Tips & Ideas for Planning a Staycation

Last week I posted tips about how to save money on summer vacations. This week I’ve included tips and ideas on how to do a “staycation” with your family. With a new baby in our family, this is what we are planning for our vacation this summer.

A staycation will help you save money while spending quality time together. It also helps the local economy and allows you to avoid the hassle of long hours of travel.

Here are a few ideas to keep in mind when planning your staycation:
  •  Make it feel like a real vacation by planning beginning and end dates.
  •  Get rid of your daily at home routine and schedule.
  •  Create a hotel room experience at home by doing things such as breakfast in bed, hot baths,  watching television in bed, etc.
  •  Plan things to do by making a list of activities you want to do together as a family. Below I’ve included a list of possible staycation ideas.

Staycation Ideas

1. Behind-the-Scenes Tour
Take a tour inside factories, fire stations or police stations. You could also inquire to take a tour of a movie theater projection room or the pinsetters at a bowling alley. Television stations, radio stations, and newspaper production facilities also offer tours.

2. Museums, Observatories, Planetariums
Look for places that have areas dedicated to kids such as museums, observatories, and planetariums. Children will enjoy themselves while they learn about art, science, and history.

3. Scenic Train Rides
Ranging from about 30 minutes long to day trips, train rides often cater to kids. Some have themes or shows like Thomas the Train or pretend “train robberies.”

4. Historic Landmarks
Be a tourist in your own town by taking tours of historic sites, prominent places, museums or parks.

5. Geo Caching (
Using a GPS, participate in this global treasure hunt by finding a hidden cache close to home.

6. Water Parks
Head to a water park that is within a reasonable driving distance. They are easier to find now than they used to be because many cities have built them as part of their recreation centers. Community swimming pools are another option.

7. Pool Party
Fill a pool with water and provide water balloons and squirt guns for a simple summer activity in the backyard.

8. Zoos and Aquariums
Young kids love the zoo, of course, and there are some very good aquariums around the country. Many zoos also offer behind-the-scenes “VIP” tours and have special camp programs for kids.

9. Sporting Events
Have a fun day by going to a sporting event with your family. You might also ask to take a tour of the stadium.

10. Camping
It’s enjoyable to get out into nature, and there are so many items for children to discover. You could also go hiking, biking, and visit state parks and wilderness view areas. Another option is to camp in the back yard and enjoy looking at constellations.

11. Fishing
If you live near a lake or ocean, rent a boat and spend the day on the water.

12. Biking
Take a bike ride along local trails.

13. Local Hotel Room
Book a room at a local hotel and enjoy the amenities such as the swimming pool and room service.

14. Family Field Day
Organize and play fun games like tag, kickball and relay races.

15. Movie Marathon
Pop some popcorn and curl up on the sofa to enjoy some films together as a family.

16. City Festivals
Take advantage of local festivals and carnivals.

17. Family Fun Centers
Go to nearby family fun centers that have bowling alleys, miniature golfing, games and rides.

Some of the simplest things create the best staycation memories. Do you have any staycation ideas to add to this list?

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