In a family where both parents work full-time, vacation days may be a luxury. For those families surviving on one income, life’s necessities often inhibit that dream of hitting the open road. But, in more recent years, particularly after the recession, the idea of a family staycation has become more attractive.
Spend Less, Explore More
The truth is, you don’t have to fly halfway around the world to find adventure. Consider the fun that awaits you in your very own community. With a little planning and imagination, your entire family can be entertained all summer long for far less than the cost of a traditional vacation.
A Staycation with Kids
No one in my family likes to sit still. In an ideal world, I’d be taking advantage of these summer months to travel abroad, but I’m also a stay-at-home mom so we are very aware of the cost of long-distance travel — transportation, lodging, meals, entertainment, not to mention paying someone to care for our fur-babies.
Instead, we create a summer bucket list focusing on local attractions. Activities are typically within 1-2 hours of home, making for an easy day trip. Cost varies but we do our best to take advantage of free events, like:
- Free Fun Fridays: here in Massachusetts, dozens of museums across the state offer one free admission day during the summer to increase access to enrichment opportunities.
- Our local library is always a great resource, hosting free events all summer long to engage families with young children.
- Hiking is almost always free or consider taking advantage of the many discounts offered through the National Parks Service.
- Beaches are always a big hit in our family. We try to explore at least one or two new destinations each year and have found the Army Corps of Engineers to be a great resource for this.
It’s About the Journey, Not the Destination
I LOVE to travel, whether it’s a week in Paris or a weekend in Paris, Texas. At the end of the day, it’s about spending quality time with one another, and giving your kids the chance to experience something new and different. These moments encourage them to be more active, curious, and engaged in everything life has to offer. In my humble opinion, there is no greater gift we can give our children.