If you’re not going away these holidays, the period between Christmas and the new school year is probably looming before you like an everlasting desert. Fear not, – let’s take a staycation!
Wikipedia defines a staycation as a “period in which an individual or family stays home and participates in leisure activities within driving distance, sleeping in their own beds at night.”
The benefits are obvious: low cost (think how much you save on transport, accommodation, eating out, pet care, etc) and low stress. The main disadvantages include boredom and the risk that at the end of your staycation period you will not be as rested as you would’ve been after a week in a holiday resort.
To ensure a good staycation, prepare a list of ideas, both outings and home activities. Look at some articles online or even google maps for local activities to do. For example, if you live in Oklahoma, an article on things to do In Broken Bow could give you a lot of inspiration. If you’re a planner, you might like to schedule some stuff to ensure it actually happens. Or just take it a day at a time, throw the ideas into a hat and draw one at random every morning. Here’s a list to get you started:
Spend the morning or the late afternoon at the beach. (Avoid the lunchtime sunshine by popping into a local caf?, mall, or back home for an indoor picnic.)
Do a few laps at the school pool or the local pools.
Go out to a movie. In this age of DVDs and TV-on-demand, a trip to the cinema can be a treat. Go the whole hog with popcorn and ice cream ? it may cost as much as the movie ticket, but it’s still cheaper than Fiji.
Take the bikes and scooters out of the shed. You can ride on the pavement, at the school or the local park.
try new things
Think of all the things you’ve always wanted to try with the kids but never had the time: tennis, squash, soccer, volleyball, inline skating, ice skating, fishing, yoga, zumba.
Do a creative family project: paint a mural on the hallway wall, establish a rockery, make a scrapbook together, sort ouf the family photos.
Invite friends over for a barbecue. Nothing says ?holidays’ like eating outdoors.
Have TV-free nights: read a book out loud or play a board game.
Organise a ?messy’ day: backyard wading pool, a bag of ice, a can of shaving cream, glitter, flour. If you’re adventurous, fill a baby bathtub with jelly.
Go on a daytrip. The distance will depend on how much car time you’re willing to put up with, but the goal is to travel there and back in one day. (Auckland to Hobbiton, return, is probably my personal limit.)
Visit the zoo
Remember the zoo? As the kids get older, you tend not to go there as much. Give it a go and relive the memories.
Get out of the sun
Hide from the sun with indoor activities such as ten-pin bowling, laser tag, glow-in-the-dark golf, covered playgrounds.
Watch the sunrise.
harness the breeze
Fly a kite.
Tips for having a real holiday at home
Do stuff you wouldn’t normally do. Get up before dawn and go for a walk, or stay in your PJs all day. Have popcorn and fruit salad for dinner, and eat it on a blanket outside.
Forget email and switch off the phone
Pretend you’re on a cruise with no signal for thousands of miles.
Household chores are not part of the deal!
A staycation is not an excuse to spring-clean the garage or weed the garden.
By Yvonne Walus
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