How To Plan A Family Staycation With Toddlers

How To Plan A Family Staycation With Toddlers

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Hello Mamas, do you want some help on how to plan a family staycation with your toddlers?

Let me share with you the steps that I use as I plan for our very first “official staycation”, and I hope that it will also help in your planning.

If the word staycation is still new to you, please check this related post:

What Is The Difference Between A Vacation And A Staycation?

How To Plan A Family Staycation With Toddlers

Planning a family staycation with toddlers is easy. First, make sure to take care of the basics by deciding the dates and the duration, then followed by deciding on the theme or style, making a list of things to do, and setting a budget. After the basics are taken care of, make sure to get into vacation mode during the staycation by planning and making the meals ahead of time, and by dedicating a day to clean the house before the staycation starts.


1. Decide On The Dates And The Duration.

Decide on the dates. Just like a normal vacation, you have to plan when to do the staycation and for how long. Take a look at your family’s calendar and choose dates that are convenient for everyone. Make sure that there are no overlapping schedules.

I suggested to the husband that our first “official staycation” will be in the 3rd week of August. But then the carpenter called that he was coming to finish the barbeque area, so we moved it to the last week of August.

Decide on the duration of the entire staycation. Since we already made an 8-day vacation just recently and it’s our very first try on the concept of staycation, so, we decided to make it short. It’s going to be 3 days.

Decide on the duration on a daily scale. This is an important aspect to consider, especially if parents (or one of them) are working from home. My husband works from home and because he is autonomous, so he doesn’t have an official vacation.

In this regard, we decided that the staycation mode will start at lunchtime everyday, which means that he can still work for half-day during the 3-day staycation.

2. Decide On The Theme Or Style.

A family staycation can be done in a lot of styles and themes.

It can be an exclusive at-home staycation where all activities are done in the comfort of the home.

An exclusive touristy staycation is also another option, where the activities are all about visiting tourist spots in your city or neighboring cities.

A food-themed staycation where all activities are related to food like cooking an international dish together, dining out in a fancy restaurant, or setting up a cooking competition is also a fun theme to consider.

You can always come up with your own theme and style.

And of course, you can always mix different themes and styles, which is exactly what we will be doing.

3. Make A List Of Things To Do.

After the dates, duration, themes, and styles are set, it’s time to move on to the most exciting part: making a list of activities to do during the staycation!

Consider the age and interests of your toddlers for maximum fun!

Though toddlers are basically kids from 1 to 3 years old, there are toddler activities that are specifically appropriate for each year range.

And make sure to align the activities with their interests, too. Though trying something new is also a good thing.

Since our planned staycation is only 3 days, so we have 3 activities in mind: a visit to Simon Coll, a chocolate factory close to home, a movie night, and a visit to Marineland.

For more staycation ideas for families with toddlers, feel free to check this related post:

236+ Summer Staycation Ideas For Families With Toddlers.


Make a huge list of staycation ideas for your family. Print it out and tick the item out after doing it, so you don’t have to make another list of what activities to do for the next time, and you just choose from the unticked items for your next staycation.

4. Set A Budget.

Because of the nature of staycation as being less expensive, there’s a tendency to spend money on unnecessary things, so setting a budget is a good idea.

Make sure to be generous with your budget, though, to make room for unplanned expenses like your toddlers wanting to buy one of the toys that they see, or you suddenly decide to eat out instead of stressing out and rushing to be home for dinner, etc.


Getting into vacation mode in making a staycation.

Now that the basics are already taken care of, it’s time to make sure that you’ll be in “vacation mode” during the staycation.

RELATED POST: Pros and Cons of Staycation

This means that have to avoid house chores as much as possible to achieve a real staycation vibe. I am doubtful with this one though because I know moms can’t resist clutter and unwashed dishes!

But here are some tips that will help us through:

5. Plan And Make The Meals Ahead.

This is a great idea to make sure that you won’t be cooking during the staycation! If you do, it would feel like a normal day where we cook, clean, etc.

Plan and make the meal ahead - another tip on how to plan a family staycation with toddlers.

Look for freezer meals or make-ahead meals ideas, there are thousands on Pinterest. I’ll start looking, too, and will be sharing it with you soon.

Already on the list is a make-ahead moussaka recipe to take advantage of the many fresh eggplants from the garden.

In my case, it also means making our favorite homemade yogurt (a must-have in our fridge) ahead of time and at least one dessert ready which could either be homemade petit suisse or homemade Spanish natillas.

6. Dedicate A Day To Clean The House Before The Family Staycation.

Scheduling a cleaning day before the staycation is very important, just like preparing and making the meals ahead of time.

If the house is not clean and in order, I am 100% sure that you’ll end up cleaning and tidying up (I know Moms!) during the staycation and it will ruin the “vacation vibe”.

I do the same thing before going on a vacation because I learned the hard way. One time, we went on a vacation with the house in a mess.

We came home and the toys were all over the floor, there were a lot of things on top of the table and the counter. It stressed me out! So, instead of relaxing on the sofa after a long car ride with toddlers, I end up tidying up the house.

After that, I said to myself never to go on vacation again without cleaning the house first. And now, it has become a routine, a must-do before leaving for a vacation.

Final Thoughts

I hope that the tips I shared on how to plan a family staycation with toddlers will be helpful to you Mamas.

Do you already have activities, themes, and styles in mind for your next or very first family staycation?

Please feel free to share them in the comment section below.

Have a lot of fun and make sure to observe social distancing and health protocols when doing activities outside the house.

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