Summer is here and so are the school holidays, which means Aussies are packing up in droves and heading to far-flung destinations for an end of year trip. But between travel insurance, flights, accommodation and spending money, going away can be a major drain on your wallet at any time, let alone with kids in tow.
If your bank balance can’t handle all that just now, never fear, because there is a much more frugal alternative: the staycation.
How to make staying at home just as exciting as a whirlwind trip away – without the price tag
Host a family board game tournament.
Board games are fun for kids and adults alike, and this activity makes for some quality family bonding time. Break out old favourites or try out some new games – you can even shake things up with your own updated rules or by handing out prizes to the winners. This idea can be as low-key or as much of an event as you want to make it, but one thing I do recommend is having a big running scoreboard so everyone knows who’s in the lead!
Embrace your inner film critic
What’s more relaxing than hunkering down and watching some of your favourite films? Whether this is a one night thing or a week-long marathon (blanket fort optional), your very own lounge room film festival can be a great staycation idea. And it’s not hard to make this activity family friendly either – you may think watching kids movies for days on end will melt your brain, but try introducing your kids to some of your favourites from when you were their age. You can take a trip down memory lane, and the littlies might find a new (err, old) favourite.
Become a tourist in your hometown
Just because you aren’t going far, doesn’t mean you can’t get out and about on your staycation. Always been curious about the winery just outside town? Secretly been dying to experience the notorious tourist traps of your city? Now is the time to finally have all those homegrown experiences you’ve been putting off. The key to this is trying to embrace the exciting feeling of being a stranger to a place and seeing your home through new eyes.
Go on backyard safari
There’s something a little bit thrilling about camping out and while the only wildlife you’ll likely see in your backyard is a cricket or two, you don’t have to go far to enjoy getting back to nature. Pull out the tent, sleeping bags and mozzie spray and transform your backyard into the ultimate wilderness. If this is an adult event, add wine and cheese for a classy touch – if the kids are involved, opt for toasted marshmallows, fun outdoor activities or spooky stories told by torchlight.
Catch some serious R&R
The best part about a holiday is the chance to relax and unwind. But you don’t need to visit a fancy resort or day spa to do this. Instead, outfit your own bathroom with your favourite bath oils, a scented candle, some relaxing tunes and a good book (or Netflix). You can go all in and treat yourself to a facial, manicure and pedicure, or just soak in the tub for a few hours of me time. Note: if you have toddlers, you may have to enlist a partner, grandparent or babysitter to ensure your spa day isn’t interrupted by squeaky ducks and dive bombing!
Keep in mind, all this staying at home can wreak havoc on your energy bills, especially in summer when you’re blasting the aircon. Don’t let this ruin the staycation atmosphere – instead, try enlisting your kids to slash your energy bills with fun activities.
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