With soaring gas and food prices, many of us will be experiencing a “staycation” during the summer of 2008.  A “staycation” is a vacation spent at or near home.  If you’re home is currently for sale, it’s a good idea to create a staycation atmosphere throughout your home and especially in the backyard.  Stage your home so that when buyers walk through that they can picture themselves hanging out and relaxing in their new paradise.

Several of the major retailers are jumping on the band wagon by running major ad campaigns surrounding this concept.  The whole idea is that you don’t have to leave your home to have an enjoyable and relaxing vacation.  What do you need to have the perfect staycation?  Think of a resort and some of the amenities they offer to their guests - comfortable outdoor furniture that is perfect for an afternoon siesta, backyard toys (anything that makes a backyard more fun), a lush flower garden, perhaps a fire pit to take the edge off of a chilly evening and definately some great food! 

Here are some suggestions as to how to plan your staycation to make it a success:

- Schedule start and end dates.  Make your vacation official by scheduling time off.  

- Plan daily activities.  Don’t let yourself and your family sit in front of the television all week.  Schedule activities (at home and within your community) so you get out and have fun.

- Forget the chores!  For your time off, forget making the bed and doing laundry.  After all, you are on vacation!

- Ignore email and voice mail.  It’s hard but try to forget about work demands.  You’ve worked hard all year and deserve the time off so take it.  If you must check in with the office, limit it to an hour a day and when the hour is over then go back on vacation. 

An added benefit of a staycation is that after it’s over you will feel more refreshed and rejuvenated than if you traveled to a destination.  Face it, the logistics of travel are not fun and often very draining on the family.  If I don’t have to wait in line, strip down in front of strangers and take off my shoes to go through airport security, I’m all for it!