Change your travel vacation into a successful Heights "staycation"

With the rise in gas prices, folks are changing their traditional summer plans from a travel vacation to a "staycation" at home. Here are a few tips to make your staycation the best it can be.

Mark your staycation days on the calendar. Your staycation should have the same weight as a vacation. Since it’s time you and your family are choosing to spend together, pick the weeks, mark them on the calendar, and treat them just like you would if you were driving somewhere expensive.

Create plans for daily and nightly activities. Don’t just wing it. Rent movies, move your TV outside for nighttime viewing, hook up outdoor stereo speakers, gather books to read and games to play. And, don’t let being at home get in the way! If you had driven a thousand miles to be on vacation, you wouldn’t come home to have your teeth cleaned. Don’t do it on staycation.

Plan day trips. Staying at home doesn’t mean you can’t go out of the house. Maybe take a day trip to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, or the West Side Market, or an Indian’s game. Or go to your local beach or pool.

Review your outdoor living conditions. Often, patios and decks are not considered to be part of our home’s decorating plan, but they’re really extensions of the indoor living space so furniture should be comfortable and stylish. Your space will feel better if furniture and the grill are arranged to fit the space and the traffic patterns your family follows.

Clean your spaces, indoor and out. But do it BEFORE your official staycation dates. You don’t work on vacation; don’t work on staycation. When that first day of staycation arrives, spend it sitting on your stylish patio furniture, reading a book and sipping on your favorite beverage, instead of sweeping the porch.

Plan special meals. Have family members pick their favorite foods. Let them make dinner, set the table, and clean up. Get your grill up to speed or up to date. If you use disposable dishes and utensils on vacation, use them on staycation. Or not. It is, after all, YOUR staycation!

Invite your friends. Make arrangements for neighbors, friends, and relatives to drop in for a mini-party. Have them bring food and beverages and hold a volleyball or horseshoe tournament.

Bring back the good old days. Don’t forget cameras, pictures, backyard camping, s’mores, and campfires (using a fire pit or a chiminea).

Staycation should be fun. And fun should start at home.

Randy Martin is the marketing director for Reflections Interior Design in the beautiful Cedar Fairmount district.

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Volume 1, Issue 5, Posted 2:02 PM, 07.17.2008