According to the dictionary, the definition of “staycation” is a vacation spent at home or nearby. Who says you have to go “away” to a faraway land to enjoy a vacation. A vacation to me, at home or away, is unplugging for a bit and enjoying time spent with family. I was given the opportunity as a part of the Walmart Moms to share my staycation tips and ideas. Whether you decide to do family activities at home or choose to explore your state below are some helpful tips for enjoying an affordable staycation.
Our “must-have idea” for any staycation is a picnic lunch instead of eating out. So with the giftcard provided by Walmart I went to my local Walmart store to pick up the products we would use for one of our staycation picnic lunches. When looking for products to include in our picnic basket, I’m looking for items that will pack and travel well.
Here’s an example of products I found at my local Walmart to make a simple picnic lunch:
Great Value Sour Cream and Onion Chips ($1.98)
Great Value Strawberry Apple Sauce ($1.82)
Roasted Honey Nut Skippy Peanut Butter ($2.68)
Great Value Hot Dog Buns ($1.38)
Great Value Storage Containers with Attached Lids ($2.97)
Make Your Own Lunch Packs so you don’t have to buy fast food
- Use hotdog buns instead of regular bread to make a portable sandwich… I came across the idea to make peanut butter banana dogs on pinterest. I thought these would be perfect for our lunch packs. We used Roasted Honey Nut Skippy Peanut Butter, Bananas, and hotdog buns. They fit perfectly into our Great Value Storage Containers with enough room for chips. Another idea if you aren’t into the peanut butter banana thing would be to use a hot dog bun and fill it with your favorite lunch meat and cheeses. I like the easy portability of using a hotdog bun when on-the-go.
- Take along water bottles or use reusable water bottles… with products like Kool-Aid liquid drink mix ($2.78) which are small and portable everyone can customize their drink to taste on-the-go. When done, refill your bottle from a water fountain. If staying home, how about an affordable treat of making homemade snow cones with the family?
- Spoons from the kitchen so you don’t have to buy disposables… when having a sweet treat like Great Value’s strawberry apple sauce disposable silverware is convenient but when packing a picnic lunch for an afternoon out, silverware from the kitchen drawer will work just as well.
- When packing your picnic basket put the heaviest items on the bottom…with the use of storage containers to make “lunch packs” hopefully nothing will be squished in transit to your destination but just to make sure always pack your picnic basket with the heaviest items on the bottom.
- Don’t forget a place to sit!… whether it is an old quilt or a foldable beach chair don’t forget to bring a backup sitting option in case their are no picnic tables available at your destination.
8 Budget Friendly Staycation Ideas
- Have a picnic in the backyard (see above for picnic packing tips and lunch ideas)
- Indoor Drive-In: is it raining? instead of a picnic in the backyard, why not set up a picnic on a quilt on the living room floor, pop in a family friendly movie and you’ve got an indoor drive-in.
- Get competitive! How about a family badminton tournament or an afternoon of family flag football?
- Nature Walk at a Local Park…take the family to the park for a nature walk and have a picnic afterwards
- Go to the Beach at a Local Lake you may live too far to drive to the beach at the ocean but many lakes open to the public also have beaches. The fee to get into the park is usually less than $5 a person for all-day swimming fun.
- Got little kids? Visit a couple different playgrounds in one afternoon this is one of my fondest memories as a kid, one random afternoon on a weekend my Dad would load us up into the car and we would visit a couple different playgrounds in our area in a single day. We had the most fun on those days!
- FREE day at a Local Museum: many local museums will offer a free day once a month to local residents, find out if your museum has a free day and go check out a museum in your town.
- Camp Out in the Backyard….I think this would be the most fun way to camp because you would have all of the comforts of home within walking distance yet the feel of being on vacation.
Going on a staycation is doing something out of the ordinary, having fun as a family. Unplug & spend time with the family for the weekend, the day, or just the afternoon. The point is to have FUN!