Staycations Aren’t Second-Rate

There’s nothing quite like escaping from the city when those vacation days roll around. Getting out and away from the routine is a good feeling and we find it easier to be grateful for our own little corner of the city after we’ve gotten away for a while.

Vacations also take work. A lot of work planning and booking and scheduling and packing. Sometimes they leave us feeling even more exhausted and even more desperate for some true relaxation!

Enter the staycation.

Choosing to spend vacation time at home is a good idea for many reasons, not the least of which is sleeping in your own bed! Staycations are less expensive than out of town vacations that require airfare and lodging, and there’s no need to pack suitcases if you’re staying at your own apartment (🙌🏻).

After all, you live in the place where other families plan to spend their vacation time. They travel to your city to take advantage of the opportunities you live alongside every day.

Fair warning though: without some forethought, a staycation can quickly turn into a couch potato fest. And stir-crazy kids are no one’s idea of r & r. Staycations do take some planning, but it’s simpler than organizing a trip out of town. Let the whole family chime in and you’ll be on your way to a fabulous time exploring your city.

Make an itinerary

Take the time to plan out your staycation days just like you would do for an out of town trip. Collaborate on a wishlist with the entire family and assign an adventure to each day.

This doesn’t mean you have to pack your schedule full—you can even schedule in free time or Netflix time or alone time. In fact, scheduling those things means you just might wind up actually feeling refreshed at the end of your staycation.

Take advantage of your city

Think like a tourist! Browse local websites and event calendars for free stuff, concerts, and new-to-you activities. Plot a bakery crawl or a donut crawl or a taco crawl and venture into neighborhoods you’ve never seen. Go the the observation deck at the top of that skyscraper. Hit up the museums you’ve never been to and visit old favorites.

Your city is beautiful and packed with things to do! All you need is a staycation at home to tap into its goodness.

Set a budget and spend it!

Setting a budget for your staycation isn’t uptight, it’s smart. Creating a goal for how much money to spend gives you the freedom to actually spend it and keeps your bank account happy.

Allocate more money than you would spend in a regular week—this is no regular week! Purchase museum admission, movie tickets, treats, donuts, and other things that make your time at home special. Even though you’ll spend more money than an average week at home, you’ll spend much less than a full out of town vacation with all the trimmings.

Plan your meals—takeout anyone?

Meal planning for staycation week means you’ll have one less thing to think about when mealtime rolls around. List meals by day, and include plenty of restaurant dinners and takeout (parents, rejoice!).

Stock the fridge and pantry with favorite snacks that make everyone happy. Buy their favorite soda or candy and be instantly promoted to Best Parent Ever status and realize that your staycation is becoming quite a success.

Make a list

Battle the moments when boredom threatens to touch down by making a Fun Things List. Include simple outings and activities like picking out a treat at the bodega, a trip to the used bookstore for a new book for each family member, walking to the bakery for a cookie, riding the carousel, or taking a family bike ride. If you find yourselves at a loss for what to do on Thursday afternoon, check the Fun Things List. It’s full of simple pleasures; the little everyday things you’ll remember with as much fondness as the grand vacations.

(Want to keep the Best Parent status going for a while? Leave your Fun Things List taped to the wall or the fridge after your staycation ends and use your ideas to spice up an average weekday. The list just might become a permanent fixture.)

There’s nothing like vacationing far away from normal life to shake up your routine. But staycations are vastly underrated, and with a little planning, you can can create just as many happy memories as a big time vacation. Plus, living in such a great city means you’ve got a wealth of world-class activities in your own backyard.

Planning a staycation is a tried and true way to fall in love with your city again. Don’t say we didn’t warn you. 💙🏙