10 Family-Friendly Ideas to Make the Most of a Staycation

Do the pressures of life ever cause you to feel disconnected from the people you love most? Jesse and I started to feel all kinds of tired and spent the last few weeks. April was a whirlwind of a month, and we needed a break, a small retreat. I was ready to get out of Dodge. But, instead, we stayed at home. At first, I was a little bummed to not shake off the dust of home. However, after a restful weekend without the worry of accommodations, food, and long car rides, I realize, I really loved our accidental staycation.

Sometimes the details of travel can cause more stress than its worth or truly be out of reach. And when that’s the case, it’s time for a staycation!

Rachel Winchester staycation travel simplifiedIf you find yourself liking the idea of a staycation but have no idea what you would do while at home besides be a couch potato, I collected 10 ideas from what we did this past weekend:

Give and/or Take Time Alone

Just because you are “on vacation” doesn’t mean you have to spend every waking moment with the ones you are staycationing with. Friday morning, Jesse took some time to himself to get away from home without having to be at work or back by a certain time. I stayed home with Benji and worked on a project I’d been wanting to do. We both had some time alone that refueled us to be more rested and present for the time we were together.

Attend a Local Event

Saturday morning, we learned of a local fair that a friend of ours was at that day. Since we didn’t have anywhere to be, we decided to drive the hour to see her and walk around the fair. We didn’t buy anything and weren’t even at the fair for long. But, when there’s no constraints on your time, it doesn’t really matter. It was nice to see an old friend and attend an event for its own sake.

Visit Family and/or Friends

After the fair, we ended up stopping by my parents’ house and spent a little time with them. Our church also had a picnic Sunday after worship. It was so enjoyable to share time with others in our community!

Rachel Winchester staycation travel simplified

Run Errands Leisurely

We did run a few errands over the weekend, but we didn’t have to rush and weren’t pressed for time. Saturday afternoon, we stopped by Walker Century Farms, where we buy our meat. I wouldn’t want to spend a lot of time during a staycation running errands, but it’s nice to get a task checked off the to-do list while still spending time together.

Treat Yourself

Maybe it’s a fancy dinner out to a favorite restaurant, maybe it’s a bottle of wine and bar of chocolate. But, whatever your preference, it’s nice to make the staycation special with a little treat you don’t have everyday. It reinforces that this time is a special time to rest and relax.

Stop the Housework

I don’t usually do much housework over the weekend, but I especially did the bare minimum so that my time could be spent with Jesse and Benji. We kept dishes clean (mostly) and reset the house at the end of the day. But, there is no housekeeping service during a staycation. It’s all on you, and when you have a few days, it’s better to truly rest and worry about it later.

Rachel Winchester staycation travel simplified

Life-Giving Activities

Your definition of life-giving may vary from mine, but doing what gives you life is important. Just like on a vacation, you do what you want to do, that’s how it should be on a staycation. Saturday afternoon, we ended up doing some yard work, but for me, it was more of a passion project and life-giving than a chore. So make sure you create space for a variety of life-giving activities in your staycation.


Whatever forms this takes on – whether physical sleep or simple being – the practice of having nowhere to be creates a deep ability to rest and be still. I hadn’t realized how frantic my heart had become until we slowed down to rest. This didn’t mean we stayed home for three days straight, as you can tell, but the slow and easy pace we lived at over the weekend calmed my heart and helped me rest both physically and mentally.

Rachel Winchester staycation travel simplifiedSpend Time Outside

Go for a walk around the neighborhood, play out in the yard, do yard work or garden! The fresh air will energize you. Sunday evening, we took dinner to Clemson nearby and had a picnic on Bowman Field. It was equal parts nostalgic and refreshing as we remembered other times we sat on the field together over food with friends. The power of getting outside continually amazes me, but it is the best medicine.

Revisit What You Love

Especially when sharing a staycation with someone, taking time to revisit what you love reminds you of the relationship you have together before any of the other pressures of daily life. This past weekend, we visited Clemson where we met and spent a lot of our dating years; we started watching Downton Abbey again; and we enjoyed time together without any of the strains normal life brings.


Time for a Staycation?

Of course, it is lovely to get out of town and enjoy a change of landscape, but when that isn’t possible for whatever reason, whether due to time constraints, resources, or desire, I recommend creating space to stay at home and rest. Approach your area as if you were a visitor and not a resident. Enjoy the opportunity to savor time together without the pressures of daily life but also without all the details that come with travel.

I foresee more staycations in our future! How about you?

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