What to do when a family vacation turns into a family staycation


In this Monday, June 17, 2019 photo, Jason Mok, as Crash Test Smarty, a character he created with his family, launches from a picnic table at Fernridge Park in West Hartford, Conn. Jason, his brothers Tai and Peter and their parents, have created Invent the Summer, a website built around summer engineering and invention challenges for children under 14. As an end of the summer challenge, the program encourages kids to find problems in their communities and find a solution. (Mark Mirko/Hartford Courant via AP)

(WFXR) – While the coronavirus pandemic continues, many families are looking into summer vacation alternatives.

Stress levels are high and families need an opportunity to recharge their batteries and with beaches closed, flights being cancelled and concerts and festivals being cancelled, families are looking closer to home for a refreshing change of pace.

Planning a staycation as a family can help, not only pass the time, but allows everyone in the family to participate.

Virginia Tech professor and expert Rosemary Blieszner has offered tops for families who would like to bring some fun to staying at home.

  • Spend time together making plans for special activities for each day of the staycation. Develop some guidelines for these conversations, such as everyone gets a chance to speak once before anyone can speak again. Write them down so everyone can remember.
  • Have each person propose an activity for the family to do together, then discuss the pros and cons and choose the best ideas. Make sure each person selects a favorite activity to do along each day, as well.
  • Create a vacation-like daily planner with morning, afternoon and evening events. Include small surprises and try new things (breakfast for dinner, crazy outfit day).
  • Adults avoid work if they can afford it.
  • Agree to one or more “no phone/no social media” days, then talk about what it felt like.
  • Make notes for each family member. I am grateful for you because…
  • Create and act out a mythical story together.
  • Visit an online museum or zoo tour.
  • Look for collage materials outside and make a display on cardboard.
  • Create cards to cheer residents at a nursing home.

“With a little imagination and a willingness to try new things, the 2020 staycation can be a fun, relaxing and novel family time,” says Blieszner.

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