Monday, 5 January 2015

5 Top Tips for the Best Staycation Ever + Giveaway Competition!

This summer holiday our family decided to have a staycation at home rather than travel away. By 'staycation' I don't mean we just stayed at home and did what we always do but we actively planned to have a relaxing and fun holiday at home with the benefits of less expense and minus the hassles of travel.

How did we do it? Below are my top 5 tips for having the best staycation ever! And keep reading as I have a giveaway competition with a prize to assist you relax these holidays and beyond at the end of this blog post!

1) Plan Ahead
For a successful staycation, planning is essential! I suggest planning for your staycation as you would plan for a holiday away. 

The first thing to plan and decide is the start and end dates of your staycation. We planned for a 10 day staycation. 

You also need to pre-plan activities and outings for the staycation so you can enjoy the actual staycation relaxing and having fun and having a break from your usual activities, chores and dare I say rut you are in during school term & work time!

2) Be a Tourist
Visit your local tourist information centre and pick up brochures for local attractions. Alternatively you could visit a local hotel/tourist attraction as these locations often have a stash of tourist brochures also.

You may think you know all the local attractions but you could be pleasantly surprised and discover new local activities. I did. The other benefit of visiting the local tourist information centre is that they sometimes offer discounts to some of the local attractions if the tickets are purchased from them.

Several of the tourist brochures I picked up also contained discount coupons in the back of them. Bonus!!!
                                         

Involve your children in the planning of activities and outings. We allowed our children to pick a one day outing/activity each. Their choices ranged from surfing lessons, a visit to an indoor trampolining centre and a visit to the Jenolan Caves.

3) Unplug
During holidays away you are usually NOT in contact with your work office via phone calls or emails. So for the duration of your staycation ban all contact and mention of your work! 

I also encouraged my children to tell their friends they would be unavailable for the 10 days of their staycation. This was to ensure a break from their normal routines and to give us a chance to do activities and have outings as a family rather than a child asking to go on a playover or sleepover with a friend.

Usually on holidays away I read at least one book. So on our staycation I made a point of truly unplugging by limiting my computer time and NOT checking my emails (shock, horror!). I bought and read two books in my quiet me time instead. 

                                        

4) Check Out Free Local Events
A lot of cities and towns offer free outdoor evening movie screenings during holiday periods. We ended up attending three such movie screenings which the kids all loved. There were also free children's activities on offer before the movie and we brought along a picnic dinner to enjoy whilst watching the movies.

In our area I also saw several free bushwalks, a coastal walk and a night walk organised by the local council.


Image Credit: PK Robbins
5) Create a Holiday Ambiance 
For me one of the hardest parts of enjoying a staycation and relaxing at home is letting go of the normal everyday chores and just enjoying myself as I would on a holiday away.

To enable me to relax during our staycation I organised a cleaning blitz of our house in the two days prior to our staycation and also did a food shop. As a result during our staycation the only chores I did were the ones I would also do during a holiday away, that is preparing easy breakfasts and washing our swimmers. Each family member was responsible for making or not making their own bed, their choice! Most meals, apart from breakfast, were eaten out.

In addition to the above 'staycation chore-atorium' I also created a relaxing holiday ambiance by placing scented candles in our living areas to create a relaxing ambiance in the evenings. The candles I used were the amazing new Air Wick Silhouette candles. My favourite had a sailing boat silhouette on it and was 'amber mandarin glow' scented, a lovely fresh citrus scent. Air Wick also has many other exquisite fragrances including 'French Vanilla Romance'.

The amazing thing about these candles is that when you light them, not only do they have a flickering flame, which by itself normally captivates and relaxes me, they are also multicolour changing! Once lit, a soft and tranquil glow illuminates through the wax. This glow then gently changes colour to create a truly relaxing ambiance. The photo below shows the multicolour cycle.



GIVEAWAY COMPETITION

Thanks to Air Wick I have a gift pack of 4 Air Wick candles to give away including:
  1. Scented Candle - Lemonade Stand (Sweet Summer Fruits scent)
  2. Scented Candle - Unwind Time (French Lavender scent)
  3. Silhouettes -  Amber Mandarin Glow 
  4. Silhouettes - French Vanilla Romance 
(Please note that I was gifted the same 4 pack of candles).


