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Eight Tips For The Best Stay-At-Home Vacation Ever

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Get Into Vacay Mode

The word “vacation” means a lot of things to a lot of people. A common definition is taking time off work and going somewhere for some period of time. In this case, we would say, “We vacationed in Aruba,” or “We took a vacation to Aruba.” Another definition, the one we’re going to focus on here, is to take time away from something, as in one of Merriam-Webster’s entries under the word vacation: “a respite or a time of respite from something.

A key to any rewarding vacation is enjoying activities that aren’t part of the usual routine.

You can have a fabulous vacation by staying at home (or mostly at home) and taking a respite from work and from the normal day-to-day stuff. A key to any rewarding vacation is enjoying activities that aren’t part of the usual routine. This gives our minds a chance to disengage and turn toward new experiences and new ideas. And the good news is you don’t have to venture to distant lands or spend a lot of money to accomplish this.

Here are some tips for an awesome stay-at-home vacation.

1. First, Set a Budget

You’ll save some money with a stay-at-home vacation, but that doesn’t mean you can’t spend anything. To help make spending a little more stress free, start a staycation jar and add every extra $1 bill in your wallet at the end of the day. By the time your staycation rolls around, you’ll hopefully be able to partake in a few indulgences you don’t normally make room for.

2. Meals

Have some of your meals delivered — and not just pizza. Many restaurants offer delivery service, so treat yourself to something new and exciting during your vacation. A staycation is also the perfect excuse to make summer treats like Orange Julius or a tempting mocktail. You can even tackle that homemade dish you’ve wanted to try but never had the time…like grandma’s famous lasagna.

3. Family Slumber Party

Schedule a few nights where everybody gets together for fun activities, like movies, games, puzzles and that food delivery we just talked about. Add to the atmosphere with oversized floor pillows or fun novelty blankets and just crash in the living room. Don’t you dare set an alarm clock!

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Turn your living room into an indoor playground with snacks, games, maybe even a fort!

4. Day-Trip to a New Place

Pack up the gang and head off for a day in a nearby city that you don’t really know that much about. Stop in at the chamber of commerce or visitor center to get ideas for what to do and see there. Eat at local restaurants, meet new people, watch a movie, attend a concert, explore the sights, take photos. Las Vegas and Reno also have tons of nearby hotspots that are family friendly and super fun! Below are some ideas to get your staycation wheels turning:

Las Vegas

Gilcrease Orchard

Lake Las Vegas

Hoover Dam

Spring Mountain Ranch State Park

Oatman, Arizona


Animal Ark

Discovery Museum

Fleischmann Planetarium

Whitewater Rafting

Horseback Riding

Virginia City

5. Go Swimming

Many hotels and community pools in Las Vegas and Reno offer day rates for their pools and related recreation. Some hotels require the rental of a cabana ($50 to $300, depending on the facility), while others have just a cover charge. Here are some great places to dive into summer vacation:

Las Vegas — Listed on

Pleasure Pool at Planet Hollywood — (702) 736-0111
Mandalay Bay — (877) 632-7700
Sunset Station — (702) 547-7777
Luxor Hotel & Casino — (702) 262-4000
Delano Las Vegas — (702) 632-7888
Excalibur — (702) 597-7777

Reno — Listed on

Atlantis Casino Resort Spa — (800) 723-6500
Grand Sierra Resort — (775)789-2545
Alf Sorenson Pool — (775) 353-2385
Bowers Mansion Pool — (775) 849-0644
Carson Valley Swim Center — (775) 782-8840
Robert and Norma Fink Sun Valley Pool Complex— (775) 673-2220

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Soak in the adventure at any of the unique pools in Las Vegas or Reno.

6. Avoid Chores

Your stay-at-home vacation is not the time to paint the garage, mow the lawn or shampoo the carpet. Get all of that done beforehand, or do it after. Nobody goes to the French Riviera and says, “Tomorrow I’m going to get up bright and early and fix those rain gutters!” so you, too, should avoid any unnecessary labor. However, some cleaning might be required, so…

7. Hire a Maid

Las Vegas is full of housekeepers who will be happy to pay a visit to your home to clean your bathroom or kitchen while you play a game in the backyard or watch your favorite TV show. This is a time to pamper yourself; leave the cleaning to the experts.

Reconnect and spend quality, undistracted time with those you love the most.

8. Disconnect and Reconnect

Because a vacation should be a respite from many “normal” daily activities, consider getting the whole family to take a break from their phones and other gadgetry. Putting Facebook and Instagram and YouTube on hold (don’t worry — they’ll all still be there when you return!) will give you an opportunity to reconnect and spend quality, undistracted time with those you love the most.

These ideas for a stay-at-home vacation are just a start. With a little imagination and planning, you can come up with many more ways to enjoy a wonderful, unique and relatively economical vacation that will relax and rejuvenate the whole family.