The Staycation Jar was inspired by our six year old daughter who asked us to help her raise money for families with sick children. The storyline and all ideas come directly from our recent Family Staycation where we filled our days with creative meals, main events, silliness, and love projects. All proceeds will go directly to Faith Like A Child, Inc.
I don't know about your family, but we often have a difficult time planning a vacation. Don't get me wrong I could organize an insanely awesome vacation on the cheap, in about three hours from top to bottom. This vacation would be filled with energizing experiences, down time, new activities, and awesome deals for our family to enjoy every day, complete with an excel spreadsheet. I'd already have the hotel picked out, airplane tickets purchased, and even a couple of freebies here and there. Yes, I am that person.
My closest friends know this falls into the "Research Queen" category of my life. Now, I would prefer to be a Queen of something way cooler, as "research" just sounds nerdy and un-cool... but I digress. However, if I am being completely honest, researching truly energizes me as I watch blank pieces of paper come to life, and plans come together.
While it isn't for lack of trying, our family has a very difficult time predicting our ability to travel far enough in advance, where we are not slapped with last minute airfare prices, hotel spikes, or only being able to find hotels that are a bit sketch. Being a military family, with one of us literally defined by the medical community as "medically complicated" (that would be me), it is very easy for us to lose a lot of our flexibility in a very short amount of time.
In the past, my husband Todd and I have looked into and dreamed of timeshares, even sitting through presentations on a few occasions. The invitation to swim with dolphins, eat free chips and salsa, and all-you-can-eat ice cream (not together my friends) were definitely tempting. These events caused us to linger around, sometimes longer than the one hour-presentation we were anticipating, cutting into our current vacation time. However, again, due to our lack of flexibility and ability to pre-plan, timeshares are not for us at this time in our lives.
We also bought into the Buy One Vacation Get Three Free deals, only to find after we paid for them, they were not as flexible as advertised (or as we understood, perhaps there could be a very fine line between the two). We found there were so many limitations and restrictions, that after the three years expiration date hit, we could not find the time to utilize even one of these experiences.
This has been an on-going problem for our family for most of the nine plus years my husband and I have been married. But, we finally found a solution, one that actually is cheaper, and in our experience, was more enjoyable than some of the really nice vacations we have taken in the past. No hotels. No airplanes. No jet lag. Less stress. More spontaneity. No keeping two young children occupied for twelve plus hours of travel, while giving your spouse the death look that says, "We are NEVER doing this again!"