A well-designed family staycation holds tremendous adventure potential. Staying in, or nearby, unfolds opportunities that a destination vacation doesn’t necessarily offer. For starters, there’s no wondering about the accommodations. In fact, you can build around or recreate spaces to accommodate whatever your family needs are including outdoor space, equipment, and menu items. Let’s explore the best that staying in has to offer.

Minimize surprises. Nothing worse than being super excited about a trip only to arrive and find that the hotel pool is closed for repairs, or packing the whole car up for a daylong adventure and notice the hiking path is temporarily inaccessible.  There are lots of things out of our hands when we travel. This includes detours, flat tires, unending traffic jams, and more. We aren’t trying to discourage anyone from packing it up and heading out… we absolutely love travel and consider all the ups and… well, downs as part of the adventure. But we do like skipping some of the less pleasant parts when considering vacationing at home. 

Customizable to the Nth degree!! That’s right, everything from rainy day games to the menu is 100% customizable. Having a back up plan was never easier for rainy days, getting snowed in, or… always a favorite… someone getting sick. No need to scrap the whole vacation, just pivot. Having a plan B for a traditional vacation usually means packing more. More games, snacks, clothing… and more planning too. 

So what’s all the fuss? Whether a long weekend or an entire week, here are our tips for a fabulous and adventurous family staycation. 

Pull Out All The Stops

Unpack the tent, make a fire pit, dust off the grill… backyards can easily be converted into the ultimate camping experience. Flashlight stories and fireflies will carry the same punch in your backyard as they would in the woods. Enhance your backyard experience with a telescope like the National Geographic NT114CF Telescope, and don’t forget the s’mores. 

Transform A Room

When it comes to birthday parties, we stop at nothing to decorate one or more rooms for a 3 hour event… take that same energy and creativity to transform a room or space of your home for the duration of your staycation. Think vacation bible school, only smaller and more reasonable for your family vs requiring an entire team to outfit an all-purpose room of a school. The idea is similar in that for the week of your vacation, you have activities and decorations for a total immersive experience. Consider your menu options and music/sound effects. Rainforest Cafe or Disney Resort restaurants come to mind for inspiration. It doesn’t take much but the more thought and creativity put in, the more immersive and exciting the experience. 

Day Trips on the Daily

By staycation, we don’t mean that you are quarantined to your house. In fact, by saving on airfare, gas, tolls, hotel and dining… you may be able to pack more into your week off than if you had gone away. In addition to your nearby favorite entertainment options, consider those that stretch the mileage a bit, and therefore don’t make your regular weekend plans. Also look into things like neighboring farms for festivals and “pick you own” events, your local historical society and nature reserves. All of which could offer a refreshing slower change of pace to an otherwise busy week of amusements and activity. Speaking of activity, consider nearby amenities for kayaking, fishing, biking, snowmobiling, and more. What are the hidden gems or the “next time” places… do them. 

Make It An Event

One of the nice things about vacationing at home is having the ability to spend that time with extended loved ones. Invite the neighbors over, have grandparents spend a couple of nights, or offer back-to-back sleepovers. 

There are so many positives to forgoing the traditional vacation and keeping it close to home. A week or a long weekend, either way, make the most of your surroundings, savings and family time.