Stay-Cation Planning & Organizing

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amy_volk_216w_march_13By AMY VOLK

With summer in full swing, a lot of us have vacation on our brains! Whether it’s an elaborate trip to Europe or a weekend to the mountains, what we really crave is “downtime,” family time, and just time to relax without an agenda.

More and more, a vacation at home, known as a Stay-Cation, is becoming the choice for many families. It doesn’t require packing, making arrangements for animals and all the costs that go along with traveling out of town! If you choose a Stay-Cation this summer, here are four tips that will make it fun, relaxing, and like you are truly away on a tropical island (well, almost like that!).

1. Unschedule

Don’t plan to do laundry, cleaning, or errands during your Stay-cation! Turn off the alarm clock and sleep in. Make a DON’T DO list. These are all the things you would normally do when at home – commit to not doing them!

2. Create an idea jar

What are things you would like to do on a regular vacation? Write it down! What are things you keep wanting to do while home? Write it down! Things like a spa day, a massage, a manicure/pedicure, rent bikes, kayak, read a book, watch an entire series on DVD, visit local museums, a day trip to sight see, etc. Have each family member write down their ideas on strips of paper and place in a jar. Each person gets to draw out a paper, and that’s how you plan your days!

3. Say no to technology!

Stay off the computer, cell phone, gaming systems and other gadgets that can suck you back into working or get in the way of building the relationships in your family. If you have to, lock up your gadgets so that you can’t access them or set some times when you can use them during your Stay-Cation.

4. Think like a tourist!

Because we live in a resort area there is an endless list of things to do. Visit the Chamber of Commerce or the Visitors and Convention Bureau, and pick up the brochures that only tourists look at. Do some of those crazy things that you never think about, visit the museums, go on a dolphin cruise, and eat at one of the off-the-wall restaurants.

Remember that any vacation, including a Stay-Cation, should end with you feeling refreshed, restored, and full of great memories. Just because you are staying local doesn’t mean it’s less of a vacation. In fact, staying local and staying home can mean you are more relaxed at the end and have more money left over!

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