Staycations: Active Fun at Home!

by Elaine Egan on July 21, 2011


With a bit of planning, "staycations" can be just as much fun as going away on holiday!

Times are tough and the recession is biting deep – many of us are finding that we’d rather stay at home and mind our pennies than go on holiday abroad.

A well planned “staycation” can be just as much fun as holidaying overseas and can be an ideal opportunity to wean your kids away from the telly and the computer.

Staying at home needn’t be filled with doom and gloom, and may even be a refreshing alternative to packing, airport delays, holiday tummy and sunburn.

Rules for your Staycation

  • Set yourselves some guidelines for your staycation – book time off work and stick to it
  • Tell work and your colleagues that you’re taking time off and you won’t be available
  • Resist the temptation to check your email – put any work phones away out of sight
  • Sort out your household chores in advance – the whole idea is to take a break from routine and not spend 2 weeks folding clothes
  • If possible cook some large meals in advance and freeze them – you don’t want to spend your precious time off cooking (unless you choose to!)
  • Make a list of things you’d like to do with your time off – places or people you would like to visit
  • Give the whole family a chance to add to the list and encourage them to try different things – maybe Dad has had a burning desire to cook a 3 course meal for you all but has never had the time!

Ideas for Kids Activities

With the money you have saved, why not treat the kids to some active toys to keep them occupied? They needn’t be too expensive – check your local supermarket for deals or search online for bargains:

  • Bubble mixture from the Poundshop for indoor and outdoor fun
  • Tennis balls and cheap tennis rackets –  bring Wimbledon to your backyard or local park
  • Badminton can be great fun – parents can join in too
  • Skipping ropes are cheap and great fun for all ages
  • Cricket is a great game for all ages if you’re lucky enough to have a flat lawn
  • Space hoppers are all the rage again and are a great way to get your kids racing around

If the weather is fine don’t neglect the paddling pool. Why not encourage some energetic water fights with water pistols or water balloons.

Days Out

  • Check the local press or internet to find cheap days out
  • Look out for coupons or special offers
  • Take advantage of your local parks and check to see if your council has any special events planned

Get Moving

If you do go out for the day take a picnic with you and some toys – help the kids work up an appetite with some energetic games:

  • Frisbees can be bought cheaply in supermarkets or garages and are good fun for all ages
  • Have a game of football
  • If you have enough people, start a game of rounders or baseball
  • Saddle up and go for a family bike ride – make a day of it and bring a picnic.

Head for the Beach

Even if the weather isn’t great. a trip to the beach can still be fun and a chance to get the whole family active. Take some buckets with you and try Beachcombing or if it’s windy try flying a kite.
A brisk walk on the beach will do wonders for you all and help you build up an appetite. Instead of eating out take your own healthy picnic – not only will you save money but you can control what you eat. Make sure you bring plenty of bottled water and some fresh fruit for snacking.
With a little planning and imagination a staycation can be great fun and can keep the kids entertained while you have fun too!

Photo by:humbert15 licensed under Creative Commons

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