Planning a vacation can feel stressful for many parents as it can be time consuming and may even be financially constraining. And then once it’s planned, you have the added time of packing and travel. By the end of it all you need a day or two to unwind from the vacation as you prepare to resume your life. I’m exhausted just thinking about our last family trip to Miami and everything that it involved.
Eliminate all that stress — take a vacation but stay local, plan a staycation.
Just think – if you choose a staycation you may just be doing a lot more relaxing than if you were traveling hundreds to thousands of miles away. If a staycation sounds like your style, follow these tips to ensure it’s one to remember.
Determine your locale
What does staying local mean? Does it mean literally staying in-town or does it mean staying within your state? Perhaps you’re close to a bordering state. Determine what staying local means to you to choose a staycation spot. Anthony and I have done staycations in the cities we’ve lived in but we’ve also driven one to two hours (sometimes more) away to enjoy some quality time away from home.
Stay at a local hotel, resort or homestay
If you’ve never taken a staycation before you would be amazed by how the act of going away will work wonders for your relaxation and rejuvenation, especially if you stay at a local hotel or resort. I recommend at least a two-night minimum because check-in is so late and checking out is so early; honestly it doesn’t give you much time to actually enjoy the change of environment. If you choose a resort-style stay, I encourage you to take advantage of all the available perks (e.g. spa packages, dining options, etc.). Even if you are only miles from home you can still feel like you are far away.
A homestay (aka Airbnb) is also an excellent option. Anthony and I like Airbnbs because it gives us more privacy than a hotel. We’ve also found several of our hosts accommodating to our family needs; so make sure you’re staying in a family friendly homestay. However if you’re looking to be pampered a homestay probably isn’t right for you.
Let’s take it back to the basics
Your staycation is about spending time together in a comfortable environment so you’ll want to think about what you want to do. Do you like going out for dinner dates, hikes, having picnics or perhaps it’s lounging by the pool? Whatever it is, bring it back to the basics. Take the time to do a little research so that you and your family have plans or places to visit, perhaps you’ll find “your” spot as a family.
Don’t over schedule yourself
Although I think planning or at least knowing your options is better than not you should take the time to just enjoy the moments together. But along with mapping out potential activities, I encourage you to take a leisurely breakfast or lounge by the pool to soak up the sun. It is amazing what a relaxing day at a hotel will do for the mind and spirit when it comes to unwinding and simply being present.
Say ‘goodbye’ to all the strenuous planning, coordinating and anxiety inducing vacation planning and say ‘hello’ to your stress free staycation.
Now you’re ready to take your staycation; well almost ready. I recommend you read my Tips For Traveling with Babies and Toddlers; it’s uber helpful. Share with us, leave your thoughts in the comments below. We would love to hear about your staycation experiences or if you’re planning one.
Authored by Sharita Thompson, M.Ed, HBCE