Winter has been dragging on but suddenly you realize Spring Break is just around the corner - which is exciting until you see the price of flights. And the availability (rather, unavailability) of hotels. And all of your dreams for a spring getaway begin to slowly fade away. Sure, a trip to the beach would’ve been relaxing, but don’t worry - all hope is not lost! This Spring Break is the perfect time for a staycation!

Staycations are a popular option if your schedule is busy, the budget is tight, or if you just don’t want to have to pack a bunch of suitcases. The first step is to prepare yourself as if you were about to go on vacation. Clear your schedule of all other plans, house projects, outside commitments, etc., anything that you wouldn’t be able to do while you’re out of town. Do the laundry so you don’t have to worry about it for the week. Set up an away message on your work email - just because you’re technically at home and could probably respond easily doesn’t mean that you should.

Next, gather the family and decide on activities you all want to do. Search on sites such as TripAdvisor for the top activities in your city and scroll through Pinterest for some fun DIY activities. Check out the aquarium’s new exhibit, go to a free event hosted by the public library, or plan to go on a hike in a nearby park. Research other options that might be a little bit further away from your home- if there’s an amusement park an hour away, now is the perfect time to go! If you live in the US and want to see your hometown in a new light, download the “History Here” App; this App uses GPS to let you know about all of the historic locations nearby! You can use this App to plan out your days if you have specific historical locations that may be of interest to you or your family. While it’s nice to have fun activities planned, don’t forget the other essential part of vacation: relaxation. Be sure you’ve allotted plenty of downtime in your schedule for sleeping in, reading, or watching movies. Another way to feel like you’re away from your normal world is to unplug from social media; choose to spend that time with your family or call a friend that you don’t usually have time to chat with.

Remember that your staycation doesn’t have to look the same as anyone else’s. Maybe you chose to try all of the best restaurants in town during your week, or maybe you would prefer to make all of your meals at home. Maybe you sleep in and don’t set an alarm at the beginning of the day, or maybe you choose to still work out every morning because that’s what you’d do on your normal vacation. Maybe you stay in your own home, or maybe you stay at a hotel down the road to see your city from a different perspective.

Whatever your staycation may look like, with the proper planning, it’ll be a trip to remember!