Planning a Staycation

By Caitlin Bootsma

This year, you may be travelling for summer vacation or perhaps you prefer to stay closer to home. In recent years, the term "Staycation" has become a popular expression for experiencing the joys of a summer vacation in one's own city or area. If a Staycation could be the right fit for you and your family this year, read on.

Some clear benefits of a staycation involve fewer costs and less travel time. It is also a great opportunity to get to know sites nearby that you might have normally overlooked.

You may choose to start by pulling up a map and looking at all the areas within a few hours (or a reasonable driving distance from where you live). What outdoor sites appeal to you? Are there historical landmarks you've never visited? Towns that would be fun to spend the afternoon in? Make a list of possibilities! Your town may also have some type of scavenger hunt listed on a local website—it never hurts to look!

Have you visited tourist sites in your own city? Oftentimes, there can even be discounts at historical sites, museums, and amusement parks for locals. And, of course, don't forget to search for online coupons to sites and restaurants.

What do you often wish you had time to do, but never quite get the time to do it? Maybe you want to take a family hike and eat a picnic. Perhaps setting up a movie night with a projector in the backyard sounds like fun. What about doing something daring like rock climbing, tubing in a river, or zip lining?

Getting kids involved in planning can also be a fun way to make a Staycation even better. Kids love to be part of the decision-making and they may have some ideas you haven't thought of! Check out library books about your area, check travel resources online, and make a plan together!

Of course, each family's Staycation will look different. One family may want to make a different day trip daily. Another may stay mostly at home, cooking new foods and reading and watching family movies. Others may choose to give each family member a day to choose the plan for the day.

Whatever you choose, this is a chance to get to know where you live in a whole new way!

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