Money is tight, flights are too expensive, time is running out, date ideas are sparse, or your plans have fallen through. These are all reasons to have a summer staycation, enjoy summer dates on a budget, and discover summer travel ideas. Convincing the family that staying at home is going to be fun can be a little tricky. A staycation with kids or as a couple should be a time for everyone to pick an activity they enjoy, spend time together, and create traditions. We’re here to help! This list of ideas will help you plan your daily activities and make everyone in your home excited to be vacationing at home!
Before you get staycationing you need to…
PUT THE WORLD ON HOLD
1. Cuddle Kit For Two-Say ‘no’ to the alarm, sleep in, and spend time cuddling
2. Disconnect– Turn off cell phones, computers, readers, etc.
3. Take Time Out– Stash all the clocks, including your watches, into a hands off zone. Taking away reminder of time will help to ease stress and time constraints.
4. Create an ‘Out of Office’ Message– Create an ‘Out of Office’ email message that says you won’t be back in the office until a certain date that ends your staycation. Hide the computer if needed!
5. Conversations– Focus on each other or the family with quality conversations.
6. Skip the News– The bills, mail, and the news will be there when your staycation is over. Forget the world and focus on what’s happening on your vacation.
7. To Do List– You know that running list, grab it and place it in the hands-off zone along with the clocks.
Create a place of bliss by…
SETTING THE MOOD
1. Hotel at home– Transform your home into a hotel with a few tips from the Je T’aime Hotel.
2. Flavored Drinks– Turn a normal glass of water into a tasty refreshment. Fill your pretty pitchers with ice and slices of lemons, oranges, cucumbers, and strawberries. Place pitchers in various locations around the house and in the shade outside. During the day stop and enjoy a tasty drink as often as possible.
3. Outdoor Living Room– Take all the comforts of the indoors outside. Create a comfortable space to relax in, have dinner by candlelight, or soak up the sun.
4. Paint A Space– Refresh a room in your home with a fresh coat of paint. You can transform the ordinary into extraordinary in a matter of hours.
5. Freezer Meals– Fill your freezer, fridge, and pantry with meals and snacks that will last throughout your whole staycation. Instead of spending time fixing each and every meal spend time enjoying your vacation.
6. Clean Up– Get that to do list done quick. Assign duties to everyone. The sooner you clean up the sooner your home will feel like a vacation spot.
7. Outdoor Oasis– Create a space in the front or back yard that you can enjoy every summer. Invest in a canopy with hanging mosquito nets, table and chair set, solar lights, and a hammock or a porch swing. (if there is too many combine oasis with hotel at home oasis)
8. Bedroom Romance– Create a room of love, remove all the clutter, add a few touches of romance, and invest in some high thread count Egyptian cotton sheets.
9. Staycation Soundtrack– Make a soundtrack that fits the mood of your vacation. Relaxing at the hotel pick chill music. Sitting in the cabana select island tunes. If you’re vacationing in paris find trendy french songs. Or if you’re on an action packed adventure choose up tempo beats. Move to the beats that you would hear on your dream vacation.
10. Island Retreat– Make a cabana out of tarps or sheets, lay out folding mats or chairs in the cabana, and add some pillows and fluffy things. Invest in misters or outdoor fans to drape along the opening of the cabana. Add any touch that will make you feel like you are away from home. pillows and fluffy things. Grab a pina colada mix and enjoy them in your cabana while you relax.
Turn your house into a…
HOTEL AT HOME
1. Suite Retreat Kit– Everything you need for a night away at your own private suite for 2.
2. Turn Down Service– Have a nightly turn down service. Buy a yummy box of individually wrapped chocolates. Have a different family member be in charge of turning down service, fold back the blankets, smooth the sheets, and leave a chocolate treat on each pillow.
3. Candlelit Dinner– Set up a romantic dinner in your backyard. If you don’t have a backyard create a restaurant in your living room. Relax by candlelight, zone out to enjoyable music, enjoy each other’s company, and if the mood is right dance in the moonlight.
