There is nothing better than going on a vacation and getting away from work and stress and simply setting aside time to relax and recharge. But as nice as a vacation is, sometimes it’s just not ideal timing for you and your loved ones. Hotel and transportation costs add up quickly, and travelling to your destination may take some time.
However, you’re not out of options. Plan a stay-at-home vacation, or staycation, and cut the costs without giving up much-needed R&R. Plus, saving money on transportation and accommodations allows for extra time to spend discovering new activities right in your own backyard.
Here are 10 tips to help create your perfect staycation in Virginia Beach:
1. Unplug. Unplug everything that causes you stress. Take a break from your smartphone, laptop, iPad, tablet, etc. to get the full refreshing, relaxing benefits from your vacation, separate yourself from work emails and social media and have your kids do the same.
2. Don’t cook or clean. Treat your staycation like a normal vacation and take a break from your usual responsibilities. Splurge on a house-cleaning service at the beginning of the week if you prefer. Don’t stress about what’s for dinner. If you usually go out to eat on vacations, do the same on your staycation, which brings us to the third tip.
3. Try a new restaurant. Ditch your usual go-tos when it comes to dinner. Try a place on the oceanfront you’ve been eyeing, head inland, or switch up your usual seafood restaurant. Be a tourist and let yourself experience Virginia Beach from a different perspective.
4. Go to the beach. When you ask a local the last time he or she went to the beach, the answer will probably surprise you. Living in such close proximity to the beach, we often take it for granted. Make the beach a priority during your staycation. Head to the oceanfront for the touristy experience, or go to a less-crowded beach like Chicks Beach.
5. Geocaching: Geocaching is a great way to get the kids involved and moving (and parents will love it, too). Geocaching is a real-life treasure hunt. Here’s how it works: Using the GPS on your phone, follow the directions to the specific GPS coordinates to find the geocache (a container) hidden in that location. All you need is a free Geocaching.com membership and a GPS and you’re ready for an adventure that everyone will love.
6. Check out local museums. Rainy day? Head to the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art or take the kids to the Virginia Aquarium. They’ll love checking out the art at MOCA and the aquatic life at the aquarium. It’s an educational excursion for the whole family and a great break from the sun for the day.
7. Go to a movie: Trade Netflix on the couch for the ultimate movie experience. Head to Beach Movie Bistro for a unique movie, dinner and drink experience or to Strawbridge to watch a movie in comfort while in the reclining seats. Don’t forget the popcorn!
8. Get adventurous. Check out the Adventure Park at Virginia Aquarium. Located in the trees between the Marsh and Ocean Pavilions is the “aerial forest park.” The Adventure Forest is the largest forest-climbing park in the nation with 15 trails, 21 zip lines, six difficulty levels and 200 challenge bridges. Each bridge is connected by cable, wood, rope and zip lines presenting a different challenge of how to get to the next platform. Don’t worry—you get to choose your own challenge level. All ages from 5 to adult will have a blast challenging themselves while spending quality time outdoors.
9. Hit the trails. Get the family together to explore the great outdoors. Pack a picnic and hike trails such as First Landing State Park, with over nine trails covering over 19 miles. Stay for a few hours or the whole day, or even pitch a tent overnight at one of their 200 campsites.
10. Kayak or Paddleboard. Get up close and personal with the ocean during a guided, hands-on tour. From kayaks to paddleboards, you’ll get a front-row seat to the Atlantic Ocean in all its glory. Or opt for freshwater at Back Bay Wildlife Refuge or West Neck Creek. Adventure Kayak Tours offers kayaking trips and rentals for the whole family, or check out Rudee Inlet Stand Up Paddle for tours and lessons on a stand up paddleboard.
Take paddleboarding a step further with Stand-Up Paddleboard Barre. Read about it here.