How to Plan a Staycation {$100 Target Gift Card}

Summer is the number one time for families to enjoy each other while on vacation. However, with tight budgets and tight work schedules many families opt to take a staycation. Our family loves to take mini-staycations each year. Since we don’t have to worry about the expense of travel and a hotel stay, there is more wiggle-room for splurges. Yay for splurges! Here are some tips on how to plan your next staycation.

plan staycation

Flexibility is key, but a plan is a must for optimal staycation enjoyment! I admit it. I am a planner. I just think everyone has more fun when you take time to think things through and formulate a game plan. NOT having a plan may sound spontaneous and cool for a staycation, but after dealing with so many what do you want to do today, I don’t know what do you want to do conversations a plan will be appreciated by all. Research activities and restaurants beforehand and plan out a basic guideline for each day. Perhaps pay for a cleaning service to come on and get your house in tip-top shape before the staycation. You will also want to shop for the food you need beforehand so you’re not running too many errands during your days.

staycation ideas

staycation how to

The great thing about a staycation is that you have a full kitchen at your disposal! Plan on making a few special treats for everyone to enjoy. S’mores in the backyard are a must!


1. Chocolate Dipped Homemade Potato Chips 2. Blueberry & Peach Grilled Pie Recipe 3. Fruit Salad in Watermelon Jack o’lantern

staycation unplug

Staycations are not as fun if everyone is constantly plugged into their phones, gaming devices, and laptops. I’m happily addicted to technology, so I would suggest turning off phone notifications on your social media  and email so you won’t be tempted to answer work-related questions during staycation activities. I have a perfect example of this. A few weeks ago we splurged on a kayak rental day trip with the kids. I brought my phone to take pics. As I was taking pictures and posting on instagram, a work-related notification popped up that seemed pressing. It was a challenging situation that really could have waited but dealing with it put me in a horrible mood that weighed on my mind and impacted the serenity of my family trip. It was a good reminder to turn off notifications!

Our family loves to explore new parks and eat at new restaurants. Google “things to do in (your city)” and “best restaurants in (your city)” to find some new hidden gems. You can also use your social media network to ask others in your area for recommendations.

staycation plans

We are getting ready to take another mini-staycation in a few weeks for Asher’s birthday. For more helpful tips on how to create a memorable staycation for you and your family, check out the helpful e-guide that put together for us. I recommend downloading the guide even if you’re not staycationing this year. The Ultimate Summer Staycation Guide is great for gaining some more summer family activity ideas.

staycation guide

In addition to staycationing, we all know that summer is a great time to complete all of your DIY projects. wants to help jump start your summer fun by giving one of my readers a $100 Target gift card!
Here’s How to Enter:
1. Visit the following link for the blog idea gallery <—–click on it
2. Pin any idea from the blog idea gallery that you would like to do this summer—perhaps a DIY project, party idea, buying or selling your home, etc.
3. Paste the URL of your pin into the Rafflecopter widget below.
4. For additional entries, follow the rafflecopter prompts below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck and happy staycationing!
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  1. says

    Your tip – Google “things to do in (your city)” and “best restaurants in (your city)” to find some new hidden gems. Is a great idea . I also plan to use social media network to ask others in your area for recommendations.

  2. Sean C says

    Your tip about Googleing stuff to do in your city. I plan to ask folks on FB what other thgouht they have about locations/restaurants/museums.

  3. Sandy A says

    Being somewhat new to our new city I would google things to do and see. We have many places to experience here and I look forward to our day trips seeing them. I love “Staycations” especially since we have Grandchildren here we can spend the time with…

  4. Chris N says

    I want to make sponge bombs for my son and his friends and I want to try the grilled caesar salad. :-)

  5. Rachel says

    We’re probably not going to be able to do a real vacation this year, so I’ve been toying around with the idea of a staycation. Although, my staycation could very well end up being taking a few days off of work to paint my kitchen cabinets. :)

    • Beth says

      Ha! That’s what every staycation looks like around here if I’m not careful. Having vacation from home is tricky.

        • Beth says

          Hi Bob, this contest had 3 options of entry and none were exclusively mandatory (1. Visit idea gallery, choose an item to pin, then pin your url in rafflecopter, 2. View staycation guide on and leave a comment letting me know which staycation idea you liked. 3. Tweet about the giveaway.) Each option was given equal weight and participants could choose to do one or all three options. Valerie chose to Pin one of the ideas from the idea gallery. You can see her pin here:

  6. Heather Bonner says

    I like turning off the electronics. I never realize how distracted they make me until I don’t have them.

  7. says

    Love the Movie & Popcorn night idea – we do this ever winter after the Holiday madness watching all 3 extended versions of the Lord of The Rings trilogy. So excited to add the Hobbit to this years movie madness. We only get Staycations this year as my husband has limited time off due to a new job.

  8. Jennifer R. says

    I would turn off all electronics and I would love to visit our area parks with my 2 yr old and hubby.

  9. says

    Staycations are always great, but so is a nice getaway to another state or country! Love your staycation tips AND blog in general. :) Happy summer!

  10. says

    Oh, we are definitely going to try the sponge bombs this summer! We are planning to have them as an activity at my sons birthday party. We are keeping it small this year, just some family members and a bbq. The kids will be able to play outside all afternoon. And we love grilled caesar salad!

  11. says

    Yep, when my kids were still kids, they loved to do backyard camping… but now… how can you go wrong with smores! Yummy! they always taste like a staycation, right? Little Bit

  12. Rachel Parker says

    I love the idea of turning phones off and making technology limited! I have 3 toddlers who love movies and phones as much as me and my husband( not sure if that makes me a bad mommy:/) but we could use a break from it all and often!

  13. says

    I’m pretty much stuck with a staycation this summer. Hoping to see a great concert and have a nice meal in the city. There are lots of spots I’ve missed or haven’t been to for a long time locally. Gotta plan something. Jo @ Let’s Face the Music

  14. Jennifer says

    I agree–some of the best times we have had have been right here at home or enjoying something local. Even just a cookout with fun picnic food near the river can be memorable.

  15. Wild Orchid says

    We would love to try the backyard camping idea.

    Thanks for the chance to win!
    wildorchid985 at gmail dot com

  16. Leslie Galloway says

    The Gourmet S’mores Bar sounds fantastic, and would be great for kids and adults alike!

  17. Diana Walters says

    I think a double feature movie night starting with a Grilled Cesar Salad, then Gourmet Smores prior to the second feature! Sounds like a lovely evening! I’ll have to try a couple of different cold drinks/punch also!

  18. Tammy S says

    I want to try the Sponge Bombs. The neighborhood kids all like to do water balloon fights. So this would be so much more fun because you could reload faster.. The clean up would also be so much easier.

  19. Alycia says

    The Movie Night and Popcorn Bar is super cute! My son would love to have a variety of things to throw on his popcorn!

  20. reena says

    we wont have a real vacation this year because we are expecting our third child later this year. so it’s movie nights, open air pool, zoo and the like. i’m sure we will find more :)

  21. Candice Moran says

    we are moving across the country and into our first house this summer, so we are not taking a real vacation and are having fun thrift shopping, going to flea markets, and refinishing furniture…while some may not consider that a vacation, we enjoy it. The movie night at home is something we do frequently, but it would be fun to make it more elaborate.

  22. Laura Jacobson says

    Oh I love the Movie Night and Popcorn bar idea in the Staycation Guide! They have so many neat ideas that I would not have thought of too make it fun!

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