Blog Post

Planning a Poolside Family Staycation

The beach is great, but if you can’t afford the travel and lodging costs for your family this year, you already have a great alternative: bring the vacation to your own backyard with a poolside staycation!

Most of the thrill of a vacation is escaping work – including housework – and getting a fun change of scenery.

If you plan it right, you can get both of those things at home by the pool.

Bonuses of a staycation: No rushing around to leave on time, no lugging suitcases, no worrying about what you forgot … oh, and did I mention it’s much easier on your budget?

In fact, it’s so much easier on your budget that you may be able to splurge on a few things for your home that you can enjoy for the rest of the summer!


Step 1: Plan Ahead!

You’d plan for a vacation you had to travel for, and you’ll need to plan for your poolside staycation, too.

Without planning ahead, you risk having the staycation feel too much like a regular weekend at home.

Choose your dates at least a few weeks ahead of time (especially if you’ll be taking time off work) and make sure your schedule is wide open – no doctors appointments, no play dates. Remember, this is your time to relax and have fun!


Step 2. Outsource Your Chores

Consider hiring someone to clean your house and pool and do your yard work for the week – even if it’s just a neighborhood teen – if you don’t already outsource.

If you want to save even more money, you can definitely do the cleaning yourself – just make sure to do it all before your staycation begins so you can relax by a clean pool on a manicured landscape.

Also, remember to make sure all your pool toys and a big stack of fluffy pool towels are ready to go ahead of time.


Step 3. Plan Your Meals

Again: the stress of daily meal planning, grocery shopping, and dish washing has no place in your poolside staycation.

If you enjoy cooking, it might be a good time to try a few new, fun summer recipes or desserts (like these lemonade cupcakes). You can also keep it simple by grilling out (try these chipotle BBQ chicken skewers). Just try to get the supplies ahead of time to avoid any last-minute scrambling.

You can even splurge on some fun summer disposable flatware (these plates look like beach balls!), not just to make your meals more fun, but also easier to clean up.

Depending on your budget, your staycation might also be a great chance to take the family out to eat at a few restaurants you’ve been wanting to try.


Step 4. Plan Your Drinks

That’s right; this gets its own step. Signature cocktails (like this watermelon mojito), summery punches in festive bowls, and drink dispensers will give a whole new feel to your poolside.

You could also consider making some fun coffee drinks for the mornings.


Step 5. Splurge on a Few New Accessories

Is there something for your backyard, that you’ve had your eye on for a while? Maybe a new float or pool toy, a new floral or decorative arrangement, new torches or lights, or even new patio furniture?

Or maybe there’s something in the pool area or backyard that you’ve been wanting to fix or change, but you have been putting it off.

Consider using some of the money you saved, to make your backyard just a little more exciting and inviting for your staycation.


Step 6. Games & Activities

Depending on the size and ages of your family members, and how long your staycation lasts, you might need some activities planned to keep things interesting. Here are some good ideas for kids’ pool games.

If you think you can stay relaxed as you play host, you might even want to invite friends and family over to the pool to enjoy your staycation with you.


Step 7. Keep it Going After Dark

As you’re planning your staycation, you’ll probably be thinking of the sunny days by the pool. But don’t forget the nights!

You could consider renting or buying a projector for backyard movie nights. Make sure your fire pit is ready to make s’mores. If you don’t have fun floating pool lights, this might be a good excuse to get some.


Good luck, and have fun!

Photo credit: SuperFantastic / CC BY 2.0