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Staycation Dos and Don'ts

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How to make sure your at-home vacation doesn't feel more like work.


With gas prices skyrocketing out of control, many families are skipping vacations this year and opting instead for the "staycation" -- the vacation where you don't leave home. But can staying home really be a vacation? Yes, if you follow our top 5 guidelines:

Give yourself a break.
It's not going to feel like vacation if you are cleaning and doing laundry every second. Designate some
free time where you don't worry about the zillion-and-one things you have to do, then stick to it.

Turn off the phone and computer -- at least part of the time.
If your phone is ringing off the hook or you're checking email constantly, it's hard to relax. Unplug.

Go sightseeing in your own town.
Surely there are some things you haven't seen yet, simply because you live there. See your surroundings through a tourist's eyes and you might be surprised at what you find.

Take "staycation" photos.
Even though you're not in Hawaii or the Grand Canyon, you can still take family photos that are just as memorable.

Book a babysitter.
One of the perks of being home is that you have access to trusted childcare. Treat yourself to at least one kid-free night during your staycation.

What are your secrets to a great "staycation"?

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3 comments so far | Post a comment now
Kristin June 7, 2008, 2:29 PM

Put your mattress in the living room floor for several nights and just camp out. The kids love it! We also made tents in their room and they slept under them and it made for hours of entertainment. Granted my oldest is only 3! Also, we tried to order take out or go out to eat for at least one meal a day. Bought super easy food to prepare. Rented LOTS of movies. My husband and I took turns sleeping in too. And nap when the kids are napping or you might be able to get in a little extra cuddle time as well!! Staycation is lots of fun is you are creative.

Mahin September 9, 2008, 10:30 PM

My husband and I just took our two girls on a four day staycation and it was great! We did something completely different everyday, took lots of photos, made time for relaxation (I even got a facial), turned off the computer and our phones, and didn’t do any cleaning until the last day. I recommend it to anyone looking to save a few dollars…it would have been nice to get out of town, but we had so much fun! We had all the comforts of home at our beck and call, and didn’t have to worry about whether or not our kids would sleep in a strange place.

Teri  December 12, 2008, 10:07 PM

I am lucky because due to the internet, I have friends all over the place who are always inviting me for a visit. I get to go all over and have a free place to stay! There are rules to ‘going visiting’ and they are:
Show up with flowers or a bottle of wine
4 days is maximum stay with one host/ess
Pick up after yourself during your stay, when you leave strip your bed and clean your bathroom—and put all the towels and sheets in the washer and wash them—if you have time, also dry them and put them back. Help around the house—run the vaccuum or cook dinner.
Take your hosts out to at least one very nice dinner and pick up the check—a $100 meal sounds pricey but it’s cheap for 4 days of free accomodations!!
Two things I also do—I wash dishes & put away whenever I see them and I make some of my famous pasta sauce and my famous amaretto cake and freeze it for my hosts to enjoy after I leave! I also send a very nice thank you note when I get home.

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