It’s not always possible to get away for a summer vacation, so many families spend their summer right at home. We’re doing just that this summer, but we’ve learned over the years that making smaller excursions right in your own city or surrounding areas is a great way to have fun over the summer break! Many people refer to this as a staycation, though personally, I’ve never understood the term – when I was a kid, we just called it staying home for the summer. Whether you call it a staycation, a vacation in your own city or state, or simply enjoy some time as a family exploring the local fun, here are a couple of tips our family has taken advantage of to make these trips easier.
Tips for Easy Packing When Heading Out for a Fun Day with the Family
Use Bins to Organize Your Equipment and Have Items Readily Available
A trip to the beach with the kids requires packing a lot more items than going by yourself. Every time we plan a day at the beach, we end up packing bags with food, towels, sunscreen, and of course, play equipment. We recently figured that if we kept a bin in the trunk of our truck with our sand toys, sunscreen, water shoes, blankets, etc., we would have half of our packing already done and could easily just pack a bag with food and towels to get ourselves out the door. Even better, this would allow us to make spur of the moment beach trips without a lot of preplanning. These organizational bins from Walmart are perfect for creating a “beach kit” or “park kit” that you can keep in the car for spontaneous outings – just get the size you need depending on how many items you have and their size!
Keep a Pre-Packed Backpack with Essentials
Depending on your outing of choice, there are always those essential items you need to take with you for your family. For example, when we visit any of the many Central Florida theme parks, we always take a backpack with sunscreen, hats, autograph books, napkins, wipes, diapers, etc. I also add my wallet and phone since carrying a single backpack makes it easier to walk around a theme park with kids than carrying both a purse and diaper bag. (Hint: Use a mesh bag – it makes it easier to get through the security line!) We tend to keep our “theme park backpack” packed with our autograph book + pen, sunscreen, wipes, and diapers so we can just add the remaining necessary items as we head out the door for a day of fun.
Think of things you always take with you for excursions and consider if you can keep them packed to create kits that are easily accessible. Using organizational bins, large bags, and backpacks, you can keep your family prepared for local fun this summer and have the best “staycation” ever!
What are some of your favorite places to visit right in your city?
Disclosure: As a participant in the Walmart Moms Program, I received compensation for my time and efforts in creating this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
All photos © Melanie Edwards/modernmami™