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Make the Most of Your Staycation

Date: 06/01/20

A man playing the guitar to a woman and small child

Staycation” is a word that’s been around for a few years, and the idea of staying put and saving money has always gone hand-in-hand. Not traveling somewhere (or too far afield) could be a choice or a decision born out of necessity (including the circumstances that arise from a health and safety quarantine). The challenge, in any case, no matter how long your “staycation” lasts, is: If it’s true that the family who plays together, stays together, how do you make staying home fun (without killing each other due to too much togetherness)?

Here are a few tips for successful staycationing:

Clean your house. Check that off first, so you’re not stressed-out by any clutter surrounding you. (You can even make that a contest with the kids: First one to finish making their bed gets a prize!) Once done, you’ve got a clean slate to enjoy, with no chores hanging over your head.

Re-set your thinking. Sure, restrictions can be both disappointing and frustrating, especially if it’s for a prolonged period of time. But think of a staycation as a way to “escape” in place on a budget, without the added expense of gas for the car, plane or train tickets, or hotel rooms. Plus: No packing! Creating both time and space for “me” time as well as family time, also helps.

Relax or stay active, all at your own pace. There are lots of things families can do at home to slow things down, reconnect, stay fit, and have some fun:

  • Try backyard camping (weather permitting), or pitch your tent in the living room. Share family stories around the picnic table or fire pit. (S’mores anyone?)
  • Create a backyard Family Olympics course that’s seasonally themed.
  • Break out the board games for Family Game Night. Solve a puzzle or a “whodunit.”
  • Family Movie Night at home can include healthy snacks, like popcorn (hold the butter!) and fresh veggies.
  • Turn up the music: It’s time for an Air Guitar Face-Off, a Lip Sync Contest, or Dance Party.
  • Seek out “virtual travel” online. Escape with Google Arts & Culture and access over 2,500 museum collections worldwide, from MoMa in NYC, to the Tate in London, or celebrate global graffiti artists via Google’s Street Art Project. Other adventures and sites range from an Alaskan dog sled ride and more with, to scuba diving with the National Marine Sanctuaries. Visit everything from national parks and zoos, to a walk on Mars. Hang a map and take turns inserting destination pushpins.
  • Set a travel-based menu. Try Charleston-style shrimp and grits, or a New Zealand kiwi, ginger, and honey cake.
  • Take time to exercise. Lay out your gear the night before to avoid excuses, and grab a family workout buddy.
  • Make yourself a reading list. Get to that stack on your nightstand! Create “story time” for your kids, too.
  • Grab a nap! Studies show that a 10 to 30-minute nap mid-day can boost energy, mood, and memory.

A happy staycation can create some special memories, even if you can’t leave home.

By Lisa Miceli Feliciano                  

Sources include,,

This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Please always follow your healthcare provider’s instructions. Programs and services are subject to change. Managed Health Network, LLC (MHN) is a subsidiary of Health Net, LLC. The MHN companies include Managed Health Network and MHN Services, LLC. Health Net and Managed Health Network are registered service marks of Health Net, LLC or its affiliates. All rights reserved.