Want a Different Summer Holiday? Try a Staycation


A vacation doesn’t always mean going away. With proper planning, you can play tourist, have fun, and save money.

Here are some ideas on how to pull it off:

Set a start and end date: Vacations last for a predetermined amount of time, and your staycation shouldn’t be any different. Decide on a day to officially kick off your staycation and a day to wind it down.

Get the whole family involved: Before summer vacation begins, ask each family member to come up with a list of five things he or she wants to do. Items could range from visiting a nearby amusement park to having a backyard campout. Review the lists and choose two or three items from each family member’s. Need ideas? Consider a family bingo night, a hiking day at the nearest provincial park, a visit to a museum or art gallery, or setting up a kiddie pool in the backyard.

Set rules: Most cottage or beach vacations don’t involve emailing, being on social media, or binge-watching television. To make your staycation feel like the real thing, set ground rules. Eliminate use of laptops or social media (or establish time restraints). The adults can set an example by not working themselves.

Stock the house: Errands will ruin the feeling of vacation. Do all your shopping before the official start of your staycation. Plan meals and don’t skimp on the fun stuff—buy things you regularly avoid, like candy, chips, and pop. Get any housekeeping jobs out of the way; cleaning and chores are not approved vacation activities.

Act the part: Vacations are fun, indulgent, relaxing, and rejuvenating. Break your regular routine and embrace your time off. Count down the days until vacation begins. Sleep in. Wear comfy clothes. Eat dessert. Let the phone ring. Stay up late. And take lots of photos. The family memories you make will be priceless.