Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Big Family Fun on a Small Budget!

With the recession in full swing, families are getting creative; finding ways to escape the mundane by taking "staycations" and "facations!"  What, you may ask, are staycations and facations?  According to several families we spoke to, they are budget-friendly alternatives to traditional getaways! 

The "staycation" can be anything from a camp-out in your own backyard, to a few days of day-tripping and local touring/sightseeing, or just relaxing and doing nothing at all in the comfort of your own home; the name of the game is having fun without the expense of leaving home for an overnight stay.  Many families set certain rules when they decide to take a staycation, including:
  • turning off the ringer on their home phones,
  • limiting access to the internet for recreational purposes only, 
  • not doing errands or tasks for work,
  • having meals in non-traditional locations (picnics, local restaurants, or a casual TV dinner)
  • allowing time for spontaneous activity (bowling, movies, skating, family game night, etc.).
The "facation" usually has a slightly higher pricetag, but is still far more reasonable than a traditional vacation, especially if you take the time to research such sites as RetailMeNot for great coupons and discounts!  Facations generally include at least one overnight stay at a local hotel or motel, and most of the facationers we spoke to mentioned that they looked for amenities such as an indoor pool, room service, spa, or onsite restaurant.  The facation is a way to indulge and escape the trappings of home, if only for a night or two, and to enjoy the luxury of a meal out, a dip in the pool, or maybe even a spa treatment!  The facation is a popular add-on to the staycation, especially in cold weather months when access to a pool is a true novelty!

Like a traditional vacation, an alternative escape should be carefully planned; ask all family members for ideas, with the understanding that not all ideas will necessarily be feasible.  Budgeting for a facation or staycation is also important; decide ahead of time where you want to use your available funds (a movie, a meal out, sightseeing, a family activity, etc.).  Once you have these details nailed down, get to work planning your adventure!  Remember, no matter what your budget, with a little research and creativity, your family can enjoy a great escape together making fun memories that will last a lifetime!

- Destination Mom

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