4. Love Shack– Create a room of love for just the two of you and do whatever your heart desires!
5. Decorate Your Fantasy Home– Gather some of your favorite home magazines. Become a builder and tear out your favorite pieces to make your dream home.
6. Make Crafts– Gather your craft supplies and organize a craft camp to entertain the kids while the grown ups entertain themselves with a grown up activity, *wink.
7. Yard Sales– A fun and productive activity that will get rid of your junk and give you extra spending cash for the rest of your staycation.
8. Simple Project– Try a simple weekend project that will involve the whole family and improve a space in your home.
9. In The Dark– Do you know your home inside and out? Who can last the longest without site? Create a game with treasures at different points in the home. Spin everyone around, blindfold them, and see who finds the prize first.
10. Breakfast in Bed– Prepare an easy meal and serve it in bed. Get the family involved, send out a breakfast menu and have them choose what they would like for breakfast. If you’re not an early riser serve breakfast for dinner.
11. Personal Art– Art can get really expensive. Save a little cash by creating art for your home yourself. Spend a few days collecting digital photos, paint a scene, or frame dried flowers.
12. Romantic Rooftop Date– Recreate a balcony dinner on your rooftop. Set the scene beforehand , climb that ladder, and dine like you’re on the third story hotel room.
13. Hammock ZZZ’s-Spend the day cuddled in a hammock for two. Don’t leave to cook meals, order out and have the meals delivered to your back yard. Play a game, read poetry, or enjoy the sunshine.
14. Order Room Service– Collect your favorite take out menus and keep them somewhere handy. If you can’t afford take out create a menu that the family can place orders from. Serve simple dishes in parfait bowls, on cupcake holders, in mini portions, on fine china, in candy dishes, etc. Serve beverages in wine glasses. Make eating easy meals enticing with these fancy ideas.
15. Reading Binge– When was the last time you read an entire book? Read a classic, a blockbuster, or something your friend has been telling you about. If you don’t like to read, download an audible book and listen to one instead. Go anywhere in the world as you dive into a good book.
16. Camp Out– Take a camping trip in your own backyard. Pitch a tent, lay out sleeping bags, mattress, and blankets. Place drinks in bottles, snacks in ziplock bags, and dinner in tinfoil. Watch a scary movie or tell stories around a pit while you roast marshmallows. Make the inside of the house off-limits.
17. Film Festival– Pick a film fest theme and select movies to fit that theme. Create your theater at home by collecting movie snacks, setting out pillows, and turning off the lights. Lights, camera, action…
Travel The Word One Bite At A Time With
FOOD FROM AROUND THE WORLD…
1. Food Passport – Try something new. Pretend you are far, far away and try cuisine from any country you desire.
2. Chic Bistro– Create an at-home chic and fun bistro meal. Search for bistro type meals on google and as a family make something that will make you forget about that local bistro restaurant.
3. Paris Love– Spend an evening in Paris right in your very own home enjoying create-your-own-crepes and creative spouse caricatures.
4. Fiesta– Enjoy a taste of Mexico with an all-out feast and party!
5. Chinese Please– Enjoy chinese food in the comfort of your own home. Serve dinner on the coffee table, set out pillows, and create your own fortunes.
6. Go to Italy – Plan a calzone night. Enjoy a night in with these family-friendly recipes that are as fun to make as they are to eat.
7. New York, New York– Take a trip to the “Big Apple” without even leaving your town!
Discover Your Town
As A Tourist…
1. Tourist in your home town– Venture out into the town and search for something that you haven’t done before. Make it a tradition to get away in your town.
2. Home Appeal– Drive around the neighborhood and find one or two homes that are your favorite. Talk about what you love and find ways to incorporate what you love into your home. Write an anonymous note to the home owners telling them you’ve won their favorite neighborhood hunt.
3. Goofy Specs– Grab or make a pair of silly glasses, go to a busy part of town, and wave to all the passerby’s.
4. Learn Something– Check out local museums: Fire Fighter, Art, Air and Space, Natural history, and science, museums are great for the whole family.
