A staycation is the perfect way to experience the thrill of a vacation without the expense of travel and hotel accommodations. Its purpose is enjoying the "get-away" feel without leaving home, therefore, it should not contain work or isolation and should have limits on things like phone usage, household tasks, or daily entertainment choices.Getting away from the norm increases the vacation feeling.
For a successful staycation, plan ahead. Have an agenda for both rainy and sunny weather, and do all shopping for food or craft supplies ahead of time.
Staycations can be a time of family togetherness, an opportunity to bond with close friends, a solo venture, or a combination of each of these. So throw one into your summertime mix.
The following are elements to include in a successful staycation.
1. Something for everyone. Consider different ages and different tastes in the planning process. Give everyone an opportunity for input. If one family member is an avid reader, perhaps exploring a bookstore or paper store would be fun. That person, however, must participate in the other adventures, like mud-riding or fishing with worms! The best made plans tries to eliminate any situation that will make one or more participants miserable. For example, if very young children were involved, going to an expensive antique store might be more stressful with the "Don't touch!" than perhaps venturing through a flea market where they can explore more freely.
2. Active Pursuits. A staycation will become boredom if it's only about lying around. Get moving while you enjoy this fun time. Whether it's setting up a volleyball net and having a family competition, going to the local water park for a cool dip, taking a walk along the boardwalk, or trekking through the trails at the local state park. Get active.
3. Creative elements. Hands on activities can often provoke groans from the participators, but typically, the end result is laughter, a memento of the day, and a sense of pride in what's been created. If you go to the beach, collect shells while you're there. Upon your return, have everyone decorate a frame with the shells. Or be more adventurous. Take a class together, or try your own hand at an art project for which you have purchased supplies. Just make sure it is not one person's work project that encroaches on this time (like redoing a piece of furniture or weeding the flowerbeds.)
4. Down time/Relaxing moments. Nothing says vacation quite like pamper time. Pedicures, manicures, massages, and sitting by the lake can provide much needed unwind time. Even throwing in a movie can offer some down time.
5. A combination of New and Old. By all means throw in some old favorites, but try new things: a new museum exhibit, a new craft, a new restaurant, a new food. A new experience or a new location can add flavor to the comfortable. The more you aim for diversity the more likely people will enjoy themselves.
6. Personal space. Being together constantly has the potential to wear on one another. Incorporate choices that can be enjoyed individually. A massage, a park where spreading out is a safe option, a children's museum where youngsters can participate in supervised, varied activities. Never choose a public space where lack of supervision could create a safety hazard. Keep personal time at your home if necessary.
7. Delicious food. Eating out is a must for a vacation, and what better time to visit some place new or try a new dish? For the meals cooked at home, think in terms of simple to prepare and easy to clean up. Making smaller snacks together may offer a better time of togetherness than attempting something extravagant. Old favorites or simple concoctions can take on fresh flavor by simply dining a different way: picnic in a park, eat around a campfire, enjoy snacks on a blanket in the back yard, lick ice cream while exploring downtown, craft with fruit then devour a fruit monster.
8. Cover the culture. Diversify your activities. Throw in something upscale like a dress-up meal or a symphonic production as well as the more casual events. Explore ethnicity differences through cuisine, art galleries, neighborhoods, or places of worship.
9. Spiritual awareness. Fun fades quickly if it hasn't included the spiritually engaging. Take time for Scripture and prayer, perhaps after a lazy breakfast or upon returning home for the last event of the evening. If mid-day is a better time for quiet reflection, perhaps throw pallets on the floor and play the dramatized Bible. Youngsters might enjoy getting a new Bible storybook or DVD to share with the family. Find a shade tree to sit under, grab a beverage, and share thoughts about a Bible passage. Drive through a different part of the community and pray for the businesses or homes that you pass. Take time reflecting on the blessings of your time together.
Tips/Tidbits: I like these local options: Historic City Hall exhibits, SPAR Water Park, Putt-Putt or Bowling, Prien Lake Park, Lake Charles Children's Museum, McNeese State Performing Arts, Sam Houston Jones State Park, Pinthouse Pizzeria. visitlakecharles.org is a great resource for additional things to do.
What are some of your favorite get-away ideas?