Are you planning a vacation or could staycation ideas up your alley?
Because you have been home for many months, a vacation just may be what you need to de-stress. Even a change of scenery may be all you need to rejuvenate.
While a vacation may be on your to-do list, it sure is on mine, it might not be a financially responsible choice especially if you have been furloughed, or lost your job all together. Maybe you can afford a vacation, but want to save that money for an uncertain future. Let’s look at balancing a vacation with a few staycation ideas and you can decide.
The cost of a vacation verses staycation ideas for family
Let’s say you still want to go on that vacation. If you have children, a vacation can cost around $3500 – and that’s just for the airfare and entrance pass to a popular amusement park! I looked online today and found that the average price per person to fly to Orlando from where I in Salt Lake City, Utah would be $275. That is down from just 6 months ago, but with a family of 6, that is $1,650 in costs for simply arriving at our destination.
I looked at the cost of Walt Disney World today and it is $109 per person per day for ages 10 and up. If my family of 6 wanted to go to the park for 3 days, that would be $654 just to go into the park for 3 days. With the airfare and park passes It would cost us $2304.00. That doesn’t include food, hotel rooms, or souvenirs. With food and a hotel, it would cost another $1500 ish which would be over $4,000 buckaroos.
If $4,000 is not in your budget, good news! There’s another vacation option right under your nose, literally. It is your own beautiful home state! After all, someone once said there is no place like home.
I know that you haven’t been to every nook and cranny of your state, or even your home town. Staycation ideas can come from creative thinking, and that will make any vacation memorable. Some of my most treasured memories were on the lake just 1 hour from my home. It included, sun burns, a small dust devil that knocked over all of our chairs, and most importantly, quality time with my family and friends.
Staycation ideas for kids
Kids are so creative! What kid hasn’t made a cape out of a towel or a fort out of blankets, chairs, and pillows. Bring the family together and let those creative juices start to flow. You will be surprised what staycation ideas you will be able to come up with with your kids.
Ideas for a Staycation at home
Here are some staycation ideas for couples, families and kids who don’t want to leave home. These staycation ideas are focused doing things inside your home maybe for bad weather or rainy days.
- Smores over a gas stove top – If it is too cold outside or you don’t have a fire pit or a way to make a camp fire outside, roast marshmallows on the burner of a gas stove or even a candle. Get some Chocolate candy bars and graham crackers and have Smores. Obviously parents should be present to supervise the kids so they don’t start a fire in your house.
2. Build a fort – If you have never built a fort before, you are in for a treat! Grab some chairs, or a card table or two, throw blankets over them and Wa-lah you have a fort. Get some pillows, relax inside your fort and read books to each other. When it gets dark, turn the lights off, go and get a flashlight or use your cell phones for a little light and tell some ghost stories or maybe you prefer funny stories; whatever tickles your fancy.
3. Slumber party in the house – You can have a slumber party right inside of your fort. If the space in your fort is too small, you can sprawl out on the floor of the living or family room. This will be a great opportunity to take your sleeping bags out of storage.
Have a family bonding moment. kids love to hear about how slumber parties were back when you parents were kids. Maybe that time when you and your friends toilet papered the house of a teacher, or when one of your friends put your bra in the freezer. Ok maybe your slumber parties weren’t like that, but it would be good to reminisce. Kids love to hear about life when their parents were young.
4. Cook new recipes – There are tons of recipes on the internet. Maybe you have always wanted to try Avocado Chocolate Peanut Butter Pudding (yes that’s a thing) or have a cooking contest with your family to see who could make the strangest but best tasting casserole.
5. Stock up on books from the library – Check out books from the library. Today the libraries are closed, but if that is the case, you can borrow some books from a neighbor. Have a reading with your family. It is so much fun to read a book together as a family. Discussing a book that we read as a family are some of my most cherished memories.
6. Craft project – This can be anything from making a family scrapbook of your year, to making a quilt out of your favorite clothes that you have outgrown. You can even buy a giant coloring page that you can put on the floor and each family member take a section and color it with paint, colored pencils, crayons etc.
7. Plant an indoor herb garden – I love the smell of herbs. – Basil and mint are really easy to root in a glass of water. Basil is also good starting from seed. Cilantro and chervil are also herbs that are best started from seed and replanted throughout the year.
8. Board games and card games – Board games are great staycation ideas because they bring family unity and a little friendly competition. Two travel board games that have a travel theme are:
Ticket to Ride Build train routes across the United States with this fun game from Days of Wonder. Travel to destinations across the country on your quest to earn the most points. This engaging strategy game is recommended for ages eight and up.
Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego – Carmen drove through three states in a row that start with the same letter. What letter do these states start with? Carmen Sandiego and her gang of henchmen are headed for the U.S.A.! Landmarks from around the nation have vanished. Can you picture Arizona without the Grand Canyon? Your assignment is to scout out the scenes of the crimes and locate the Warrant, the Loot, and the Henchmen. Be careful! When you guess incorrectly, a Henchman escapes! National Parenting Publications Awards.
9. Puzzles – Work on them just a little at a time or finish it in one setting. Puzzles are a great ideas for a staycation because they encourage family conversation and cooperation. When you are finished, you have a beautiful masterpiece. Put the puzzle away for another time or do what my family does and glue the finished puzzle on poster board. You can also frame it and hang it on the wall as a treasured memory. These are some of my favorites. We especially love these 1000 piece puzzles.
10. Make a movie – put together a slide show of pictures of your family’s staycation, do a “how to” video on a craft or recipe that you are making, or make a movie including actors, scenes, and even a mystery to solve. You are only limited to your imagination.
