Have you been hearing the term “staycations” a lot in recent years? Many people are open to simpler and thrifty possibilities rather than going on costly vacations.
A staycation can provide ways to have fun, relax, and rejuvenate at home and close to home. Taking day trips to interesting places and events within an hour’s drive can add adventure, pleasure, and inner richness.
Looking back, I realize this is just about what our family did in our early years, until well past my time in grade school. We were on a tight budget, it would not have occurred to us to think about staying in a hotel or getting on an airplane. There was no cool, hip word for how we spent vacation time. Our family of four visited grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins for a few days at a time, and some of them came to stay with us. Even eating, talking, and laughing together were highlights of these family visits. Bonuses for those of us who were children were the stories we made up together and the skits we put on.
There were 3 day trips with splurge admission prices our family usually did each summer. One was a few hours’ drive away, a trip we always made with Aunt Jeannette and Uncle Floyd to a bayside beach. Another was an evening drive to an amusement park probably ninety minutes away. And, we went to see a drive-in movie. We looked forward to these events for weeks ahead and reminisced for weeks after.
We lived on several acres out in the countryside. Because of our remote location, we also had some mini impromptu staycations whenever a big snow storm arrived and took out the electricity. With no pesky television, the four of us sat around an oil lamp in the kitchen in the evenings and played dominoes and board games. During the day we read, cooked on the gas stove, and, weather permitting, helped our father make snow sculptures in the yard.
Summer in evening times found us sitting in the yard or on a screened porch to watch enchanted twinklings of fireflies, listen to songbirds, share stories, or sing. On hot days, we delighted in flitting around under a sprinkler and splashing in a little wading pool. We picked strawberries. We savored fresh vegetables from the family garden. We went for walks in our woods.
My heart is filled with treasured memories and feelings from the many ways we connected with one another during our downtime away from work and school.
How to Discover What You’d Like to Do on Your Staycations
Use these phrases to jump start a list of options for your staycation plans:
- “One of these days” I’ve thought I’d like to go to ___________. (Examples: museum, carnival, lake, bowling, park, rock climbing, gallery, wood working class)
- I have the most fun when I am engaged in __________. (Examples: gardening, drawing, hiking, singing, boating, sewing, swimming)
- I feel creative when I ___________. (Examples: cook, draw, write, play sports, crochet, dance)
- Activities that help me relax are ____________. (Examples: any of the above examples, meditating, walking, yoga)
- When I was a kid, some of my favorite pastimes were _____________. (Examples: roller skating, gymnastics, painting, playing a musical instrument, marbles, basketball)
- What is something I do in my everyday life that I feel too rushed to enjoy the way I’d like?
If you live with family or others, how about all of you brainstorming a list of possibilities together? Your lists may provide itineraries for many future staycations.
* * * You might like to read about 2 at-home retreats I described in a guest post I wrote for Courtney Carver’s Simplicity in Action series, at Be More With Less.