With the Canadian dollar trading well below its US counterpart, increasing numbers of people living in Saskatchewan are rethinking their vacation plans. For many, a quick weekend getaway or summer vacation south of the border is too expensive to contemplate. If this is an issue that is affecting you and your family, we have a suggestion to make. Consider a Saskatchewan Staycation.
This summer, you’ll find plenty to do and see in Saskatchewan, and with the added bonus of it being Canada’s 150th Anniversary, there are many extra special events and festivities planned throughout the province. And don’t forget, the money you spend here will give local tourism and tourism-related businesses an invaluable boost.
Establish some ground rules
The point of a Staycation is to make it feel as much like a real family getaway as possible. You can even organize one without leaving the comfort of your own home. So, to make sure the whole family is on the same page, it is a good idea to establish some ground rules that everyone can agree on.
Start with deciding exactly when your vacation at home starts and ends, and then set a few guidelines for what your family may and may not do during this time. These could include all or some of the following:
- No smart phone
- No television
- No laundry
- No email
- No cooking
- No working
- No computer or video games
- No cleaning
Don’t forget to budget
Just like a real vacation, the more you plan the more successful your Staycation is likely to be. Start by setting a reasonable, realistic budget for your week at home in Saskatchewan. Set some money aside for Canada’s 150th. Anniversary related activities, eating out, and perhaps even paying for a splurge or two such as paying for a house cleaner or treating yourself to a massage or pedicure at a local spa.
Prioritize your objectives
Next, take the time to figure out just what you will do on your Staycation. If your kids are old enough to have an opinion, hold a family meeting to discuss ideas and get a feel for what everyone wants to do. If you like spontaneity, consider putting everyone’s ideas into a jar, then picking one activity each day. Or, if your family prefers more structure, use your ideas to develop an itinerary for the week.
Preparation is key
Be sure to also spend some time prepping your home and kitchen to make things as easy – and neat – as possible for your relaxing week at home. Even if your Staycation includes a getaway or two, try to make sure your home base requires little or no management when you return to it.
Gather menus to all the local restaurants that offer takeout and delivery or, if eating out every day is not an option, plan a freezer cooking session ahead of time to prepare a week’s worth of easy stress-free meals. You might also want to consider using disposable dishes to cut down on washing up. Make sure to caught up on laundry before your week begins, and, if possible, do a family power-cleaning session the day before your Staycation starts.
Saskatoon alone is scheduled to host 65 annual events and festivals, giving you and your family lots to choose from. Sports, arts and culture, outdoor adventures, wining and dining, exploring new regions or cities – these are just a few of the experiences you can enjoy.
If you are a music lover, and in particular, a Jazz lover, then the Sasktel Saskatchewan Jazz Festival is the place to be June 23 – July 02, 2017. Groove to the sounds of some all time great jazz standards as well as pop, funk, blues and world music. Other cultural celebrations are planned throughout the summer months and into the fall and winter. Visit Saskatchewan Tourism or your city’s website to find out what’s happening.
Saskatchewan food scene
Explore the province’s food scene. At the height of summer, shop Saskatchewan’s abundant Farmers’ Markets for great local produce – baked goods, farm fresh meats, fruits and veggies.
Then, consider hosting the ultimate backyard/patio BBQ featuring all these wonderful foods available in your city’s backyard.
Out and about
Consider a two-day getaway and embark on a self-guided road tour. There are plenty of delightful and restorative B&B’s, inns and hotels/resorts to be found along virtually any route you choose. Exploring outside your hometown but still within the province will introduce you numerous adventures and unique experiences.
According to http://www.saskparks.net there are 35 provincial parks and 127 recreation sites offering a wide range of camping related experiences, including fishing, golfing, watersports and more.
Maybe your Staycation might include an RV adventure: https://gorving.ca . Imagine the just setting out with nothing in front of you but the road and your work world disappearing in your rearview mirror? Get help planning your trip with insights and tips at: https://caask.ca/ and http://www.tourismsaskatchewan.com.
A Taste of Saskatchewan
Take a holiday from cooking. Treat yourself to splendid meals in one of many great bistros, restaurants and cafés featuring international and traditional cuisine. Join in the gourmet fun at ‘A Taste of Saskatchewan’ – a special event pairing great food and dining provided by 30 of Saskatoon’s best restaurants along with premier bands and performers. The party starts July 11 and lasts through July 16, 2017.
Ground rules. Budgeting. Research. Objectives. Preparation. Oddly enough, developing a winning Saskatchewan Staycation strategy sounds a bit like building a robust financial plan. The principles are identical. And execution is crucial. But there is a difference. We have to admit that orchestrating a Saskatchewan Staycation sounds like a lot more fun.
Go for it!
Daryl Cooper, Portfolio Manager, Scotia Wealth Management, 306-343-3255.
Colleen Schneider, Wealth Advisor, Scotia Wealth Management, 306-664-1860.