Labor Day Fun: Staycation!

The Labor Day Weekend is here. Fun is on the horizon. But how? You used to vacation on this long holiday weekend, but now you can’t. Maybe it’s because of the economy; times are tough. Or maybe travel isn’t as fun as it used to be. Or the idea of going through another search at the airport is not appealing to you, especially with kids and all their gear in tow. Maybe you’re simply tired and just don’t want to pack or travel.  So, how can you still have fun, locally, happily, and on a budget? Staycation!

Everyone is being affected. So what can you do with your family that won’t cost much & will still allow you to enjoy? Enjoy the local fun. You can make it special.  Most of us are so busy day to day that we don’t ever seem to enjoy what’s in our very own backyard.

Some helpful hints for how to handle your Staycation:
Plan each day:
Without a plan, you will not have any fun, as your household chores and other life obligations will take a priority. This could leave you and your family feeling stressed instead of gaining the needed rest.

Don’t over plan:
Leave a day open “to do nothing”. Over-planning each day can lead to overload.

Meet a few obligations:
Set aside specific times for chores, banishing them at all other times. After all, you wouldn’t be able to clean house or garage if you were away, would you?

Schedule some alone time:
It can be a simple pizza night with a movie rental and a glass of wine. Or get a babysitter for just two hours. Whether you are a single parent or a couple, you can enjoy two (2) hours of “me” time. Then, you’ll return a happier parent. Life is what you make of it. Many times, we forget enjoy the simple things.

Some low budget ways to have fun
Ride bike trails, use public parks, play in your own backyard:
The family will remember the good times when you played with a frisbee, football, hula-hoops, badminton, and water slides or sprinklers.  Maybe you can even do a treasure hunt!

Scrapbooking, arts & crafts, other hobbies, and board games:
The kids will love this family time.  Kids love pictures of themselves.  You can do all sorts of activities with this.  Be creative!

BBQ Party with just a few friends:
Keep it simple so you can enjoy. If you make it big, you’ll be knee deep into clean up, asking yourself, ‘What was I thinking?’

Other possible affordable fun activities
Movies – Consider a matinee.
Local amusement park

Keep in mind that this is a lot cheaper than a traditional vacation in which your expenses can include flights, hotel, car rentals, gas, and dining. It also saves you a lot of time and stress, as you won’t be packing or planning for the getting away. After all, if you plan it right, you can have fun and get away right in your own back yard.

Happy Labor Day! Enjoy the special rare treat of extra time with your love ones. After all, it’s about spending quality time with your family and loved ones.  In the end, it’s the only thing that matters.

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About Nancy M. Silva, MD, FAAP

I'm a Board Certified Pediatrician. I've been in practice since 2000. I'm happily married with two children. I graduated Medical School from the State University of New York (SUNY) Downstate College of Medicine in Brooklyn, NY. My Pediatric Residency training was at University of South Florida, College of Medicine. I've been in private practice since 2000. As a medical student, I had the privilege to care for children at Kings County Hospital & Downstate Medical Center in urban Brooklyn. As a resident, I cared for children at Tampa General Hospital & All Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg, Florida. These experiences helped shape the Pediatrician I am today.

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