5. Road Trips– Discover the sites and the scenery of the town on a road trip.
6. Tour Appointment– Schedule a tour with your local travel agency. You might learn a thing or two that you had no idea of.
7. Discover a New Town– Don’t stay local. Get out of the town limits and discover a new part of your state, ask a local to point you in the direction of good food and entertainment.
8. Make History– Check out all the historic landmarks and attractions in your area.
9. Zoos -Take a walk on the wild side with a day at the zoo.
10. Bargain Shop– You’re saving money staying at home on vacation, so find a few really good deals and buy a thing or two.
11. Snap Happy– Take a ton of pictures on your staycation adventures and create an online photo album of your fun moments.
12. Take a Ride– Use public transportation for the whole day while on your sightseeing excursions.
13. Photo Booth Hopping– Find photo booths near you and take your spouse (and some wacky props) to create a night full of laughter and memories!
14. Aquariums– Get out of the heat and explore the sea and the creatures that live in it.
15. Save A Little Cash– Check Living Social, Groupon, or other coupon sources for cheap deals on activities to keep you entertained, pampered, or active during your whole staycation.
GREAT OUTDOORS …
1. Go fishing. Rent a boat or find a beach to fish from and spend the entire day on the water. If you’re lucky you might catch dinner.
2. Change It Up– Have movie night in the back of a pickup, eat breakfast on the deck, or sleep in the living room. Do something different, get creative, and add a little excitement to normal activities.
3. Treasure Hunt– Leave clues around the home, yard, car, park, etc and send your kids/hubby on a hunt for fun prizes.
4. Boat Tour– Book a mini cruise or boat tour at your local water attraction. A mini cruise, tour to see dolphins, or a few hours on the lake will take you to another world.
5. Picnic in the Park– Spend a day relaxing with picnic food and games at a popular park. Take pillows, photos, and bubbling drinks.
6. Go geocaching– This is a grown-up version of a kiddie treasure hunt. Using global positioning you find destinations and discover new geocaching positions. For more information on how to play go to www.geocaching.com.
7. Ranger– Dress like a ranger in comfortable shoes and dress for the weather. Pack everything you would take on a real hike, with one addition: notebooks for your kids. Have them jot down all the animals, plants, bugs, trees, etc that you find along the way. If you have no idea what you come across, take a note and look it up.
8. It’s a Jungle Out There– Transform your home into a backyard safari. Make vines, big leaves, and animals out of paper and decorate the yard. Serve food to fit the theme and have snacks on hand that you can give a safari name too, get creative. Set up a station for the kids to make beaded jewelry, sling shots, or paper animals. Play drum beats and end the night with Lion King on a big screen/white sheet.
9. Go Picking -Visit a local farm that allows you to pick your own fruit and veggies. Gather enough fruits or veggies to make a cobbler or a salad for the evening as a family.
10. Be Daring– A staycation is the perfect time to be a little risque, check off your spicy to do list, and do something you wouldn’t normally do. Skinny dip, make out in public, or get steamy on a hike.
11. Star Gazing– Visit a local planetarium or spend a night under the stars with a few astronomy books and a home made telescope.
12. Camping– Get out of your backyard and camp for reals. Find local areas to camp and pitch your tent! Have the family help in food prep and gather all the needed items for a fabulous camping adventure.
13. Outdoor Reading-a-thon– Find a good adventure book, pack a few treats and water, find a comfy spot and become a part of the adventure.
14. Tubing Down the River Float with your spouse and take a ride in a tube down a river.
15. Poolside Relaxation– Let the kiddo’s play while you catch a few rays, enjoy a good book, relax in a comfortable lawn chair, and sip a tasty treat.
Turn a Little Fun Into A Lot With A Full Day Of
1. County Fair– Get your ‘country’ on with this date night at the County Fair! This post includes an invite and a checklist for activities to do at the Fair! Yee-haw!
2. Ride a Thunderbolt– Enjoy the thrill of a death defying roller coaster ride! Hurry on over to the nearest amusement park or water park, ride everything you can, and revel in some wicked fun!
3. Foreign Movie Fest– You know those movies you stay away from because you don’t want to read the credits. Pretend you’re in a foreign country by renting or going to a foreign theater.
