Who Needs A Vacation When You Can Have A “Staycation”?!

We recently had Spring Break and decided that traveling was unnecessary. Why not save ourselves some money and just stay here?! The relaxation would be endless since we’d have no long lines at the airport or hideous car trips that last forever. We would be kicking back and enjoying the break from the comfort of our own home!Β Β What a great idea!

We were fools, y’all, FOOLS.

See, it turns out that staying home is actually kind of pricey and no fun at all. Unless you have the kinds of children who like to sit around and eat leftovers from the fridge and read books, you will need to go and *do* stuff. Every.Single.Day.

The first question upon waking was always the same…”What are we doing today?” followed shortly by “Can we go somewhere special?”.



Given that this question was routinely asked somewhere in the neighborhood of about 7:32 a.m. I usually had to stall them with tricks like Netflix and breakfast.

That worked super well until approximately 8:03 a.m.

My girls like to go places and see stuff and have fun and make memories, and all of that costs money. Lots and lots of money.

We hit the movies.

We went to Chuck E. Cheese. TWICE.

We spent lots of time at the mall.

You see where this is going right?

I’ve gained some wisdom during this staycation, and I want to share it with you…

  • Fun costs money. Even in your own city. Even if you think it won’t.
  • Threatening to take away everyone’s toys and leave them in their rooms for a solid week *is* free, however.
  • The children catch on quickly if you don’t make good on your threats. They are really good at exploiting your weakness and will run you ragged.
  • If forced to stay home at Spring Break, don’t. Go anywhere. Seriously…ANYWHERE AT ALL. Just don’t stay home. You will regret it.
  • A chance to be alone in the car for ten minutes while the grandparents drive the children to dinner during a staycation will leave you weeping into your hands with gratefulness.
  • Having ten straight days of non-stop togetherness at home isn’t as much fun as it sounds. (Wait, did that *ever* actually sound fun?)
  • If your husband still goes to work each day, he’ll end up missing all of the staycation fun. Lucky bastard Β Poor guy.

Needless to say we’re definitely going to do something next Spring Break. I don’t care what it is, but it will be something. Sharing a pup tent with my entire family of four in a rattlesnake infested portion of the Arizona desert sounds more appealing to me than scheduling back-to-back Staycations.

Travel Week Graphic



Who Needs A Vacation When You Can Have A “Staycation”?! — 104 Comments

  1. Ours is next week, and I would ship off the kids to Grandma’s house if a three and five year old could fly across the country all by themselves. Maybe I’ll Fed Ex them. No? Then I guess we’ll have to go to the park five days in a row, because there is absolutely no possible way we are going to Chuck E Cheese. TWICE!

    Glad you survived!

    • Aaahhh, yes, if I could have found a fun place for the children for a week I would have been all over that! πŸ˜‰ Even via Fed Ex!

  2. This is SO true. We spent less this vacation than we did last year when we didn’t go anywhere. You know how expensive your two little angels are? Now imagine they are Nico in all of his “teen-ness” and triple that amount. Although, where I went, I did end up weeping alone in a car and it wasn’t from gratefulness. πŸ™

    • LOL! I am sure some of my weeping was also that the car ride would be over! πŸ˜‰
      I am just shocked at how much we actually spent on having fun! Definitely not doing that again!

  3. We can always burn some energy at the parks with the little ones, they NEVER tire of the slides and climby things…but the 12 year old wants to shop, and shop, and shop, and shop. I finally asked her to please go outside and get more leaves from the money tree, or grab a golden egg from the goose at the park, because we are going to need it! Even bowling is a major expense when you add in the multiple games, candy, food, video games, etc. Oh, I am ranting here…sorry…

    • Seriously, when did bowling get to be so pricey?? We took the kids recently, and it was RIDICULOUS! Even the movies are expensive. Craziness…we did hit the park a couple times, too, which gave my wallet a break!

  4. Lol I don’t do the mouse at all unless its an important person. We stayed in for our break my kids watched movies since I don’t let them watch tv in the weekday. They cooked, baked, went outside and I did take them on a play date at the park. My kids were fine I guess because they are under 6 but as they get older I don’t know

    • Ha ha ha! Note to self, save the mouse for only important people…love it! πŸ™‚ We watched some movies, too, and this summer we will definitely be learning to embrace our inner homebodies! πŸ˜‰

  5. Most of our vacation time is staycations. Thankfully they enjoy doing free stuff like the beach or park or hiking or Netflix or even the library. We cannot stay indoors, though, for too long, so if the weather gets bad…YIKES! We did get to go away to visit my sister for 4 of our Spring Break days, though, so that was nice – normally we don’t get to travel for more than 2 or 3 days (Yes, I know – sad!). Anyway, I agree – fun costs money or at least a lot of planning and/or time no matter where you are, so if you want to stay home instead of travel, you better have a plan and a budget if money is an issue, just saying. πŸ™‚

  6. I LOVE when I get ten minutes in the car by myself! I swear my favorite part of my day is my 10 minute commute to a job I really don’t like because I LOVE that time! I would love to hang out with you guys next spring break. We can shout empty threats to our kids together and take turns getting to drive alone in one of our cars. Love you guys!!!

