WTI: More Staycation Ideas From MOMtravelchat
At MOMtravelchat this month we talked about Super Staycations. We gave away tickets from IMax and games from three game-makers we love: Blue Orange, Think Fun and Peaceable Kingdom. And we exchanged tips and ideas for making staycations better.
Here’s what we learned:
Why We Staycation
Our moms like staycations because they allow for fun, relaxation time, and a chance to try new things, have an adventure, and bond with immediate and extended family. “Staycations are all about relaxing,” said one mom.
They can provide all the good things of a vacation without the headaches of extensive planning and booking, packing and unpacking, carrying lots of stuff, driving or flying, and settling kids into a new environment. “Kids sleep best at home,” said one mom. Moms also like not having to worry about forgetting things and being close to home if kids get sick or plans are rained out.
How We Staycation
Several of our families do at least one longer staycation a year. Most plan several short ones, sometimes as often as once a month. One mom calls these short breaks “microadventures.” Another said, “We love day trips! We do them fairly frequently, even during the school year on Weekends.”
About half of our moms will include a night or two at local hotel in their staycation plans. One family stayed at a Wyndham resort close to home and others chose similar places. The main attraction is a pool for the kids and a break for mom from straightening up and making beds, even for 24 hours.
Some will visit nearby family to spend a night or two or invite the family over.
What We Do on Staycation
Our families staycation so they have more money to spend on activities and dining. Staycationing does not mean staying home. One Atlanta mom hit Six Flags, the World of Coke, an outdoor laser show and a Braves game during a recent, very busy staycation. A Los Angeles mom noted, “We are spoiled with beaches, deserts, mountains and so many activities within our own city.”
Moms and dads who live within two or three hours of mountains will take their kids hiking and do other outdoor activities. Coastal moms head to the beach. City dwellers go to zoos, sporting events, museums and other “tourist attractions.” They like science museums because of the opportunity to slip in some summertime education.
For bigger daytrips several moms and dads will head to regional theme parks or destination towns and cities within two hours away. Everyone likes splurging on a trip to the movies.
They also will have barbecues, backyard parties and sleepovers with extended family. Top budget-friendly activities include taking advantage of free days at local museums and attractions, taking the kids to free performances and seasonal activities at local parks and libraries, and keeping the kids up late to watch a good sunset.
How We’ll Staycation Better
The biggest challenge of a staycation is resisting housework and a bout of laziness to get out and have vacation-style fun. Several moms said they would do more planning for their next staycation to make the most of their family time. “It’s easy to miss out on events and hidden gems because you get cocky and think you know the area!” cautioned one dad.
The best staycations seem to have a mix of real adventures—like driving to a national park to catch a meteor shower—and simple fun like bowling and water balloon fights. Some moms said they would look for Target-sponsored free days at local cultural institutions or schedule affordable splurges like IMax movies. Others might try a service we learned about called HotelsByDay, which lets you book a room at an upscale hotel for a day. And those who hadn’t stayed at local hotels overnight said they were more likely to try it.
What will you do on your next staycation?
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