Whether you are wanting to save money, or keen to avoid the stress and hassles associated with planning a vacation in a far-flung location, staycations (or holistays) can be an awesome way for your family to experience the joys of home. Here are some fun tips to spice up your staycation.
Take the family to stay at a hotel or motel locally or in a nearby town. The kids will feel like they’re on holidays and it’s also a nice break for parents from the routine and the mundane. As a special treat, look for extras such as decent WiFi, pools, saunas and other facilities you don’t have at home. You’ll be surprised by the affordable options out there.
Want something a bit more rustic? Why not find a nearby campground and go camping overnight? Or, if you want to stay even closer to home, camp out in your backyard! All you need is a tent, some sleeping bags, flashlights and insect repellent.
Be a tourist
When thinking of holidays, it’s easy to overlook what’s right on your doorstep. Act like a tourist for a day and visit the local haunts – museums, galleries, that restaurant you keep driving past and have been meaning to try. Some museums will have holiday activities for the kids too so you can keep the family amused for even longer.
Change it up
They say a change is as good as a holiday. It could be something as simple as doing your grocery shopping at a different set of shops or exploring a nearby suburb you’ve always driven past but never bothered seeing properly before.
Let’s go to the (playground) hop
Similar to the concept above, go on a park hop and explore new playgrounds. They may all look the same to us, but kids will notice the little features that make each park unique and interesting.
Walking or biking trails
Find a good walking or bike trail and spend the day exploring with your family. Take plenty of photos and learn about the things you see.
Libraries have amazing holiday activities for kids of various ages. You might need to book in advance so give your local library a ring or hop on their website and check out what’s available. Apart from the activities, libraries are a rich source of learning and entertainment – books (obviously), audiobooks, DVDs, computers, free WiFi, even gaming consoles. All free of charge. Unless you are forgetful and rack up fines the way I do – and even then, it still somehow works out to be great bang for buck!
There are also libraries specifically for toys, called (funnily enough) toy libraries. They are usually open on set days and hours, and for a small annual subscription you can borrow quality educational items and toys.
Shopping centres also run holiday activities for kids, often tied to a movie or other promotion. There are usually arts and crafts activities where the kids can bring home what they make for a small price or free.
Kids love new stuff, regardless of where it comes from. Charity shops are a veritable treasure trove of pre-loved toys and books. Quality control is pretty tight these days so the chances are high that your new gizmos will have all the necessary pieces and be in good working order. These shops are great because you can spend relatively little to get a lot, plus you will be contributing to charity.
Once your kids grow bored of the toy, you can donate it back to the store. Just make sure it is still in good condition.
Give back to the community through volunteer initiatives such as cleaning up the local beach, planting trees and knitting pullovers for penguins, whatever you can find!
Ask the kids to dazzle you with their imagination! Give them a project such as arts and crafts, making a short film, writing a book or writing a song. It’s a fun way to keep them occupied and engage their creative minds. If you want to get more serious about it and motivate the kids further, why not set a goal to post the finished product on YouTube or submit it to a writing competition? You never know – they could be on their way to super stardom!