How To Plan The Perfect Staycation

I have received information and materials from ©Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. 2017.The opinions stated are my own. This is a sponsored post. #ForWhatMattersMost #CollectiveBias

Don’t look now, but the summer is rrriiiiight behind you! It’s coming fast, and if you don’t stop right now and plan to make the most of it, it’s going rush past you! It’s always my goal to squeeze every precious ounce of fun, time together, and memory making out of those quick spring & summer days. Through the years I’ve become the master of staycations. The concept is one that’s quite popular now, so I’m sure you’ve heard of it before. I’m always amazed, however, to find out how many people have never been to the wonderful places close to where they live.

We were blessed with getting to live in areas that are truly vacation destinations for a good chunk of our marriage. Washington DC, the beaches of North Carolina, and Boston. We tried to take advantage of the time we were stationed at each and loved playing tourist on the weekends. This concept doesn’t just work if you live near a vacation area, however. Growing up in Wyoming and now here in Texas there are still tons of ways to staycation! So whether you’re sticking around for the summer or have out of state guests coming in, use these tips to make the most of your summer!

How To Plan The Perfect Staycation

Make a Bucket List

The first thing to do is to start a running list of all the places you love or want to visit. Start off by listing off all the places you’ve seen or heard about locally that you’ve said…”We really need to go there someday.” Next, make another list of things that you’d love to discover in your state, but you’re not sure of the exact location. Research these to see if there are any nearby. Finally, go online and crowdsource.

An easy to way to do this is to ask local friends on Facebook for their favorite way to spend a summer weekend locally. During one conversation in Boston, I discovered the fact that a strip mall near us had acrobats, delicious ice cream, and water fountains that everyone called “liquid fireworks” because they went off to music and lights on the hour. It’s one of those little gems I would never have found out about except through word of mouth! Pinterest is also amazing for finding fun and hidden gem locations in your area, just search by your state’s name and maybe even region.

Stumped at where to get started? Here are some great ideas of my favorite Staycation destinations:

  • Zoo
  • Museum
  • Nature or Wildlife Preserve
  • Drive Through Safari or Wildlife Loop
  • Amusement Park
  • Monuments & Historic Sites
  • National Parks
  • State Parks
  • Local Parks
  • Pick Your Own Farms
  • Butterfly Garden
  • Public Garden
  • Lakes, Reservoir, or Public Ponds
  • Beach, Splash Park, Swimming Pool

Don’t forget to check your local area calendar or chamber for limited time events like Carnivals, Fairs, Movie & Music at the Park, Rodeos, etc. As you research add the items and the information to your list or board. This way anytime a free weekend comes up you can easily look at it and see what adventure your family wants to tackle!

Be Prepared

Now that you have your list prepped it’s time to make sure everything else is good to go for your staycation! Stock up on easy to bring along snacks, water bottles, sunscreen, and Extra Strength TYLENOL® and TYLENOL® 8 HR Muscle Aches & Pain. Nothing is worse than a staycation getting ruined from muscle aches after a day of hiking or having to postpone the day’s plan because of a nasty headache in the morning. Make sure you have all the essentials at home so that you can get back to the things you love!

I grabbed Extra Strength TYLENOL® and TYLENOL® 8 HR Muscle Aches & Pain at Target. They both temporarily relieve minor aches and pains due to: the common cold, headache, backache, minor pain of arthritis, toothache, muscular aches, premenstrual and menstrual cramps; temporarily reduces fever. As always, they’re for adults and children 12 years and older, and you should always use only as directed.

Plan Strategically

Finally, you’re ready to plan! When you’re stocked up it’ll be easy to be flexible so you can go have fun a moments notice.  If you’re like me, though, you know life just works better if you plan ahead. For staycations, I love to vary the price and the tempo of the items that we’re doing. I know everyone has experienced a vacation that was anything but relaxing because of the frantic pace of trying to do.all.the.things.

Staycations are wonderful because you don’t feel any pressure to be rushed since you live close by. They also usually allow you to be flexible in your planning. One weekend pick a pricier, more structured location, the next pick one that’s affordable and low key. For example, one weekend you might hit up that amazing Nature Museum that the whole family will love exploring all day. The next weekend you might head to a local park and pond you’ve never been to before.

A big part of planning strategically also involves planning out food options. Just like unexpected aches and pains, not planning out your food needs can quickly derail a fun time. No one is happy when you’re miles from anywhere with nothing to eat.

If you’re going to eat out, pick a place that you’ve never tried before. This adds a bigger sense of adventure and vacation. So go ahead and opt for that mom & pop diner instead of reaching for cross country favorites. Packing a lunch for a picnic  for trips to the park or the lake makes the day feel even more special. I also always bring along some Extra Strength TYLENOL® with my things. This ensures that if one of us adults has a twinging back or throbbing head they don’t have to wait till we get home.

Another thing you want to consider and plan ahead is working with schedules. It’s always a great idea to always take things like naptime, bedtimes, and transit times into consideration. If you’re taking public transportation be sure to account for the time to park, walk, purchase tickets, etc. Also, when you’re staycationing it’s a great idea to pick just one place or event per time outing. This allows you to really enjoy it to its full potential and not feel rushed.

There are my top tips for planning the perfect Staycation! Now it’s time to pick a few local areas you’ve heard about but never been to, stock up on essentials, and schedule it on the calendar to do this summer!

Where is your very favorite spot to staycation? Leave me a comment below and let me know! Also, don’t forget to stock up at Target for all your staycation needs!

I am not a medical expert, and this post is not medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. ©Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. 2017. The third party trademarks used herein are trademarks of their respective owners.

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