    • Think this is a fantastic idea!! I am ALL FOR IT! πŸ™‚ For the bonding and the brief breaks in our own cars! πŸ˜‰

  7. Things were different back in the paleozoic era when I was a kid. We got up, ate cereal or pop tarts that we did ourselves, then got on our bikes snd disappeared for the day. Maybe came home and had a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, then back out all afternoon. That’s how I remember it anyway. I know now there is a chance that the kids will end up on a milk carton. But, it was cheap at least back then.

  8. Our spring break starts tomorrow! My three-year-old only goes to school three days a week so it will be a loooong week and a half. She has an incessant appetite and she asks about 18,000 questions a day. I counted once.

    • Cracking up! The non-stop talking and question asking is exhausting! Hope you are surviving day one! πŸ˜‰

  9. Oh, staycations always sound so promising….although I could see how they’re different with kids. Thanks for the heads up! Though it makes me wonder how my mom kept me entertained all those vacations, especially since I was a little ball of energy….

    • She was probably exhausted at the end of each day Bev! You should call and thank her right now! πŸ˜‰

    • So glad I was not alone in my misery Melinda! It probably didn’t help that we spent last spring break at Disney, which is basically like the world’s best spring break ever.

  10. Haha oops. That sounds awful! You should totally stay in a pup tent with rattlesnakes. Then they will appreciate your next staycation and you can threaten them with rattlesnakes instead of taking away toys!

    • We spent last Spring Break at Disney World also Stephanie! πŸ˜‰ Wonder if we were there at the same time?! You would probably remember us because my then four year-old was crying everywhere we went. Now she asks daily when we can go back! πŸ˜‰

  11. You said it best. But try and just remember your good advice from a post not too long ago about not having to give our kids every experience. Sometimes, just being bored can lead to fun adventures. Ok, I know, I’ll slap myself for you. Good luck and have a great time! Lol. πŸ™‚

  12. I feel you, but I might beat you … I had a stomach bug for my staycation. So we were stuck in the house and I was DYing. To the point that the husband had to come home and spend time with the child and take her out … wait … well … maybe that wasn’t that bad. But come on, STOMACH BUG! DYING!! ;>

    • Might beat me?? Uh no, my friend, it is not even a contest!! You win HANDS DOWN!! Worst spring break ever. Stomach bugs are honestly of the devil!!!

  13. Aaaaaah yes! Stay-cations! We tend to do them every other weekend and they are torture! After the first few hours, I’m looking for something for the girls and I to do to get out of the house!

  14. I feel ya! I stayed at home for 2 weeks over Christmas and I was dying for my family to leave. But they live there.

    The only thing cheap on life is … got nothing for that.

  15. I’m glad I shipped my three of to my parent’s house. Granted, I had to work, but even if I had taken the week off: our weather was horrible that week! Glad you survived and thanks for the tips!!!

    • Don’t envy you having to work, but I do envy you getting to ship the kids off! Think your parents could take mine next year, too! πŸ˜‰

  16. Staycations are a common “vacation” for us because we have SOOO MANY kids so trying to find ways to keep them entertained is definitely a test of creative thinking for sure! I too would take the rattlesnake infested camping trip to a staycation any day though! LOL Glad you survived yours

  17. My thoughts EXACTLY!!! First of all if I had “those” kids that eat “leftovers” from the fridge that means I would have to (step#1) actually cook something (anything) and (step#2) encounter the miracle that my FAMISHED clan of vultures actually left any food to put in the fridge. So my kids would have to just read – FOR 10 days – soooooo not happening. Of course they can spend quite a bit of time: fighting, making a mess and in front of a screen (of any kind).
    I LITERALLY cringed at the thought of going to Chuck E Cheese TWICE – if there is a #1 MOMMY AWARD it goes to you just for that double, horrific outing alone – talk about making memories – and PAINFUL ones at that!

    • Oh yes, my girls were fantastic about making messes, fighting and finding the closest screen of any kind! πŸ˜‰
      Laughed out loud at how you couldn’t get kids to eat leftovers even if you tried! πŸ™‚

  18. my little boy is ALWAYS like “let’s do something”, “what are we doing today?” “what are we going to do over the weekend”. Yes, all of this fun is costing us. It’s my fault though, I always like to be on the move and I totally passed it on to him. At least that’s what my husband says.

    • Ironically, I don’t really mind hanging out at home so the fact that my children do is so surprising to me! πŸ˜‰

  19. Did you get the “Mom, I’m bored” 20 million times? Hearing that on staycations again and again and again was enough to drive me insane! And why is it the neighborhood kids always flocked to my house for a week?

