a simple solution that allows you to have a fabulous vacation without busting the bank. Plan a family staycation.
What Are the Benefits of a Family Staycation?
Aside from the fact that you can cut way down on expenses, there are other benefits to planning a vacation close to home.
You Can Be Totally Flexible
A staycation frees you from having to stick to dates and times for your activities. One of your kids comes down with a cold? Just postpone for a few days. The weather isn’t cooperating? You can easily change your plans to adapt. You are not boxed in by travel times or hotel reservations. It can be wonderfully liberating.
It Helps You Appreciate Your Local Area
Have you ever visited friends or family in an area with major local attractions and they tell you they never take the time to visit them? We take our local attractions for granted because in theory, we can visit them at any time. But then we never do.
Chances are, there are many interesting and fun places to enjoy in your hometown. Take this time to explore what’s available in your own backyard.
It Allows You to Simplify
Vacations can be wonderfully relaxing, but getting to them can be a nightmare. Waiting in long lines at the airport or train station, enduring plane rides or taking endless car rides can be challenging, especially for young children.
With the family staycation, you eliminate that part of the equation. There’s also no packing, no dealing with the stress of unfamiliar surroundings and no struggling to keep the kids entertained. It can be much more relaxing than a vacation away from home.
Be Sure and Make It a Real Vacation
One of the risks of planning a family staycation is not getting fully into a vacation mindset. You fail to make it really feel like a vacation because you don’t properly plan and set some ground rules for expectations.
Prepare in Advance
Put together an itinerary so you know in advance what you will be spending time doing each day. You don’t have to be rigid, but have a plan to start with so you have a framework to guide you.
Set Some Ground Rules
No sneaking in work (unless you really can’t avoid it). It’s hardly a vacation if you are spending significant time putting in hours with work projects. Sometimes it is unavoidable, but try to schedule work time for down periods so it doesn’t overly interfere.
Don’t do chores or errands. Again, if you were away on vacation you would be taking a break from these things. You could even use some of the money you are saving toward hiring someone to clean the house or take care of some tasks.
Have the kids set aside this time for family. One of the purposes of the family staycation is to spend quality time together. Protect this by making it clear you expect your children to fully participate. Then schedule fun things to do together.
Things to Do
When putting together your itinerary, pretend you are a tourist. With this perspective, you can see your local area in a very different light. Chances are good you’ll discover some hidden gems you never thought to explore.
Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Act like tourists and explore local sights
- Go camping for a night or two
- Schedule a family movie night
- Plan a round of family games
- Stay in a hotel with a pool for a night
- Explore nature
- Plan crafting or cooking activities
Check out your town’s tourism office, local magazines, and area guidebooks for more inspiration.
Check Out Jellystone Park Camp Resort
With the right attitude and a little effort, you can make a family staycation a fun, meaningful and memorable time together. To explore a local camp resort as part of your staycation, get in touch with us at Jellystone Park Camp Resort.