4. Service– Create as many opportunities to serve those in your family, your neighbors, your friends, or strangers. Forget about your worries, lose yourself in service, and bask in the happiness of helping others.
5. Craigslist Jolly– List something on Craigslist for free and make a game of it. Ask potential buyers to write a 100 word essay explaining why they want your item, have them write a poem, or send a picture of them in their silliest outfit to your email.
6. TV Party– Find a sitcom with high ratings, sit on the couch with popcorn, and get hooked on a new show. Better yet, invite your friends over and watch a season finale, a few episodes of a summer sitcom or a made for TV movie.
7. Fiesta– Host a fiesta! Provide mexican food, mariachis, pinatas, and wear sombreros and you’ve got a Mexican party!
8. Sleepovers– Lounge around in PJ’s, have pizza, and play Truth or Dare.
9. Block Party– Gather the neighborhood together and have a potluck bbq. Bring the grill to the front yard, set out folding chairs, and get the meat grilling!
10. Book Club– Either help your kids start a book club or start a couples book club.
11. Amazing Race– Plan an Amazing Race Date Night with a group of your favorite friends. Make bets on who the winner will be and start a pool of cash for the winner.
12. Movie-A-Thon– Collect your favorite movie treats, the best movies ever, and get comfy.
13. Game Night– Make it a family night or best buds night. Play board games, XBOX, or have a themed party.
14. Throw a Luau– Hawaii is the ultimate paradise so say ‘aloha’ to a Hawaiian themed party.
15. Time Capsule– Creating a time capsule is the perfect way to look back at the memories you have created so far and a look towards the future and creating many more special memories! Decide who the time capsule is for and focus what you put in towards that person. Label with an open date and hide.
16. Summer Storytelling– Gather everyone outdoors in the evening and tell stories. Folklore or family stories is the perfect entertain for a summer evening. If storytelling isn’t your thing, make your own storybook.
17. Album-A-Thon– Your favorite memories shouldn’t stay digital forever, give them a tangible place in your home. Gather your best photos, print them, and put place in a photo album.
18. Family Collaborations– Pick a project that you can feasibly do together and make a goal to complete something together. Choose a project that reflects your family’s interests; plant a garden, work on a play, paint a portrait, etc. Whatever you choose to work on make sure you have fun!
19. Pool Party– Get ready to have some fun in the water and sun! This is a super easy date and a great way to spend time with the one you love!
20. Book Escapes– Where would your dream vacation be? Is it Hawaii, China, Australia? Whatever destination you decide embark on a trip there by reading a book about that region, either a learning book or something for fun. Experiencing your dream is only a page away!
Get Up, Get Fit, and
Get Active …
1. Your Favorite Activities– Make it the best of both worlds by enjoying each other’s favorite things.
2. Cycling Fun– Take a bike ride with the whole family. Cruise along the golf course, soar down ski trails, or take a ride around your local bike trails.
3. Go Fly A Kite– A picnic basket and a trusty kite will make for a fun day of flying high.
4. Grow A Garden– Involve the entire family in planting, watering, and picking from your garden. Use the items from your garden in a fabulous meal that everyone helps make.
5. Olympics– Host the olympic games in your backyard. Invite your competitive friends and have metals ready for the winners.
6. Row A Boat– Rent a kayak, using team work, row down a stream and enjoy the scenery.
7. Field Day Antics– Remember all those gams you used to play as a kid? Wipe the dust off your tennis shoes and play dodge ball, kick the can, red rover, freeze tag, and tug of war. Pack healthy snacks and a lunch to give you energy for the field events.
8. All Day Dance Party– Get those booty’s shaking from the minute you wake up to the moment you are tucked in. Create playlists for a wiggle party upon waking, a workout mix, a hopping mix for dinner, a dance mix for the evening, and folk music for bedtime.
9. Focus on Your Health– Look no further for a fun AND healthy night. Plan fun ideas that will get your heart pumping, go on a hike, make smoothies, eat salad, or swim a few laps.
