FAMILY BONDING WITHOUT THE STRESS When Was Your Last Staycation? One of my favorite things in the world is traveling with my family. This year, we were lucky to enjoy so many wonderful trips, from taking the kids to play in the snow for the first time to an impromptu healing journey to Hawaii. The world is full of amazing places and cultures, and Nicole and I want our kids to be able to experience as much of it as possible. That said, we also want our kids to love their hometown, too. Rather than going on a big trip during the holidays, it can be fun to plan a staycation. Here are some ways we create memorable moments without getting too far from home. Let’s Play Tourist Did you know there are plenty of awesome places in this part of California? Nicole has spent a lot of time showing Finn and Harlow the world right outside our front door. If you’ve never played tourist in California, I recommend it — take your family out and explore local landmarks or historical sites, eat at a restaurant you’ve never been to, or visit museums and art galleries. Finn and Harlow love it when we let them pick a destination or two. There’s always something new to experience that will make you forget you’re practically in your own backyard. Rent a Home Booking a hotel room can be a fun and easy staycation, but instead of packing your family into a single room, check out some popular short-term rental sites like Airbnb or HomeAway. Many home rentals go above and beyond by providing an entire house and all its amenities for your family to enjoy. Have a memorable trip by looking for a backyard with a pool, planning
a movie night with a giant TV, or cooking in a kitchen big enough for the whole family to participate. We’ve used Airbnb a number of times for our family trips, and it’s much better than sticking the kids in a hotel room. Explore the Night This one might be tricky if your kids are on a strict sleeping schedule, but if you’re brave enough to switch things up, take them on a nighttime excursion. Planetariums and observatories are great for exploring the night sky in an educational way. It’s also fun to go retro with some old-fashioned stargazing. Our backyard isn’t the best place for stargazing, but someday I would love to pack some blankets and hot chocolate, pile Finn and Harlow into the car, and drive away from the city to where we can all gaze up at a sky full of stars. That would be a truly out-of-this-world staycation. Vacationing isn’t about spending crazy amounts of money or traveling hundreds of miles from home. It’s about stepping away from your hectic life to carve out time with your family and make new memories. This could mean a trip to Hawaii or a trip to your favorite park down the road. Whatever your family loves to do, make more time for it so your family can have fun and grow closer. In 2020, I recommend looking for ways to spend more time with the people you love. We only have so much time on this Earth, so we need to cherish every moment we have with people who make life special.
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