5 Ways to Connect During a Family Staycation


Ah, summer! Those glorious long days and warm enchanting evenings, the three month break from busy school schedules, and the long anticipated family vacation!

I’m hard pressed to find anything more ideal than a week at the lake with my wife and little ones, or a long road trip visiting friends we love. But this summer we switched it up and decided to vacation right here in our hometown of San Luis Obispo.


Why opt for a staycation? It’s simple: vacationing in our home town gave us extra budget to splurge on the finer things - like Luna Red and Mint + Craft (a couple of our local favorites!), plus extra time to connect as a couple.  

We found five simple ways to enjoy the beauty of each other’s company while stay-cationing with our kids:

First, get romantic.

Use the money you’re saving on travel to get the upgraded hotel suite with two bedrooms and two bathrooms. We opted to stay at the beautiful beach side Dolphin Bay Resort in San Luis, and had an entire room to ourselves featuring a California king and private bathroom! Try to remember the last time you had the time and space to share a bath at home? A month? Six months? Ever? Life at home is hectic, so draw a warm bath and turn up the music. Romance is never far away when the water is warm and the lights are low.

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Second, sneak off.

Go on a date while your kids enjoy the pool with a baby-sitter. Either book a room at a hotel that provides childcare (like we did at Dolphin Bay), or ask a friend to swing by the hotel. One perk of vacationing at home is that all your go-to babysitters are just a phone call away! When the babysitter arrives sneak out for a long, uninterrupted meal. We spent the night at Novo and scored a table for two on the patio. Awash in the low-lit ambiance with the relaxing sound of San Luis Creek in the background, we talked for hours and feasted on the Novo traditions; lavender lamb chops with smashed fingerling potatoes and marinated chicken satay with cucumber relish. Delicious doesn’t even begin to describe our experience.


Third, use your words.

It’s so easy for us to fill the airtime with conversation about work and kids, so we agreed to take a break from the important day-to-day conversations to talk to each other about each other. After dinner (and bedtime for the kids) we retired to the comfy chairs on our balcony and opened the 365 Connecting Questions book. Our conversation was rolling in no time, and we enjoyed each other so much we almost talked through the night.  


Fourth, say thank you.

Find one simple way over the course of your staycation to let your partner know that you see them. This was important to me because my wife is remarkable; she works tremendously hard to make a beautiful, healthy life for our family and somehow she manages to make it look easy. To recognize and appreciate her never-ending effort I was up early every morning to get the kids breakfast followed by a walk on the beach. I also made sure to have warm coffee delivered to our room, because there aren’t too many things my wife loves more than sleeping in and drinking a fresh pot of french press. Get creative with your gratitude! Let your partner know you see them!

Fifth, capture the memories.

To make our staycation seem extra special, we hired local photographer Jen Olson to take some family portraits. Our iPhone photos from the weekend are great, but they don’t compare to the quality of Jen’s work. Now we have beautiful photos of our beautiful family to remember this beautiful staycation.


There you go! Five simple ways to connect with each other on a family staycation. Here’s to your next family trip and the beauty of connecting with the one you love.

Written by Mike Caston
Mike loves life! He love the outdoors and would chose a hike or mountain bike ride over a movie any day. Mike resides in Bend, Oregon with his wife and 4 kids. Mike is self-employed as a
web designer and social media strategist.