This is our 3rd year of official stay-cationing and we have come to LOVE IT.   Home is actually our favorite place to be so stay-cations are our love language.  But even if you’re not planning a full vacation at home, this might encourage you for the occasional summer company.  Here’s are some tips on preparing for some festive time at home!

Ready the House


Do your cleaning ahead of time just as if you were about to leave on vacation.  I don’t know about you, but when I leave for vacation, I like to leave my house pretty spotless.  You know, in case the plane crashes and my mom and sister have to come and sift through all my chotch-keys, I’d at least like the place to be clean.  And I find that giving yourself a few hours of focused cleaning (on the bathrooms, kitchen, and places where guests will stay) is usually enough.  I rally the troops and we clean like there’s no tomorrow so that it has that welcoming vibe and smell!  Then,  next week when it all looks like chaos?  Who cares?  We’re on staycation, remember?

And while you’re readying the house, don’t forget to ready yourself.  Maybe you need a pedicure? Some new flip flops?  A cute sundress?

Prepare as if you were headed to Key West.

Change Your Mindset


You have to keep reminding yourself that you’re on stay-cation, because it’s easy to slip into your old routines.

Can’t the laundry wait?  Maybe we should ditch dinner plans and go out?  Leave the dishes til morning?

YES, yes, and yes! YOU ARE ON STAYCATION.  Don’t forget.

Kids wanna stay up late and eat popsicles at midnight? Well, of course.

Momma wants to get up early and read all morning?  I can’t think of anything better.

Everybody sleeps in til 10 and we decide to start the day at Waffle House for brunch?  Sure, we’re on staycation.

Staycation is like vacation—low on rules and high on fun, rest, and relaxation.  You’ll have to keep reminding yourself, trust me.


Pencil in Your Festivities



We’re lucky to live on the lake so we have very little planning to do.  Hang out at the lake everyday—that’s our plan.

But.  I do like to festive it up by having some fun photo booths, by having festive food, and by RELAXING enough to enjoy it all!

Maybe you’ll do a day trip or two.  Maybe you’ll stay up late and star gaze.  There’s always homemade ice cream and picnics and campfires and (if you’re at our house) plenty of corn hole.

Have a loose schedule and then follow your stay-cation whims wherever they take you.



Plan Your Food



Don’t like to cook?  Order out all week.  We’re foodies, so part of the fun for us is planning ahead and enjoying some  good food together.

Also? We live in Bean Station, not exactly a metropolis of delicious eateries, although there is that one gas station where Stevie sometimes takes me for a date.

Anyhoo, I love a good menu plan and it gives us a guideline for the week.  We ditch it whenever we feel like it but you have to start somewhere.




  • Breakfast—Bagels,  Lox, and Egg Sandwiches
  • Lunch—Picnic on the boat
  • Supper—Smoked Ribs and Homemade Pizza, and homemade ice cream



Friday (the 4th)


Okay, so tell if you’ve ever tried the stay-cation.  I’d love to know all about it!

(p.s. I had to make a quick road trip with my sister for family illness so the podcast is coming, just late.)

(pps. I’ll be taking some time off from blogging beginning some time next week to dive into book writing and enjoy my people for the summer.  I’ll be sending out some short updates via my newsletter, so subscribe here if you haven’t.  I’ll also still be on Instagram and Facebook, if you want to follow me there!)

26 comments on “How I Plan the Perfectly Imperfect Staycation”

  1. We live on a large working farm and our family owns a livestock sale auction. So a staycation is a little difficult 😉 But we are closed next week (the auction) for July 4th. So I’m hoping to plan a few fun things here and around town. We do live on a big creek so lots of relaxing is had there. Thank you for the inspiration and encouragement. My family will be thrilled!

  2. I totally know what you mean by your major-before-vacation-clean…my husband used to (before his sweet self went to heaven) call mine ‘the death clean’ cause I didn’t want to die on vacation and have my friends and family come to my home afterwards to find cluttered closets and dusty shelves…aren’t we strange creatures?!

  3. We did a 4 day staycation last summer. Each person in the family had a budget for their day. They had to plan one outing and one meal within their plan. We went pottery painting and to a museum one day. We took a private shooting lesson another day. We saw a movie, played golf and made some great memories. My kids were 14 and 12 at the time so it was fun to let them be the “cruise directors” for a day each.

