How to have THE BEST staycation ever
After the Brexit vote and the plunge in the pound back in June, plenty of us decided to put our summer getaway plans on ice, at least for the present. But that's not to say we can't enjoy a proper family holiday at home: a 'staycation'.
A staycation done well means quality time with the family, plus using the money you would have spent on travel and accommodation to have fun and support the local economy. No sliding back into normal routines and certainly no work!
First, set some ground rules
You might be staying at home, yet a really successful staycation involves acting as you would if you were actually away on holiday. A few ground rules will help the family get and stay on board with this...
>> Set definite start and end dates for the staycation during which time you let friends, family and colleagues know that you'll be completely unavailable. Don't forget to set your email Out Of Office assistant! You may want to have a sensible friend play the role of contact, so that if something crops up that really cannot wait then you can be alerted, yet all other non-emergency messages can be cut off at the pass.
>> Family time only during your staycation. If you went away on holiday, you'd spend your time exploring, eating and enjoying together as a family, so plan to do the same at home. No stragglers or outside plans!
>> Unplug from the phones, computers and TV and remove yourselves from the constant barrage of information. Set your phones to go straight to voicemail. Put away your computers and tablets. Hide the TV remote.
>> Get the chores done before your staycation, then put away your calendars, diaries and to-do lists so you can relax completely without the compulsion to 'get things done'. This is not the time to plan a bathroom makeover or garage clean out! You want fresh sheets on the bed, snacks galore, all the takeaway menus from the local area (or prepare freezer meals in advance) and lots of relaxing treatments ready in the bathroom.
>> No worrying, complaining or fighting - you're on holiday!
Second, plan some special treats
From camping out in the back garden to becoming a tourist in your local area, this is the time to indulge your inner child, as well as your actual children! Be selective and don't over-book yourselves so the staycation turns into another stressful project. Leave lots of time for reading, playing games and simply messing around.
If you're usually frugal, don't be afraid to spend a little on some memorable experiences for the family - after all, you're on holiday (and you've saved a bundle on travel and accommodation costs!) Set some money aside for food, family days out and a few splurges...
>> Eat out as a family - those interesting looking cafés and restaurants in town? Now's the time to book for brunch, lunch or dinner.
>> Book a massage, a facial or a mani/pedi - you work hard and you deserve some self-care on your holiday. Why not invite a mobile beautician to come to your house to give treatments to the whole family?
>> Go on some adventures - try something new as a family... Geocaching, mountain biking trails, behind-the-scenes factory tours, visiting an observatory or planetarium, going on a steam railway, day festivals, hiking in a national park, a night at the theatre or a sports event, canoeing or paddleboarding, paint your own pottery or even visit the local tourist trap!
>> Have fun at home - make your own entertainment... Build a tree house together, plan a family film festival where everyone picks a film, make your own recycled kites, organise a board game marathon, have a water fight in the garden with some DIY garden toys, or plan some green challenges for the kids!
Above all, don't forget to wind down, stay in the moment and create some cherished memories. Here's wishing you the very best staycation possible, from all of us here at Greenredeem.