As the weather heats up, many of us are getting excited about long-awaited summer vacations. But, with work schedules and kids’ activities, scheduling a time for your entire Military Family to get away can be difficult. Planning a summer staycation your whole family can enjoy can simplify the vacation process while saving you a lot of hassle and money.

Mark Your Calendar

A staycation provides all the fun and relaxation of a trip away without any tedious scheduling or pricey airfare and hotels. Instead, you’ll take advantage of the attractions and activities your hometown has to offer, but don’t usually have the chance to enjoy. Just be sure to set a few ground rules to ensure you truly get away despite your familiar surrounds:

1. Schedule it in. Put a start and end date for your staycation on your calendar, so everyone knows you’re “away”.

2. Forget about chores. Try to get any laundry or cleaning done before your staycation, so you can turn your home into a relaxing environment.

3. Make a To-Do List. You don’t have to schedule every second of your staycation, but jotting down a few ideas for fun activities ahead of time will ensure you don’t get bored or forget anything you were looking forward to doing.

Let the Fun Begin

Once your staycation is on the calendar, it’s time to plan some activities. Whether you live in a bustling city or a cozy small town, you should be able to come up with plenty of activities to keep you busy. We’ve come up with 5 great ideas that will create some lasting staycation memories:

1. Explore the Great Outdoors
It doesn’t matter if it’s a national park or your neighborhood playground, soaking up the summer sun is a sure-fire way to get in the vacation mood. Bring along a nature book to learn about the local plants and animals or pack a delicious picnic to enjoy with your family. Visit and to find the closest national and state parks near you.

2. Find Indoor Adventures
Escape the heat and learn something new by exploring a local museum, aquarium, or planetarium. Plenty of neighborhoods have hidden museums and historical sites that you can find through the American Association of Museums and the Association of Zoos & Aquariums.

3. Have a Spa Day
Take vacation relaxation to the max with a day trip to your local spa or by recreating the experience at home. Dim the lights, put on soothing music, and pamper yourself with homemade face masks like these.

4. Camp Out at Home
Gather the family around a backyard campfire to sing songs, tell ghost stories, and roast marshmallows. As the sun goes down, you can chase around fireflies or lay out in the grass to star gaze.

5. Bring a Destination Home
Can’t make it to Italy? Try making homemade pasta for dinner while listening to romantic mandolin music. Wish you were in Hawaii? Don a grass script and throw a luau of your own!

More Ways to Make the Most of Summer:

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