5 Tips for a Successful Family Staycation

5 Tips for a Successful Family Staycation

As my children get older, I have found that my outlook on travel with them has broadened.  When they were toddlers, the mere idea of packing all of their accoutrements was very overwhelming.  It involved many lists, shopping trips, and last minute laps around the house to make sure everything was packed.  Now that two of them are no longer babies at 4 and 5 (we also have a third who is 10 months), we find ourselves traveling more and considering a larger variety of destinations.

5 Tips for a Successful Family Staycation

We’ve found that while we love exploring places far away from our home, some of our very best memories have happened while on vacation in our very own city.  Less commitment both financially and in terms of effort and in the unfortunate event an unexpected illness strikes—as happens often with little ones—home is right around the corner. Staycations are fun, less expensive, and often allow for more quality time with each other.

We happen to live in one of the more touristy places in the country—New York City! So for us, vacationing in our own city is quite easy. Every weekend is an opportunity to explore the Big Apple and introduce the kids to really amazing experiences. But you don’t have to live in or near a big city to check out local attractions as though you are a tourist. And you’ll most likely end up with a greater appreciation for the area in which you live.

Tips for Staycationing

1.     Find a local hotel that offers children’s amenities. There are a few sites, such as Preferred Family, that can help you find a hotel in your area that offers family amenities, activities, and special treats for children.

2.     Find and use public transportation when possible. You won’t worry about spending more on gas, and it’s a great way to explore when your attention isn’t on driving. Many cities have bike rental programs (like Boston’s Hubway) that allow you to check out the area, and the kids will have a blast riding along with you when possible.

3.     Pack lightly. Bring reusable bags that compact easily and water bottles so you stay hydrated on the go and you aren’t buying disposable plastic bottles too frequently

4.     Book a dinner at a restaurant that you might not normally go to. Make it special! You could even get dressed up a bit.

5 Tips for a Family Staycation

5.     Do the touristy/cultural things that you might otherwise not do since you are a local, such as Duck Tours, or cable car rides for example.  Pick at least one and do it!

Make sure to take lots of photos, find new foods, stay up late, and enjoy yourselves without letting the pressures of everyday life interfere.   I know when I’m home, I often can’t let go of the constant nagging of dishes, laundry, dirty floors and bills, but it is also the one place I can really focus on my kids and see them at their most comfortable—in their own element.

Taking a moment to sort of step away from everything else and just enjoy your kids and family is truly priceless. Staycations are a great way to do this when you don’t feel like spending a ton of money or can’t seem to find the time (just head out for even a couple of hours one weekend).  Your children will appreciate it, and you’ll probably learn a little something about yourself and them as well.

~ Jessica Shyba 

Jessica Shyba is the wife of a NYU Dental School student and full-time stay at home mother to Jack,  Zoe, and Beau.  Jessica shares her adventures around Manhattan with the children both through stories and photography on her blog, Momma’s Gone City.  She has been recognized as a Top Mom Blogger at Babble for two years straight, and she was named as Cision’s top influencers in 2012.  Follow her on Twitter @MommasGoneCity.

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