    • Uh, yes, I definitely got that one a lot! And also the whole “what are we doing next” when we had just finished doing something! I have no doubt your house is the fun house! πŸ™‚

  20. Chuck E. Cheese twice? You really were desperate! My husband never understood beach vacations until we had kids. Definitely better than staying at home.

    • Yes, that is exactly what desperation looks like honestly! Beach vacations are really fabulous! πŸ™‚

  21. Chuck E Cheese twice? You couldn’t pay me to go in that place. Sorry kids. You must be a saint. I need to figure something out. Ours is just about here and we are doing staycation.

  22. I expected the same thing as a child. We were ALWAYS on the go. I can’t just sit still at the crib. I understand the kiddos. I’m on their side and I love me some pizza so double score! I’m laughing bc I am still in child mode….comments of a single woman! Loved this!

    • I do think being away and being at home is a good combo! πŸ™‚ It is amazing I am still standing, right?

  23. Chuck e cheese twice?! You are a brave…ahem…good mommy πŸ™‚ I think you are damned if you do and damned if you don’t. Those children always need to be entertained! Can’t we all just take multiple naps and watch trashy reality tv all day?!

    • Oh my Gosh, your last sentence made me BURST out laughing!!! Yes, yes, yes. That would have been the perfect spring break!

  24. What’s with all these kids that wake up at the butt crack of dawn? I swear, when I was a kid my parents had to drag me out of bed. Otherwise, I would have slept all day! (And yes, this hasn’t really changed. Given the opportunity, I would still sleep all day! It’s just that I never have the opportunity anymore.)

    • I cannot wait until the teen years for that very reason!! And given the opportunity, I, too, would sleep all day! πŸ™‚

  25. Ha! My kids are the same way and beg to go somewhere fun like Build-a-Bear! (Which is not really my idea of fun–and expensive!) The term “Stay-cation” never should have been invented. Who came up with that, anyway? πŸ˜‰

  26. Funny. I’m sitting here dreading the travel portion of our Spring Break-ish trip which starts on Saturday, but now that I’ve read this, I feel better remembering that it will be worth it once we reach our destination. Until we have to drag two kids back home on a late night flight, of course.

    • Totally worth it. Until the return trip. That will be brutal. I won’t even sugarcoat it for you! πŸ˜‰

  27. Haha. That is awesome. I feel like I have a staycation every day of the dang week, so any time I can get out of town, I do. And by staycation, I meant entertaining a toddler every day. All day. He doesn’t have Spring Break so it seems. We are going on our first camping trip with him this weekend. We’ll see how that goes. Still costs some money, but the entertainment is mostly free. Trees and stuff.

    • Cannot wait to hear about the camping, especially with the toddler! I feel like that is a future blog post right there my friend! πŸ™‚

  28. Hate to break it to you, but summer’s fast approaching! We signed up with kidsbowlfree.com – the kids get two free strings of bowling, EVERY DAY! And my friends and I are splitting on the $25 adult pass, which gives us bowling every day too. Our summer will be bowling, beaches, and playgrounds! πŸ™‚

    I hear you on the staycation, though. Ours turn into me cooking dinner every night, entertaining the kids, and doing all the housework while my darling husband sleeps until noon every day. :s

    • Am definitely headed right now to check out kidsbowlfree.com as both of my girls LOVE bowling! But it can get pricey, so this would be a perfect way to combat that! πŸ™‚

  29. Okay- it took me like twenty minutes to scroll down to leave a comment! HA! Ya’ll are getting just waaaaay too popular!!! (YIPPEE) I couldn’t stop laughing at this post! You POOR mama! I can completely relate…although this year we did get the he– outa dodge, and yes – delt with long traveling hours and all that crap with traveling. Oh how DARE I complain!! πŸ™‚
    Heck- even on a snow day I want to kill my kids! GOD forbid ten days of whining about doing stuff and taking them everywhere and feeding them and picking up after them… your stay-cation I’m sure was HARD freaking WORK!!! You make me laugh so hard Ashley- I just can’t get enough of your hilarious writing!!! Smooches!!! πŸ™‚

    • I think that traveling definitely comes with its own downsides for sure, but I am willing to take my chances next year! πŸ˜‰

  30. My kids are 4 and 1. We had “spring break” from preschool (which WHATEVER, they take about 2 days a MONTH off from preschool, and they onlygo 12 days a month! so ridiculous) and we stayed here in town. I was more exhausted after that week than ever. So a. to the men. to everything you said.

    • Oh my Gosh, I totally remember the days of preschool breaks…and they were the WORST ever. You are so right…they barely even go!

  31. I’m catching up on all my blog-reading…so I just got to this one. YOU WENT TO CHUCK E. CHEESE TWICE!?! OMG, you deserve an effing medal. We had a cheap staycation…I made the kids clean their rooms, help me catch up on laundry and I let them have friends over. Once. It was pretty awesome.

    • Thank you Adrienn! Shockingly, my medal has not yet arrived. I am still looking for it, though! πŸ˜‰ I definitely should have gone with your plan!

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