Getting the Most From Your Staycation

Updated on: by Leisa Good

How to have fun and relax while on a staycation.

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While most of us work-at-homers (WAHers) look forward to a real vacation, what would happen if you ended up taking a staycation?

With the summer coming to a close, many of us are thinking about squeezing in that one last vacation or staycation–if we haven’t already. However, the thought of a staycation might actually bring many of us WAHers to tears as we feel the need to get away from BOTH work and home. Because for the WAHer, work and home are the same thing. The same location, actually.


Why Would Anyone Who Works From Home Even Consider a Staycation?

Well, there are many reasons for a staycation. Maybe your spouse has not been able to arrange time off from his/her job or maybe finances are tight this year. Whatever the reason, you can take a staycation and turn it into a memorable and fun event with plenty of pictures to post on Facebook.


How Do You Disguise Your Staycation to Make It Seem More Like a Vacation?

When planning a family staycation, remember to keep it fun and find something different to do each day. With something new to do each day, this will give you the variety and fun your family craves. Just like when you go on a regular vacation, you plan to visit different restaurants and tourist spots each and every day.

If most of us are truly honest with ourselves, there is at least one local place that we have always planned to visit, but never got around to it.

Now’s the chance. Call your local Chamber of Commerce or visit your state’s web site and make plans to go there for the day. Become a tourist for the day and don’t forget to take pictures and sample any local delicacies (“local eats”) known to the area.


How You Can Incorporate Local Events into Your Staycation

Are there any special events happening in your area during your staycation? Maybe the fair is in town this week. Or maybe there is a free benefit concert on Friday night to benefit tornado victims. Look in your local newspaper or listen to your local news station. Don’t forget to Google your local zoos or museums for a list of upcoming events. Many times your local public library will also give out free museum passes. A great web site for an old-fashioned train ride or even a guided tour of a tourist hot spot is There is also an app now available for this web site.

The local craze now is to enjoy a sleepover at a local zoo. Why? Because many of the animals are nocturnal, and you will get to see them when they are awake and moving around. How many times have you gone to a zoo during the day only to find out that some of your favorite animals were asleep? How disappointing to see them not actively moving around!


What and Where Can You Eat While on a Staycation?

Budget permitting, try a local restaurant that you have always wanted to try, but never had the time. Or create a dinner theme. Make it a Mexican fiesta, Hawaiian luau or the All-American cookout. Make sure to not only match the foods to the theme but also dress the part. You don’t have to go overboard buying food, just have a main dish and two side dishes with a dessert. Make sure everyone gets involved. Even children can make table decorations with construction paper or draw pictures with crayons. Just as long as it is fun for everyone! Even local dollar stores have
party favors to fit into the theme.


What Types of Entertainment Can You Find?

Don’t overlook local artists or performers! Many times these people have studios open to the public at appointed times or even give free demonstrations or classes. Check your town’s web site or again check your local newspaper.

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Have a “Family Share Fair” where every family member shares their special talent with the rest of the family. Maybe someone can sing, someone can recite a poem or someone can tell a joke. Keep it fun. And yes, silliness is allowed.


Is It Possible to Squeeze in a Home Improvement Project?

Yes, you may also do that home improvement project as a group. is not only a great place to buy handmade goods, but also a great place to find streaming video and tutorials as well. Tutorials that are perfect for a creative home project–even a small one–that everyone could do together. There are also kits available for ordering to simplify that project. Be sure to order in plenty of time for the staycation.


Could a Staycation Also Be Used to Help Others?

Is there a neighbor who could use a visit or a rummage sale going on at a local church? Find ways to get involved in helping others. Most local libraries even have “Storybook Hour” where you can read to kids or go and listen! Take the whole family with you.


Are There Any Limitations to What a Staycation Looks Like?

There really aren’t. You and your family can be as creative as you want to be. Challenge yourself and your family to come up with ideas to have fun, relax, and save money. You could even have a family contest a week before staycation to see who could up with the best ideas.

I was surprised that there were so many books on Amazon on how to plan a staycation. Of course, many of them also have the Kindle version available. A few that really impressed me were Planning Your Family Staycation by Denise D. Witmer and Staycations: Save More Than Money by Victoria B.

The main thing in planning your staycation is not to do too much and stress out! Don’t overdo it. Just like a regular vacation, you want to keep your staycation as stress-free as possible. Try to relax and unplug from some of your technology too, i.e., cell phones, laptops, iPads, Kindles.

Then after the staycation is over, take a deep breath, plug back in, and post those staycation pictures on Facebook.


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August 24, 2013 at 2:43 pm

We take a few mini vacations a year. We stay in state and they only last 2 or 3 days. With school and work we have not been able to do much else. They have always turned out to be quite fun.

Leisa Good

August 25, 2013 at 10:49 am

Chrystal, thank you for sharing!

Yes, mini-vacations within the state are nice. Also, local staycations can also work if you are in an area deemed a tourist area with a lot going on. Either way! Sometimes it’s the “creative ideas” that make or break a mini-vacation or staycation.