Successful Summer Staycationing
Affordable, relaxed, and fun. It's no wonder that vacationing at home has become popular, particularly for those who lead always-on-the-go lives. Staycations enable you to spend quality time with family and friends, and they help support the local community, too. Adding to the charm is the ease of a staycation (no packing and no travel hassles!).
Tips for a successful staycation
- Plan. Set starting and ending dates. Make an itinerary. This way you'll be much less likely to fall into "just another day at home" mode. If you have some flexibility, consider taking your staycation during your community's annual festival or parade or other special event.
- Take pictures, as you would on a vacation away from home. It can be every bit as worth remembering!
- Address "to dos" before your staycation date arrives, just as you would were you leaving for the Bahamas. Wrap things up at work, and inform co-workers that you'll be unavailable. At home, water the plants, pay bills that will be due, and get the lawn mowed.
Ideas for things to do while on staycation
- Pretend you're from out of town. Stop at the local chamber of commerce and search online for venues and events that would interest a visitor. Check for passes to local events (often available at libraries). See what's playing at the theater and concert hall, what exhibits are at the museum, when the farmers' market is open, and when the baseball team has a home game. Check out all of the typical tourist locations nearby, such as a zoo, aquarium, children's museum, state park, amusement park, and arboretum.
- Head for the water. If you're lucky enough to have a pool in the backyard, you won't need to go far! But perhaps your community also offers swimming pools, lakes, or even a water park. Some public water locales even have special events, such as water skiing demonstrations or fishing workshops.
- Do something you don't ordinarily do. If you rarely go bowling, now's the time. If you haven't golfed in years, schedule a day. You might even try a new activity in your own yard — how about croquet or badminton?
- Take tours. Museums, theaters, factories, fire stations, and police stations typically offer tours for kids and adults. Your community might also have garden tours, wine-tasting tours, and tours of historic homes.
- Try alternative transportation. Ride the local commuter train and/or bus. Rent a moped. Or ride a bike or roller skate to your destination.
- Camp — in your own yard or in a neighboring state park.
- Explore new foods. What restaurants have come to your area that you've yet to try? Look especially for new cuisines.
Fun foods to spice up your staycation
You'll probably want to prepare at least some of your staycation meals and snacks at home. Unless your favorite place to be is in the kitchen, though, look for cooking shortcuts. Simply Organic has some enticing recipes and quick mixes for you to enjoy during your staycation.
You'll want to stock up on plenty of beverages. Choose those that pack some nutrition, such as this Fruit Smoothie, for mornings when you have an early destination in mind or times when you want a quick refueling without cooking. Throw a backyard bash with plenty of Sangria. Or hand the neighbors each an Island Punch or Bloody Mary as they arrive. Of course, these drinks serve equally well if you're just kicking back solo.
Picnic fare is likely to come in handy. Picnic Peas & Pasta Salad is quickly assembled and great to have on hand for outings to your nearby park. Deviled eggs are easily whipped up with Spinach Dip Mix. Other good picnic partners include these Italian Herb Biscuits or these Maple Cranberry Almond Scones (pack with some cheese and wine or a big jar of iced tea).
Be sure to schedule some especially fun food for kids, such as these Porcupine Meatballs or these Tofu Bites, served with BBQ sauce or ketchup. Simply Delicious Fruit Pizza, packed with in-season fruits, would be a fun and nutritious dessert or snack in the midst of a staycation day.
Summer is for grilling, of course, and staying home gives you the opportunity to indulge. Try these Shrimp Skewers, Steak Sandwiches, or Tarragon Encrusted Salmon, all perfectly seasoned.
Salads are another summertime natural. While on staycation, you might choose salads that you can prepare ahead and serve conveniently as needed. Here's a Peppery Tuna Salad to serve on a bed of greens or in a sandwich and a Summer Vegetable Salad that becomes a complete meal with the addition of cooked chicken or tofu. Get more tips for making Summertime Salads.
Serve favorite foods, but try some fun, new recipes, too. (Our recipe site provides abundant options!) Just make sure they're easy to prepare; you're on staycation, after all!
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