Maybe you have already taken your vacation and have some more time off coming. Or, maybe you are still considering your vacation plans and realize that traveling far from home is just not going to work out this year for a variety of reasons including financial. That means you are a prime candidate for a “staycation” what describes a vacation spent at or near the home. Here’s what you can do to plan for and enjoy your staycation.

Consider Your Situation

First things first: your staycation should be based solely only on your needs and wants. This means that if it is just you and your spouse, then you will plan accordingly. The same can be said if you have young or older children.

With children involved, you will need to consider what will keep them amused and what will keep you and your spouse sane. The good thing about a staycation is that there are no hard and fast rules — rather, you will find things to do that please the entire family.

Go Camping

If your backyard is level and at least semi-private, then camping out back can be fun. Set up a tent, put in sleeping bags and pillows, and bring with you flashlights, games and all the other trappings of camping that you like.

You can choose to camp one night or stay outside for several nights or longer. The advantage here is that hot showers and freshly cooked food are just steps away inside the house.

Make Trips to the Pool

If you have a pool at home, you can enjoy it while on staycation. A pool provides one form of fitness and entertainment that your family can enjoy.

If you do not have a pool, but your town does, how much would it cost for membership? Some communities sell short-term passes, what will allow you to use the pool for a few days or a week. If neither option applies, perhaps one or more friends will allow you to use their pools for a few days.

Hold a Movie Night

If you go to the movies, that entertainment cost can set you back financially. Another option is to borrow a projector or use your laptop to download movies and project these onto a borrowed screen. If you are lucky, a side of your house is flat and entirely suitable for projecting.

Make your movie night a real treat by allowing your children to stay up late. This means starting the movie after sun down, around 9 p.m, and serving popcorn and drinks while the movie is showing. Apply mosquito spray, turn off the lights and turn on your favorite flicks. Let the kids sleep in late the next day — they will need it and you will need it too!

Have an Unforgettable Cookout

One big advantage of a staycation is that you can cook and eat the foods that you want. Certainly, if you rent a house at the beach or a cottage by the lake, you can cook at those places too. Even so, there is something to be said about cooking out while at home.

Another advantage is that a home cookout isn’t rushed when you are on staycation. You might also invite some friends and neighbors over, asking them to bring a dish with you supplying the meat, drinks, plates and utensils. Let that prime rib marinate all day and slow cook it over an open grill in the late afternoon. By dinner time you will have a food fest that will absolutely delight your family and guests.

Start or Continue a Hobby

You have a hobby or are looking to start a new one. Your at-home vacation can provide the time and place for you to work on one.

Consider what you have always wanted to do and then do it. It may include building a car kit, planting a new garden, converting a bedroom into an artist’s retreat, you name it. It should be something you are excited about doing and can see yourself working on for a long time.

Plan Your Vacation

At some point while you are on staycation, gather the family together to plan your next vacation. And that vacation should be away from home. Consider where your family would like to travel, come to an agreement on where you will go and begin to plan. That means setting aside money on a regular basis to have enough funds to take your next vacation.

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