Sweet Summer Fruits French LavenderAmber Mandarin GlowFrench Vanilla Romance
Terms and Conditions.
Competition entry opens on 6/1/2015 and closes at midnight on 12/1/2015.
Entries are open to Australian residents only. (Sorry to my international blog readers).
There are three methods of entering this competition. You can choose one, two or three of these methods. The more methods you choose, the more entries you receive. 
Click on the Rafflecopter Giveaway link below to start entering.
The winner will be chosen randomly.
The winner will be announced on this blog and contacted via the email address they provided.
Email addresses will not be used for any other purpose than contacting the winner and all email addresses will be deleted after this competition concludes.
The winner must contact me with the Australian address details of where they want their prize sent within 7 days of the winner being announced.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

GIVEAWAY WINNER: CONGRATULATIONS TO JANINE M G! 

xx
Ingrid

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46 comments:

  1. What a fabulous idea. I'm going to try a staycation at some stage this year too - love it! (stopping by with #IBOT)

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    1. Thanks Tonia. Don't forget to enter the competition. The candle pack creates such a beautiful relaxing ambiance!

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  2. Great tips! We had a staycation last year. We live on the Gold Coast so figured if so many people come here for holidays, why don't we stay here for one? Unfortunately I got sick for a couple of days and was in bed, so we didn't do everything we wanted to, but it was still nice. We might have to do that again this year. -Aroha

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    1. I guess that's another benefit of staycationing! If you become sick you can rest and recover in your own bed! I hope you have a healthier staycation next time! I love visiting the Gold Coast!

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  3. I love these candles, they will light up my night!

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  4. I love the idea of a staycation. I would also add some kind of spa treatment, because that makes it a holiday for me!

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    1. A spa treatment sounds like a perfect staycation addition!

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  5. A staycation sounds like a fun idea. Lovely giveaway, this candle pack sounds great!

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  6. We camped in the back yard with friends for two nights- was great fun?

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    1. Sounds like a great staycation adventure! My kids would love camping in the backyard!

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  7. That's funny, we look back and our favourite holidays have been staycations. We are not rushed, catching planes or trains, unpacking, packing, visiting everything in one day, staycations are so relaxing and calming, just like those beautiful Air Wick candles :) :)

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  8. I am all for realising what great adventures are in your own 'backyard'.

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    1. We so often forget about the great adventures to be had in our own 'backyards'.

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  9. Awesome tips for a staycation. I love that you acted like tourists in your own town too. I think it's so easy to forget about the things that are in our own towns.

    p.s my email is tegan.musings@gmail.com

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  10. We did a couple of staycations last year and if you plan them right they are heaps of fun. Great tips xx

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  11. I love a staycation over the festive period. My son has newtoys and games he ijsx eager to play with, the beaches in Perth are the best and only 10 minutes away, and the sakes are on!!!

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    1. Sounds like you have all the ingredients for a perfect staycation!

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  12. Oh, I love staycations! They are the best idea, especially with little kids who don't travel well. I love those candles too - we have one at home and I get mesmerised watching the colours change. No idea how it does it, it's like magic!

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    1. The colour changing candles are mesmerising, I have no idea how they work either! I prefer to think it is magic!

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  13. What a great idea! We're planning a staycation with family over easter - can't wait. I love your tips!!!

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    1. Hi Lucy, I hope your Easter staycation goes well!

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  14. We have we have done this several times over the years and discovered so many things for tourists that we normally wouldn't have done, and the kids have loved the adventures. Even something as simple as taking a packed lunch and walking around the town to areas we haven't seen before.

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  15. Being a bit of a homebody, I love holidays at home with the kids, there are always plenty of things to see and do that don't cost a cent, you just have to know where to look :)

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  16. Hello, such lovely candles. We have just painted and the room is bare and needs some brightening up and cheering up

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    1. The candles would definitely help with that!

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  17. Gorgeous, decadent and classy. Love em!

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    1. Also relaxing, mesmerising and maybe even a bit magical! ;)

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  18. A staycation and making a conscious decision to relax while at home is a great idea!

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  19. I love these ideas! Fantastic advice, especially being a tourist in your own town - sometimes we forget to check out our local gems don't we?

    Have a great day!

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    1. Thanks Aanika! It's easy to forget local gems we tend to take them for granted

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  20. Love this idea. Have lived in my town for 30 odd years and have not visited all of the local attractions!

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  21. Its ironic that we work so hard to beautify and make comfortable our own living environment yet never REALLY take time to enjoy it. I think we would all learn something about ourselves and the things around us if we took a staycation - even only if its just once!

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  22. What a great way to spend your holiday break :-)

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  23. Such a great idea! I need to try some of these things, however it's back to work as of Monday, officially anyway! :/ Those candles look so pretty!! Love all the colours! xx

    -CandyFairy Blogs <3

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  24. Such a wonderful, beautiful prize pack! I would just love to transform our home to be welcoming with these candles that make a big difference.

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  25. Staycations can be sometimes more relaxing than going away. I also love that there is no packing or unpacking. :)

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