Making Spring Break a Staycation

laughing familyI love going on vacation. If I had my way I’d move to California and spend every week at the beach or rushing through Disneyland. But, my budget won’t allow it. Additionally, the idea of spending spring break among rowdy high school and college students living it up, stresses me out. Whether it’s your budget or your aversion to bikini clad teens keeping you home this spring break, here are a few ways you can make your spring break staycation one for the record books:

Build a fort in your living room:
We’ve gone so far as to actually move all of our furniture to one side and assemble our camping tent in the living room. No dirt, bugs or peeing in the woods. If you have the time off work, make a few days of it. Stock up on snacks, movies and card games and spend a few days locked away with your family. An additional perk: if anyone starts to stink you can send them to the bathroom for a quick shower!

An extra fun tip: Make s’mores. You can toast your marshmallows over your stove (metal forks get really hot, really fast (or so I’ve heard… cough…cough) so grab a pair of oven mitts or purchase wooden skewers. If you prefer, you can always toast your marshmallows in the microwave.

Stay at a local hotel for one or two nights:
Even if traveling out of town isn’t in your budget, you may be able to afford a local hotel, especially if you book midweek. Our kids enjoy hitting the pool and sleeping in a bed that isn’t theirs.

Explore your hometown:
I am fortunate enough to live near a big city and there is tons I still haven’t seen yet. Consider combining your hotel stay with a few days of exploring the city. Check out museums and shops you haven’t had time to explore. Look for area parks, zoos, or aviaries. Keep an eye on the calendar for free concerts, symphonies or cheap plays you can take the family to.

Theme days:
Make a list of themes for your staycation. You could choose different countries, colors, animals or decades for each day of your staycation. Plan your meals, activities and even clothing around the theme of the day. Planning will be half the fun of this type of staycation. Some ideas include: sports, western, Italian, jungle animals, 80s or Harry Potter day.

Make it legit:
If you can afford it, try and take at least two or three days off of work that you can devote fully to spending time with your family. If you have ever considered ditching electronics for a few days to detox, now is the perfect time. Shut off the phones, ditch the video games and find ways to have fun together.

Have fun. Staycations are a great way to learn to have fun with what you have. Whether you spend the day exploring a nearby park or toasting marshmallows in the kitchen, you can have a great vacation without ever leaving town.

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