A staycation is a break from work and everyday worries that you take without leaving your hometown (or, sometimes, without even checking into a hotel). It may not sound like a very fun way to spend your vacation time, but it's definitely going to save you money on travel and boarding costs -- plus, it's an awesome way to discover your hometown in a way you never have before!
You can even staycation on a weekend when your family isn't otherwise busy, meaning you can still get up and go to work on Monday but you can enjoy some time off together in the meantime. Choose a weekend without any sports tournaments, overtime hours, family gatherings, or other major distractions. A few weeks beforehand, hold a family meeting to discuss what you want to do during the staycation.
Make a list of tourist attractions and events in your area that you've never been to as a group. Be sure to list amusement parks, historical buildings, monuments, museums, super tall buildings, and "riding" attractions such as horseback tours, river rafting, go-karts, bumper cars, and dune buggies. Budget a certain amount of money that you are willing to spend during the staycation, and determine how much you'd like to spend on attractions. (Don't forget, there are plenty of free things to do in most areas, so you don't have to spend big bucks every day.) Ask your kids which are the most appealing, then list what the parents think are best and pick some matches.
Come up with a list of local restaurant favorites you'd like to visit. Indulge in a nice meal or two, along with some treats -- a local ice cream parlor, perhaps, or a gourmet coffee shop. Alternatively, go out to fast food you don't normally indulge in, for your kids' sakes.
Figure out how you normally behave on a vacation and apply that to your staycation. Do you normally stay up really late, or go to bed really early? Do you normally watch extra TV, or just sit around and read in the sun? Do you go swimming (find a pool nearby if so!)? Do you head out and play pickup sports together, or do you prefer to go watch a sporting event somewhere? Ask your kids what they like best about vacations and try to incorporate those things into your staycation.
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