11. Write a book – Each family member can write a poem, short story, or just write about your adventures on your staycation. Put these together in a bound book to remember all of the fun you had as a family.
12. Indoor scavenger hunt – Have each family member write down 10 random things on 10 strips of paper. For example, and unmatched sock, a roll of toilet paper and a box of cereal. Put those strips of paper in a bowl, mix them up, and then draw 6 or more of those strips of paper out of the bowl. Each family member or team will look around the house for these 6 or more items. Collect the items or take a picture as proof that you found them. The first family member or team to find those items wins!
13. Perform random acts of kindness – Make cookies for the EMPTs or fire fighters at the local fire station, or write letters to grandparents or other family members. Putting a smile on someone’s face will make your staycation special.
14. Do some photography – Learn to use a photo editing app on your phone, learn how to do trick photography, take candid photos of family members to put in your scrapbook, or take pictures of random things around your house, like a stuffed animal holding a flower. Just have some fun!
15. Movie marathon – On of my favorite movies to watch in a marathon is Back to the Future. You can also watch movies in a theme, for example watch a group of Disney movies, or several movies staring your favorite actor.
16. Set a goal and learn something new – Who doesn’t love achieving goals? Is there something that you have always wanted to learn how to do as a family? Maybe you love magic tricks and would love to learn some. Maybe you have always wanted to learn ballroom dancing or hip hop. Learn a few tricks or a new form of dance and perform it for each other or in a community talent show.
Ideas for Staycations outdoors at home
Here are some staycation ideas that you can do outside, but still stay home or close to home.
17. Camp outside – I have some great memories sleeping out under the stars during the summer. My kids love sleeping on the trampoline. You can even put up a tent and go camping right outside of your house. It is less work camping at home. There is no need to pack food, toiletries and other items that you would if you were to leave your home to go camping.
18. Campfire or fire pit – Some areas will allow fire pits in your back yard. Roast marshmallows, hot dogs, or just sit around and tell stories. These are some of my favorite fire pits.
19. Build an obstacle course – As a preschool teacher, these were a favorite among my students. We would set up tables and chairs and other objects to go up, over, and around. Sometimes the obstacle course includes an activity like putting a bean bag through a hole. The person who can get through the fastest is the winner! These items work great for obstacle courses
20. Have races – Every summer, our family participated in gunny sack races. We also enjoyed relay and water races. Those kind of races involved moving water from one place to another with just a spoon.
21. Play kick ball games – Although I have been hit in the face with a kick ball many times throughout my life, this is an idea worth looking into. You can have a lot of fun and drama playing with a kick ball
22. Outdoor games – Make up your own games or play other fun outdoor favorites like Hide and Seek or Capture the flag. Croquet and other outdoor games are other fantastic ideas for a staycation.
23. Scavenger hunt Outside – use the indoor scavenger hunt idea from the indoor section above or download the FREE printable quarantine scavenger hunt on this page for a great family fun activity. Divide up the family in teams and as individuals and get ready for some friendly competition.
24. Have a waterfight/snowball fight – If it’s warm outside, cool off with some water guns or water balloons. If there is snow outside, maybe you could build a snowman with a top hat, carrot nose, and some buttons, for eyes and tree branches for arms. Don’t forget the scarf.
Staycation ideas away from home
25. Ride the train – Take the train to another part of town or just jump on to see where it takes you. Curiosity is the key to making this fun.
26. Pretend you are a tourist – Go to a nearby city or town and walk up to a restaurant manager, or a hotel concierge and ask what are some fun things to do in the area. If you are as brave as my kids, you may even go up to a stranger and speak in an accent and ask for directions. It is so much fun to see the sights around your hometown with a tourist perspective.
27. An oldie but a goodie – If you have a few days, get a map of your home state and throw a dart (or something that will leave a mark) at the map and visit that place. Another creative way to visit a random place in your state is to ask Alexa something like “What is a city in California (or the state you live in) that starts with a letter R” Then Alexa will answer with one or more cities. Travel to that city or town through the eyes of a tourist.
28. Ice skating or roller skating – Put on those skates, and skate around the rink holding the hand of your loved one. Try not to fall, you may just break your arm like I did the last time I went roller skating. Sigh.
29. Rock climbing – What a great way to get that adrenaline pumping! Go to a rock wall near you and climb to the very top. It is so invigorating.
30. Restaurant hopping – This is one of my favorites. 1st stop go to a drink place that sells a variety of mixed soda drinks. Next stop, visit a deli or a restaurant and purchase a small meal. Then the 3rd stop could be an ice cream or frozen yogurt shop or a bakery for dessert.
31. Go on a hike – Check the internet for local hiking trails in your area. Don’t forget to look for the beauty all around you and take pictures along the way. Hikes are so much more fun when you open your eyes and not only look for the roses, but stop and smell them.
32. Take a drive and have a picnic – Pack a lunch or grab some KFC (my favorite picnic meal). Take a drive to a park or picnic area and enjoy.
Final thought on staycation ideas.
As you can see, there are a lot of things to do just by staying home or close to home. Sometimes we don’t notice the beauty right under our nose. There is so much to see and do at or close to home. If you decided to use these ideas for a staycation or you find other staycation ideas, don’t forget to have fun!
If you use your creativity and imagination you can see the world around you in a different way. If you have decided that maybe a staycation is not for you, or you are going stir crazy and need to get out of dodge then check out our FREE Printable Travel Planner here.
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