Summer Staycation Ideas That Feel Like a Real Family Getaway

by Indiana Lee
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Summer is just around the corner, and with the kids out of school, you might already be thinking about what you can do to make their break special. But, taking a long road trip or booking plane tickets for the whole family can get expensive very quickly. In fact, the estimated average cost of a vacation for a family of four is nearly $8,000!

If a traditional vacation isn’t in the budget this year, there’s no reason why you can’t transform your home into the ultimate vacation spot.

Staycations are becoming more popular for a reason. They’re budget-friendly, creative, unique, and can cater to everyone’s needs and wants.

So, don’t stress if you’re not able to go to a theme park or tropical location with the kids this summer. With a few creative ideas and a bit of planning, you can put together a summer staycation that will make everyone feel like they’re on a fantastic getaway.

backyard staycation |  RichVintage from Getty Images Signature via
Photo credit: RichVintage from Getty Images Signature via

Transform Your Home

One of the best ways to make a staycation feel like your family is going somewhere new is to make changes around your home. That might include sprucing up your outdoor decor or completely transforming certain spaces. If you want to start small, turn your home into a personal resort by:

  • Hanging a hammock outside
  • Building a fire pit
  • Setting up an outdoor kitchen
  • Fixing up outdoor furniture
  • Adding colorful foliage
  • Installing private reading spots (indoors or outdoors)

The nice thing about making changes to your home for a staycation is that you can focus on everyone’s interests. If you have a child who loves sports and staying active, you might consider putting together a jungle gym or obstacle course outside. If you’re a bookworm and your idea of fun is to get lost in the pages of a novel, a book nook or outdoor reading area will be better than a beach read!

If you really want to go the extra mile with your transformation efforts, consider taking an existing room or area of your home and completely renovating it. For example, if you have an outdoor shed that isn’t being used, why not transform it into a tiny home? You’ll need to get the right permits from your local government, but by sealing up any cracks, connecting utilities, adding insulation, and decorating it the way you see fit, you can turn your existing shed into a summer home for your family.

Your kids can have friends over and camp out in the home, and you can entertain guests and family members who come to visit throughout the season.

pin on pinterest_summer staycation ideas

Embrace Creativity

Once you have your home set up for the ultimate staycation experience, consider some of the things you can do to have fun throughout the summer. If you’ve put a lot of time and energy into sprucing up the backyard, why not go camping out there? Or, put together an outdoor movie night with a large screen, projector, and plenty of snacks. You can set up blankets and pillows and pick a movie the whole family will enjoy.

If you’re up for spending a little bit of money, head to your local dollar store for a few treats and knick-knacks, and put together a treasure hunt for your kids. It’s a great way for them to use their problem-solving skills, and they’ll love trying to figure out the clues that will lead them to the ultimate treasure!

Things like arts and crafts, cooking and baking, and indoor movie marathons are also great ways to pass the time throughout the summer, and indoor activities give you a chance to beat the heat. While spending time outside is healthy and important, staying cool is just as essential. Take the time to get your air conditioning unit serviced before summer starts.

Since you are trying to save money with a staycation, consider ways to minimize your cooling bill. Keep your blinds closed, set up interior fans, and try to limit running your oven during the heat of the day. Your home should be a cool retreat from the summer heat, so prioritize keeping things comfortable now before the temperatures start to rise. Not only will it help to ensure you all stay cool, but some of these tips can help you save energy.

Explore Your Community

Planning a staycation doesn’t mean you need to stay at home all the time. You might be surprised by how much fun you and your family can have if you do some local exploring. Check out events that are happening in nearby communities that might interest your family. Take a class together that focuses on someone’s interests. You’re likely to find things like pottery, art, photography, or music classes nearby. You could even take a cooking class together as a family, and use what you learn to create wonderful meals together throughout the summer.

There’s also no reason a summer break can’t be educational. Head to local museums, art galleries, concerts in the park, or a ballet. These are wonderful opportunities for your whole family to learn something while spending time together.

Finally, don’t hesitate to get active! There’s no better time to spend outside than in the warm summer months. Physical activity is good for the whole family, and you might find something new that turns into a passion or hobby. Some of the best ways to spend time outdoors together include:

  • Going on hiking trails
  • Kayaking
  • Fishing
  • Swimming
  • Rock climbing
  • Mountain biking

You can fill up an entire day with active staycation adventures. Pack a picnic lunch and you can stop and rest while you enjoy nature together. By the time you head back home, everyone will be ready to enjoy some s’mores around the fire and cool drinks before heading to bed. Plus, the more time your kids spend outside, the less time they’ll spend staring at a screen because they’re “bored”.

Final Thoughts

A staycation gives you the opportunity to create fun, lasting memories with your family. You don’t have to go anywhere expensive or do something extreme for your kids to have a great time. Focus on the quality of your time together. That’s what everyone will end up remembering for years to come.

Keep these ideas in mind as you put together summer staycation plans, and have fun embracing your time at home and in your community.

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