The Detailed Pros And Cons Of Staycation (For Families With Small Kids)

I just want to share with you the pros and cons of staycation, especially for families like us who have small kids, since it is becoming more and more popular lately, especially when the covid-19 pandemic started.

If you are still wondering what is the difference between vacation and staycation, this post will surely be of help.

The Pros and Cons of Staycation

Though a staycation is a great alternative for a family vacation, it also comes with its pros and cons, just like vacation and any other thing.

Here are the advantages and disadvantages of staycation, especially for families with small kids, to help you out in deciding between a family vacation or a staycation.

The Pros of Staycation

Here are some advantages of staycation that I personally love:

1. No Heavy Packing Involve

This is a great advantage, especially for moms with multiple kids. What a relief when you don’t have to pack heavily for a trip and if you will be coming back home at the end of the day, then there will be very minimal packing to be done.

No stress whatsoever compared to packing for many days of vacation.

2. No Long Flights and Long Drives

Long flights and long drives are not fun at all when having small kids in tow. So, a staycation is a great way to avoid all these.

My husband has already declared (after our very first family out-of-the-country vacation) that there will be no more out-of-the-country vacations for us while #2 is still in diaper and can’t talk properly yet.

He has to be out of diaper and can at least say clearly if he wants to go to the toilet, is hungry, or have a stomach ache before we can consider having a far-away vacation once again.

A photo of a father with a small boy on a stroller in an airport ready for their first long flight.
My husband and our then 1 year and 2 months old toddler in the new Mactan International Airport (in Cebu, Philippines) for our flight back to Spain.

We went to the Philippines to visit my family for the first time after having a child when our firstborn was 1 year and 2 months old and my husband was traumatized by the experience. It was a very longgggg flight and the toddler only slept for one hour on our 12-hour plane ride from Barcelona to Singapore.

My husband was exhausted and it doesn’t help that he is the type who feels weak and sick without a goodnight’s sleep.

3. Less Expensive

Staycation is the answer if your family is on a tight budget, but doesn’t want to skip the adventures and fun of a vacation.

One of the reasons why a staycation is less expensive is that you can do most of the activities at home, which saves on transportation and accommodation costs.

You can also cook your own meals and save even more money. Additionally, there are many local restaurants that offer affordable meals without having to leave your comfort zone.

4. A Goodnight Sleep

When you are vacationing, your body is working hard to accommodate the new environment and new activities. This can lead to fatigue and a lack of sleep, which can leave you and your entire family feeling drained both physically and emotionally.

a photo of a family who just woke up after a goodnight sleep - one of the pros of staycation.

But with a staycation, you don’t have to sleep in a hotel (though it can also be an option). And this is such a good advantage especially if you and your family are the types who can’t get good sleep when sleeping in a new place for the first time.

This is how my family feels no matter how cozy and comfortable our accommodation is, we always have difficulty sleeping on the first night.

5. Environment Friendly

When your family is on staycation, you’re not only saving money on your accommodation and meals, but you’re also reducing your environmental impact.

Instead of traveling to a new destination and then spending time packing and unpacking your belongings, all of which require energy and resources, staying in one place can help reduce your carbon footprint.

What a good feeling knowing that your family is reducing carbon footprint and waste by not flying and not driving a long distance. Staycation is a nice way to be kinder to Mother Earth.

6. It Supports the Local Economy

Aside from saving money on your accommodation and meals, staycation also supports the local economy.

Since you are staying home or exploring your locality, you are helping your local economy. And this is good, especially since we are still battling with the covid-19 pandemic where our local businesses and local staff need as much support as possible to keep on thriving.

grandfather with his grandsons buying wine at a local wine store.
The boys with their Avi (Catalan term for grandpa) buying wine at the local wine store.

Staying for a night at a local hotel is another staycation possibility and another way of supporting the local economy. I use most of the time to check for accommodations.

7. Less Stress

Since your family is not traveling or traveling far, there are no competing demands on your time, which means that you can have more time to rest and relax.

This is great news, especially for parents who are under a lot of stress.

Staycation gives you the chance to recharge your batteries, and come back with fresh energy without the need to travel far.

8. More Family Time

One of the great things about a staycation is that it let you spend more time together with your family since you don’t have to spend extra time moving and packing from place to place.

a photo of a father with his 2 sons playing and having a long quality time by not going to a far place - one of the pros of staycation

And because your family is staying in one place, it means that there’s more time for family bonding. You can relax and enjoy each other’s company without feeling rushed or stressed out.

9. New Perspective in Exploring Your Locality or City

By taking a staycation, you can get to know your city in a whole new way. You can go to new places and attractions that you haven’t been to before.

You’ll learn about the history and the culture, and you’ll have plenty of new memories with your family without driving or flying to faraway places.

a photo of a local harbour as part of of exploring the locality with a new perspective - one of the pros of staycation
Exploring a local harbor, just less than an hour’s drive from home.

The Cons of Staycation

1. It Can Feel Boring

If your family is used to traveling and taking in different experiences, staying at home can feel a bit boring. There’s not as much to do, no new places to explore, and no new people to meet.

a photo of toddler boys feeling bored on a staycation

However, if you’re willing to put in a little effort and plan ahead, there are plenty of ways your family can be entertained, enjoy, and have fun on a staycation.

You can read books or watch TV shows together, go for walks or hikes, or take part in family-friendly activities like cooking or arts and crafts.

2. It’s Not Cozy As A Hotel or Vacation Setting

One of the few disadvantages of a staycation is that it’s not as cozy as a hotel setting, though, we can combat this by preparing before the staycation starts, so, our homes will be as cozy as possible.

We can imitate the hotel ambiance by doing the things that we usually do in a hotel setting like eating a special breakfast, having a recipe for lunch for the first time, ordering a take-out or having dinner in a famous restaurant, not doing laundry, not cleaning the house, watching some movies, and playing games.

3. You Might End Up Working Like Normal Days

Just like vacation, a staycation is taking a break from the mundane or stepping away from stress for a short time.

But because a staycation is having a vacation at home, it’s very likely that you can’t avoid doing some housework.

A photo of a husband on the chicken coop during staycation.
Husband about to clean the chicken coop, even in staycation mode.

This is true, especially for Mamas who can’t stand seeing the toys all over the place, or the house is very cluttered and disorganized.

But this is also true for hardworking dads who can’t resist doing a work or two. This happened to my husband on our first official staycation. One of the clients called, so, he was forced to get to resolve the issues, even if we agreed earlier that he won’t be working.

How to Make Your Staycation More Enjoyable

The best way to make your family’s staycation more enjoyable is to plan ahead!

photo of two toddler boys sitting on chairs in a local cafe, enjoying their staycation.

Ask each family member what they prefer, so, you can make a list and schedule of activities based on their interests. This will help you avoid any last-minute headaches.

Final Thoughts on Staycation Pros and Cons

A staycation can be a great way to relax, enjoy and spend quality time with your family, just like a vacation. It can be a perfect breather from your family’s hectic schedule without the need to travel far. 

By avoiding the cons of staycation as much as possible, a family staycation can be a great vacation from the comfort of your home!

Do you have advantages and disadvantages of staycation that are not on the list? Are you having a family staycation soon? What are your plans and what do you prefer, vacation or staycation? Feel free to share them in the comments below.

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