It’s called a "staycation" and here’s how to make it a fun and memorable summer vacation.

If lack of time, money or both have been keeping you from planning a family trip this summer, don’t feel like you need to forego a getaway altogether. Go on a staycation instead! Staycations have become more popular in recent years and don’t always mean spending the week doing home improvement projects that have piled up. Take a week off from work and plan different fun things every day, with your house as home base. You might be surprised how relaxing, convenient and enjoyable it can be to vacation at home.

Clear Your Schedule
The most important thing about vacationing at home is ensuring it is indeed a vacation. Clear everyone’s schedule, just like you would if leaving town for a week. That means no work, no doctor appointments and no running errands. Before your first day of staycation, mow the lawn, clean the house and grocery shop so you aren’t distracted by chores that need to be done.

One of the best parts of a staycation is sleeping in your own bed and catching up on some well-deserved shut eye. Sleep in, just like you would on vacation. Tell the kids not to make loud noises before you emerge from your slumbering bliss.

Depending on your interests, you can find any number of ways to relax. Pack a picnic basket and go to the beach with a good book or lounge in your own backyard while watching the kids run through a sprinkler. Shop the local farmers’ market for fresh vegetables and cook a special meal together. Have a movie marathon in your own living room and indulge on popcorn and treats.

Local Attractions
Chances are there’s at least one local attraction you’ve yet to experience near where you live. Use your staycation to play tourist in your own town. Go to the zoo. Splash around at a water park. Take a thrill ride at an amusement park or the midway at the county fair. Cheer on the home team, whether it’s professional or little league. Expand your knowledge and historical perspective at a local museum. There are many opportunities for trying something new if you’re open to it.

Backyard Camping
If you might normally camp on a family trip, you can create a campground-type setting right in your own backyard. Set up a tent near the picnic table. Play yard games during the day and grill hot dogs and roast marshmallows for s’mores in your outdoor fireplace from Heatilator in the evening. Circle the chairs, gaze at the stars and tell ghost stories after the sun goes down. You know the best part of backyard camping? All the comforts of home are only a few feet away. And for those times when you want to camp for real, read our blog here for ideas.

Go Outdoors and Get Active
Summer is the best time to enjoy the great outdoors. Pack a lunch in a backpack and bike to the closest park for a fun little excursion. Take the kids fishing. Go on a guided hike at a local park or nature center and learn about butterflies, bugs or how to track wildlife. Or simply take a walk with the kids and identify the different types of trees, flowers and birds that you see.

With a little creativity, open-mindedness and flexibility, it’s possible to have a really great staycation at home this summer. It’s not the Grand Canyon or the Eiffel Tower, but a staycation can create just as many special memories.

When you’re ready for an excursion, Pack Up the Family for Camping Fun.

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