Cheaper: It is less expensive overall then most vacations that involve traveling! You at least eliminate the cost of gas or plane tickets, hotel rooms, and extra food.
Easier: When you have young children, traveling is very tiring and a lot of work. I did not have to worry about packing everything for the girls and figuring what we would need to bring. It was easy to buy the groceries I needed for the meals we planned to make at home and have the refrigerator stocked.
ZZZZs: David and I always sleep better in our own bed and so do our girls! It was nice for them to still get most of their normal naps and to go to bed in their own beds, it was more enjoyable doing fun activities when we were all rested!
Clear your Schedule: We did not make any other plans the week of our staycation, and we did not attend our normal weekly Bible studies. We did go to church on Sunday which was a nice benefit of staying home. Normally we would have had to miss church!
We made a list of all the possible activities we might want to do. We did research on those activities (opening times, costs, what days are best etc...). Then we planned out which of those activities we really wanted to do with the amount of days we had and the reasonable amount of time we would have each day to be out doing things.
- David and I had a planning session where we narrowed down what we really would like to do from the list of possibilities. I printed out a calendar that we could write on each day what we wanted to do.
- The next thing I did was plan meals. We made a list of possible restaurants and then planned some easy, fun meals to make at home. I printed a meal-planning worksheet where I could write-in our breakfast, lunch and dinner plans for each day.
At the end of all the planning, we had an activities calendar and a meals calendar that we hung on our frig. This removed the added stress of figuring out what to do each day or what to eat. Doing this made the week much more relaxing.
Scrub-A-Dub-Dub: Make sure the home is clean and all the major chores are done, especially things like the bathrooms and floors. If you are like me, it will be hard to relax and be on vacation with housework looming. Get the laundry done too so you all have plenty of clean clothes for the week. Remember, you will be on vacation!! Once your staycation officially begins, resist the temptation to do too much housework. Obviously some things will need to still be done (i.e. dishes), but try to keep it to the bare minimum.
Get Alone with your Spouse: Since you are staying home, hopefully you have some friends or relatives who you could call upon for some babysitting while you and your spouse have a little "couple time". David and I enjoyed getting to go see a movie and have lunch one day because my mom came over and stayed with our girls. On Friday night, we also had a relaxing dinner alone since we dropped the girl's off at David's parent's house. So if you are staying home, take advantage of some child-care too!
A note about our hotel stay: As you know, we spent one night at Embassy Suites. We enjoy this hotel because it has a great breakfast in the morning, a nice pool, hot tub and a Manager's Reception at night. We decided to keep the girl's with us since Lydia is still nursing, and that was fun. We got to take them swimming, and overall they did really well staying there. However, we decided that if we were to do it again in the future, we would rather go alone if we are going to pay for a hotel. I think we would have enjoyed our stay there much more and been more free to take advantage of the hotel amenities.
I hope this information is helpful to those who are thinking about trying it for themselves. Below I listed our activity list.
Thanks for reading about our 2012 Staycation!!
Our Activity List:
- Reid Park Zoo
- Brandi Fenton Park Splash Zone
- Pump it Up
- Embassy Suites Hotel
- Date Night
- Birthday Party for the Girls
- Mt. Lemmon
- Sabino Canyon
- The Tucson Children's Museum downtown
- YMCA swimming pool