Spring break is a much-anticipated time of year for children and adults. Often, parents plan big trips as the clump of seven days entices families to get away. While this certainly can provide for great memories, it can also leave you worn out. When your kids return with only a day or two to catch their breath, it can sometimes feel like they didn’t actually have time off.
Plus, the money spent on a long trip with all the food, lodgings, souvenirs and extras, can leave your bank account (or worse, credit card) sagging in exhaustion.
Enter: staycations. These are exactly what their slapped-together name suggests; a vacation – escape from normal daily life – while staying home. Staycations have been growing in popularity as the recession has caused people to reevaluate their priorities. If you find yourself wanting to keep things simple this year for you and your kids, the sky’s still the limit as far as fun opportunities.
If you live in or near a major city, it may be easier to find things to do: children’s museums, zoos, movies and more. But make sure you stick to a budget so you don’t end up spending as much money on your staycation as you would flying to an exotic locale.
Even if you don’t live near an exciting place you can still make some great memories. You could spend two days and one night at a local hotel. This still gets you out of the house and you can enjoy the hot tub, pool, continental breakfast, and whatever else the establishment offers.
Do you get along well with the parents of your children’s friends? Spend an afternoon on a scrimmage against another family. Games like kickball and dodge ball can be played decently by various age groups and skill levels. Chip in on refreshments and maybe even a fun award for the winning family.
Make sure you don’t jam your staycation so full that you have the same exhausted dilemma as a vacation could have caused. Give your kids at least one free day; I would recommend more like two or three, either scattered throughout or at the end of the week. Let them sleep, veg, relax, be bored (gasp!). Maybe go one step further and plan nothing and no one is allowed to make any plans. Just be home together.
Vacations are great and should be taken and enjoyed, but with some creative staycation planning, the investment of time can give you a memorable spring break spending a fraction of the cost and energy.