11 Tips for a Happy Family Staycation

[ 0 ] December 6, 2015 |
family staycation tips_Paul Eisenberg

The author’s daughter rolling pasta

A stay-at-home vacation or staycation is for many families, including mine, often the result of lacking: A lack of vacation days and a lack of funds.

Lack is a word that isn’t pretty to the ear and if you want to get all onomatopoetic about it, it’s practically the sound of being smacked across the face “Lack!” That was the sensation, too, for me and my wife, the moment our kids were let out of school for the summer.

Related: 5 Things to Remember When Fishing With Kids

Sending three kids to camp for most of the summer? Lack of funds. Going away for more than two weeks as a family? Lack of funds and a lack of vacation time for parents working full-time.

So what do you do when your three school-age children have a lot more free vacation time and even less money than you do? You stop complaining about what you lack and figure out what to do with your kids all summer.

This is what we did…

Related: How to Bring Home Good Souvenirs for Your Family

1. Set a budget. A trap we fall into soon after school ends is dining out more than usual, letting the kids shop online more than usual – perhaps as a way of overcompensating for the fact that we’re not traveling. What we soon realize, of course, is that this casual spending adds up and can equal or surpass the cost of a day of vacation or a day at camp (at least for one child). So set budgets for food, shopping, and other expenses before summer begins.


Paul Eisenberg

2. Make more out of family dinners. Even if you and your significant other have to work all day, remember that your kids won’t be saddled with homework once you get home. So involve them more in preparing dinner, especially if they have an interest in cooking. One night when my younger daughter told me she wanted to make pasta, I assumed she meant boiling it from a box. A few minutes later I was surprised to discover her in the kitchen rolling her own pasta dough, a skill she picked up from an hour-long lesson we took together.

This blog is part of a series that is posted in its entirety on the Barclaycard Travel Community site, in partnership with genConnect. Read this blog in its entirety here.

A Lowell Thomas award-winning journalist, Paul serves as editor of Traveling Dad and was formerly editorial director at Fodor’s. Follow Paul Eisenberg on Twitter @PaulEisenberg and Google+.

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Category: Lifestyle, Travel

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About Paul Eisenberg: After accompanying his travel writer dad to the Peruvian Amazon, Paul Eisenberg had his first trip report published at age 13 in Junior Scholastic magazine and has been a fan of family travel and journalism [...]
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