How to make your staycation feel like a vacation

Who has ever taken time off of work and declared a staycation only to use the time to get projects done around the house? Guilty! Sometimes it takes an extended time off of work to accomplish a home project, but I don’t think that should be in the same category as a staycation. When a staycation replaces a vacation, I think it should be treated as something special. The things that make vacations the most special to me is the time, the experiences, and the food.


Sometimes the busyness of the day-to-day distracts us from being intentional about the time we spend with each other. Laundry needs to be folded, meals need to be cooked, the grass needs to be cut. There are several reasons that we seem to only see the people we live with in passing, and several more reasons that we want to check out and regenerate in the evenings without the drain of being intentional. I’m guilty of this on a weekly basis. That is why turning our normal upside down for a week and focusing on doing things together is so important.

And it’s not even limited to the people you live with. When we staycation, we invite our family over for a big breakfast in the middle of the week or to play a game on a random afternoon. Our time is flexible on purpose.


There are some really cool local places that I’ve never gone to, beautiful places that I’ve never seen. Sometimes leaving the house for an outing with the kids seems like more work than it’s worth so we just stay home. On a staycation, we try to jam as many out-of-the-house experiences into the week as possible. We spend a day or two at Seabreeze, a local amusement park, we go to the zoo, we find places to hike, we spend a day lounging by my in-laws’ pool. The requirements are simple:

  1. Get up and do something.
  2. Do it together


My family hardly ever eats out. For one thing, it’s not much fun to eat out with young kids. For another, we save a lot of money by always eating at home. During a staycation, we still eat most of our meals at home but we make it a point to eat out once or twice that week. Even little things like going to the DQ for a Blizzard are all it takes to make the day special and different from normal.

And since I don’t like to have too much junk food lying around the house, I try to relax a little about it on vacation, whether we’re home or travelling. Have you ever noticed how other people express love toward your kids by giving them junk food? A vacation – or staycation – is the perfect time to be OK with this. Routine and regularity will quickly fall back into place when the vacation is over.

How do you turn your staycation into a real vacation?

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