A vacation often presents the perfect time to get away and take in a new location, experience or culture. But, sometimes, spending that time off at home is even more rewarding. Taking advantage of the downtime to get a handle on and enjoy your surroundings – with the added benefits of avoiding the long airport security lines and spending extra cash – is the foundation of any vacation at home, or, as its commonly referred to as, a ‘staycation.’

Take a look at our plan below for ideas, and slot in your own ideas to suit your personal vacation style. And remember, be flexible. Don’t sweat it if your day doesn’t go exactly as planned – that’s the beauty of vacation – time is on your side!

9:00 am

With energy levels high and your mind at the ready, post-breakfast is just the time to let the creativity flow and get crafty with the kids. Turn the kitchen or living room into your personal studio and use the fun app, Snapguide, to generate some exciting ideas. Whip up a refreshing dessert like these blackberry yogurt pops, make festive Mason jar drink holders, spruce up your garden with recycled art, or even fashion mismatched socks into sock puppets for the kids. Getting your hands dirty in a project is even more fun than you remembered. Let the child inside you out to play!

10:30 am

Even if you’ve lived in the same town for 5, 10, or 20 years, chances are you haven’t seen everything it has to offer. Head to your town’s visitor center, or ask a local business owner where they would go. Maybe your town is home to a farmer’s market you didn’t know about, a local swimming pond, or perhaps the next town over has a historical site or landmark worth checking out. You’ll be surprised what you can find so close to home.

12:00 pm

Now that it’s midday, there’s only one thing on your mind – food. With the extra time to yourself over vacation, transform lunchtime into a fun afternoon excursion. Take advantage of nice weather and visit a local park with a picnic basket filled with all of the essentials. And if you’re bringing the kids, pack along some fun extras, like a kite or a Frisbee. We’re giving away a Dragon Frisbee and other goodies – don’t miss your chance to win!

2:00 pm

Volunteering can be a fun and rewarding experience, and just think of the good you’ll be doing for your community. Not sure where to start? Check out websites like www.volunteermatch.org to find the right activity for you. Whether it’s offering to work with children or the elderly, or lending a hand at a local food pantry or soup kitchen, your time will be well-spent helping to better the life of someone else.

Greg at the Grill6:15 pm

Spice up your night by trying out a new recipe or two for dinner on the grill. Consider an app like Kraft iFood Assistant to discover recipes like grilled bruschetta chicken or zesty grilled vegetables. If you’re worried about sticking to a healthy diet, you may also want to check out Bon’App – a calorie counter app powered by Dragon technology – to track the contents of your favorite recipes. Now that you’re on your way to becoming a grill master, you need the right accessories. Enter our contest for a chance to win our deluxe grilling package – a chef’s apron, grill set with holder, and a free copy of Dragon to keep track of all those new recipes.

8:00 pm

If you have young kids, treat them to a camping trip – staycation-style. Set up a tent in the backyard and let them have their own adventure. Don’t live in suburbia? No problem. Try setting a tent up on your deck or even letting the kids build a fort inside for the night.

8:30 pm

While the kids are “roughing it in the wild,” retreat to the couch for a movie night to unwind after a day packed with cooking, volunteering and discovering. Dragon TV allows you to give your remote the night off and control your television simply by using your voice. Throw on that movie you missed when it was in theaters, or start that television show all of your friends keep talking about. You can also search for a specific movie or program, give Dragon an idea of what you’re in the mood for, or even search by actor or actress and say, ‘Search for comedies with Jennifer Aniston.’

Not a TV fan? No problem. Keep the remote at bay and enjoy a quieter evening by popping open a book or your favorite magazine. Feel the thrill of getting lost in a captivating story or article, as you relax away a fun-filled day.

A staycation can be just as fun, relaxing and memorable as any destination vacation. The most important thing is for you to spend your time the way you want to. So whether it’s exploring, trying new things or sticking to what you know you like, make sure you adhere to your top priority: Enjoy yourself!

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Melissa Dirth

About Melissa Dirth

In her role as Social Media Strategist, Melissa oversees Nuance’s corporate social media presence, providing insight on the company’s overarching social strategy. She collaborates with both corporate and divisional stakeholders to determine and implement best practices, create engaging social campaigns and amplify Nuance’s brand story. Melissa received her B.S. from Bryant University in Smithfield, RI, graduating magna cum laude as a marketing major with a double-minor in communication and psychology. Melissa has been a dog-lover all her life, finding it hard to not spoil her Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Bailey. She enjoys traveling, as well as boating on Lake Winnipesaukee in the summer months.