  4. Sounds like y’all’s is going to be great, Edie 🙂 Love the water skiing picture! Miss doing that- Thanks for all your good ideas. We were going to have company for the 4th, however, the plans got changed- family illness. We will have a quiet weekend at home. We had started purging & cleaning, getting ready for company. I plan to continue with it. I have gotten rid of A LOT (where does all this clutter come from?) and it feels great. Getting lighter & lighter. We have not had a real staycation. I seem to not be able to stay home without doing work of some kind 🙂
    Hope your family member is better- Looking forward to the podcast.
    What about your App? Is it still coming out??? Let us know 🙂
    I hope your time away is fruitful & productive. Looking forward to your book. I will miss you & your posting! WAH! (entirely selfish) Enjoy that beautiful family & your life, one day at a time. Hope y’all have a Rockin’ 4th! See you on IG & FB

  5. I honestly think staycations can be better than vacations. My husband and I recently sent the kids off to grandparents for a few nights and did just this. It was incredibly fun and so budget friendly. Definitely something we will do again!

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  7. I love staycations (but I also love travel). We started staycations back around 2002 because of all the awesome resorts Arizona has to offer and during the hottest months, they are like half the price. We also staycation at our home…when all our out of town guests come to town. I treat it like a real vacay, we spend more money, eat out, get pedi’s, massages, movies, shopping the whole bit. I just blogged about ours a few days ago. Our guests left last Tuesday. This summer, we have several sets of guests…so it’s going to be fun but I’ll have to figure a way to make it less expensive. We are students now!! 🙂

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  9. OH, my gosh. My sister and family are in town, so I made Puffy Tacos and the whole shebang: lime cilantro slaw, beans rice, homemade guacamole. Sooo good! We were all raving. Thanks for sharing the family jewels. Dee-lish!!

  10. We are currently in the midst of our staycation. Hubby and the boy are both playing video games of their choice, and I am working on sorting/clearing out the kitchen drawers. I know it sounds pathetic but we are loving it! Now I have to admit we did spend the day running errands down in Indy but had a blast doing so. Ordered hubby’s new police badge, went to World Market which just happens to be the boy’s favorite store… left with a cart full of interesting international treats, played with silly toys, sat on all the sofas/chairs, and had a great time just being silly which felt great as The Boy is 15. Hubby and I found new chairs for the back deck!!! Tomorrow is supposed to be too chilly for the pool so we’ll eat, play games, read a little, eat, play around in the kitchen together, and then light off fireworks! Saturday we head downtown to pick up our farmer’s market basket of goodies and wander around the festival! If there is a parade tomorrow we might even take that in. All in all we are just enjoying not doing anything and hanging together before The Boy heads out on a youth mission’s trip and hubby has a week of crazy meetings. Aren’t staycations great?!

  11. Love this post!! Great ideas!!! FYI: I think your Quiche Lorraine link is wrong…tried to look a the recipe and it linked to a post about a lovely mannequin with Christmas tree as her skirt! You’re awesome BTW!!!!

  12. We had our first official stay-cation this April…quite by accident. We had headed out on vacation four hours away at a popular lake/tourist place, but when our young boys weren’t sleeping and the weather was colder than it had been in weeks, we packed up and headed home to finish our week off as a stay-cation. The beauty of it was that I had already completely prepared for vacation, so my house was clean, the laundry was done, and we had budgeted money for eating out and doing a few extra fun things. I just had to remind myself to stay in vacation mode even though we were at our house. It was fantastic. We bought the boys a couple new toys (since we would have spent that money on something momentary anyway on our planned vacation) and let them enjoy a little spoiling and some new distractions. I didn’t cook once the rest of the week. And we made a point to watch movies and enjoy good snacks once our boys were down last night. We enjoyed it so much that we’ve actually decided to do vacations in place of stay-cations at least for the near future!

  13. I love the staycation ideas! I took my first official staycation this year in Feb to watch the Olympics. I called it my ‘Olympic Binge Watching Staycation.’ I watched every winter Olympic sport and especially enjoyed learned the nuances to curling. It was probably the most relaxing week that I have ever had. There was nothing I wanted to do except root for the US.

  14. Wow, I’m sold! Now to get hubby to agree. We live on an island, and our past couple of summers have had fabulous weather. Hubby doesn’t like to leave the island because it is lovely and there are so many activities to enjoy – boating on the lakes, fishing, crabbing in the Puget Sound, sailing in the Sound and so much more. But what do we do? Laundry, lawn and garden care, window washing, home repairs and more. Sure, we also enjoy the activities, but never like one does on vacation, with just the fun stuff in mind. I love the idea of preparing in advance to just take it easy, but I’m not sure my husband understands that concept. I’m going to start working on him now. And thanks so much for the menu ideas. I can use those!

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