10. Tandem Ride For Two– Enjoy a little romantic time together as you enjoy sightseeing, bonding, and increasing your heart rate.
11. Paint Ball Wars– Go to a paint ball course and it’s ‘war on!’ or simply fill water balloons with food colors. Assign a color for each family member.
12. Soak Up The Sun– Have a full out water fight. Start with a wet t-shirt contest, him in undies and her in a white tank. Then get out the super soakers and have a colored water fight. Once you’ve played a few games it’s time to get out the sprinkler, dance in the water and have a mud fight.
13. Be A Kid Again– Play on the school play ground, have a piggy back race on the track, have a volleyball match, or play a game of tennis on the court. Let go of grown up ideas, be free, and have fun!
14. Get Out The Yoga Mat– Grab a yoga video, a mat or towels, and strike a pose. Have flavored water on hand, do yoga in the morning sun, and pretend you are on a retreat.
15. Frisbee Golf– Play a fun game of frisbee golf with a twist, no need to leave the backyard to start a friendly competition.
16. Fun in the Sand– If you live near the sea or the lake you can make the most out of a beach. Pick a spot and set up an umbrella and pretend you are on a private island. Make out, play in the water, make sand castles, bury each other in the sand, treasure hunt, and end the night snuggling up to your partner under the stars.
17. Play a Game– Play tennis, mini golf, or some other vacation sport.
Rest, Relaxation, and
MUCH NEEDED PAMPERING
2. Foot Massages– Give each other a relaxing foot massage. Soak feet in a warm bath then massage using tennis balls, golf balls, or your hands.
3. Name That Treat– Use chocolate sauce, cocoa powder, honey, chocolate frosting, peanut butter, and chocolate syrup to paint each other. Not only is this romantic and fun but the caffeine in the chocolate does a body good! Spice the night up with a body tasting feast fest.
4. Become King or Queen for the Day– Spark some friendly competition with your spouse by making wagers throughout the day… the winner gets to be the king or queen of the day!
5. Sensual Massage– Bring a little spark to pampering. Make your partner yearn for your touch and caress with an all over body massage. This will get you in the mood for other things, *wink.
Why Work When
YOU CAN HAVE IT DONE FOR YOU…
1. House Cleaning– Leave the house cleaning to the professionals. While your house is being cleaned spend the day relaxing together.
2. Sitter Swap– Send the kids to the neighbors for the day/night. Entertain the kids with games, movies, pizza, crafts, etc. Every day rotate and repeat. Swapping sitters allows each couple to have a few days to focus on themselves.
3. Hot-N-Ready– Spend time in the comfort of your home. Order take out every night. Keep a stack of your favorite and possible favorite take-out menu’s next to the phone. Rent a movie and just enjoy sitting on the couch!
You Deserve A Little Attention,
SO SPLURGE A LITTLE
1. Treat Yourself– You know those special treats you save for special occasions? It’s time to get those out and enjoy treating yourself. Send the kids outdoors to play, put on a movie, or find a distraction so you can enjoy some R&R.
2. 4 Wheelers– Head up to the sand dunes, dirt trails, or hills, and have an off road adventure.
3. House Calls– Hire a certified traveling massage therapist and have massage in the comfort of your home. If the weather is beautiful, consider taking the massage outdoors.
4. Yee-Haw– Rent a horse and be a cowboy and cowgirl for the day. Dress, eat, and play the part!
5. 4 Star Hotel– Book that expensive hotel in town for the night. You’re saving money by staying home so splurge for a night on your staycation.
6. Local Events– Check the local calendars for your city and neighboring towns. Attend the events that catch your fancy.
7. Make a Splash– Rent a wave runner and head to the nearest water location. Spend the day splashing in the waves.
***UPDATE 7/7/2015: We released a kit for you and your hunt for a fabulous staycation – The Perfect Staycation Kit!
This list of summer staycation ideas, summer dates on a budget, and summer travel ideas is your golden ticket to a rockstar staycation. Pick the activities your family loves, plan your trip, and turn your boring summer into an awesome one with one amazing idea at a time!