We’ve all been there before, life gets busy, the kids are always on the go and you are working more hours a week than you ever intended. You think to yourself how much you wish you could get away. You get slightly jealous over that one friend who uses a company called NetJets so that she can travel in style whenever she wants. We all need time away sometimes, but realistically as a busy mom, you can’t always take a full vacation. It would be great if we could, as a busy mom you might love the idea of going to somewhere like the Crowne Plaza Chicago West Loop hotel, but often times we just don’t have time. One of the things you can do to get a little time away is a staycation. If you don’t know what a staycation is, let me explain.
*This a sponsored post with Kinzie Hotel
A staycation is taking a vacation at or close to home. People take staycations for many reasons. Some people take a staycation when they want to get-away for a little while but don’t have the time to take off from work. Some people take staycations because they have little ones and don’t want to travel too far from home. Whatever your reason for taking a staycation may be, always remember a staycation is just as important as a vacation and can make all the difference in the lives of a busy family.
My family and I enjoyed a mini staycation at the Kinzie and we agreed it was one of the most peaceful and comfortable stays we’ve had. The atmosphere rocked my 3-year old to sleep and he actually slept in past 9 a.m. The rooms were cozy and comfortable, after settling in he felt right at home. Feeling at home is the key to making any vacation work and a staycation is no different.
Tips for Planning A Staycation
Staycations are amazing for any location, but Chicago is extra special simply because there is so much to do and see right in the city. You don’t have to spend money on airline tickets and make travel arrangements when there are so many of the city’s best restaurants and top attractions to enjoy right outside your door.
I know it may sound odd, but preparing for a staycation is as important as preparing for a longer vacation. Here are a few of my tips for planning a staycation that helped make our stay fun and relaxing.
Decide On A Theme For Your Staycation
When we plan for a staycation we decide ahead of time what we are going to do, or at least what our mood is going to be for the time while we are away. People like to adventure out when they are on vacation, see every tourist spot possible and some people just like to chill. Deciding on your approach to the stay can help you plan for a great time. For example, during our stay at the Kinzie Hotel, it was my son first time staying in a hotel in downtown Chicago. Knowing that it would be his first time, I planned for us to walk downtown and have dinner so he could experience the excitement of the busy city night.
Be A Tourist In Your Own City
It is perfectly fine to become a tourist in your own city, chances are there is something you haven’t experienced before. You can plan to visit attractions that are near your hotel room. Our hotel room’s view faced directly across from Harry Carey’s restaurant, so that was a new experience for me. Everything was within walking distance or a quick Uber ride from our Kinzie Hotel stay. Our hotel was absolutely gorgeous so we really didn’t need to leave the room. However, Kinzie offers an Explore Chicago Package that you can request when you make your reservations. It comes included with a CityPass, a one-quart tin of Garret Popcorn and Fannie Mae chocolates.
Pack For Your Kids
It doesn’t matter if you are staying 15 minutes or 4 hours away from home, packing is still very important specifically when you are traveling with the kids. Create a checklist to help keep you on track. My son didn’t want to sleep in the room once night fell, but once we made him comfortable and his space was filled with a few familiar items he was okay. Keep these tips in mind when traveling near or far and your trip will go smoothly. For my staycation, I took a large diaper bag and it was plenty of room for all his things.
- Fold outfits together and roll them so that everything stays together and fits in one place
- Use storage bags for packing small items
- Take favorite Pajamas (it makes for a cozy nights’ sleep)
- Slippers to wear on hotel carpets, in bathrooms, showers, and pool areas
- I ensured to pack my son’s favorite teddy bear
- Toys, Games, and Books, allow your child to take along a few items to keep them busy
- Diapers, pull-ups or extra underwear
- Extra change of clothing ( for yourself and the kids)
- Load up on the snack especially if your child is a picky eater or has food allergies. Pack your bags with non-perishable items so that your child has something yummy to eat.
- Any medications your child may need, especially if they have a cold or suffer from a chronic condition
The hotel provides a very nice breakfast in the morning, so that is no worries. Again I highly recommend bringing your snacks if you have a child with allergies. Even with following my low carb diet I was still able to eat from the continental breakfast.
Understanding Why You Need A Staycation
We all need time to ourselves and time away from home. Staycations are a chance for you to reconnect with your family, relax, have someone tend to you, and a way for you to disconnect from the world. Staycations are whatever you make of them. It is important to keep your staycation close to your heart and not let others intrude on your time. I suggest disconnecting from work and letting your family and friends know that while you may be staying locally, you are available.
The Kinzie Hotel was wonderful in making our room feel welcoming while away from home. We had everything needed including games for the little guy and an umbrella.
My final and #1 tip, is to treat your staycation like a vacation and enjoy every moment of it. If you are ever in Chicago or want to take some ‘time away”, I highly recommend giving Kinzie Hotel a call.
If you enjoyed this article please share it and comment below. Follow me on Pinterest and pin this to your travel and parenting boards. Please share this with a friend that may need tips for planning a staycation.