Mount Pocono – I don’t think I need to tell everyone that we’re in a recession and spending money on things that are not a necessity is something that we just don’t do as easily now as we did in the past.

Even with that being said, one of the important parts (of any successful family) is the traditional family vacation.  This year, though, that might be a little bit harder based on Mom and Dad being employed (or not), spending extra money to travel somewhere, the inability to vacation away with the entire family based on cost.

At Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Wilkins & Associates we’ve addressed that in two ways.  The first way is a “stimulus week” and the second is what’s called a “staycation”.  Understanding that it might be tough to load up the entire family for a flight to Hawaii or a trip to Disney, maybe that family would settle for a “staycation”.  A staycation is defined as a period of time where an individual or family stays at home and relaxes and takes day trips from their home to area attractions.

A staycation would work well for us that live in the Poconos because of the many day trips (or even afternoon trips) that are available to us.  Be a local tourist.  Visit the local parks; like the Delaware River, Promise Land State Park, Beltzville Dam and other great green areas that are in our own backyard.

Or enjoy a day at the Stroud Township park off Fifth Street; and don’t forget to bring the dog…it’s the best place to run “Fido” for an afternoon.  And if you want, there are great outdoor grills where you can stay for a barbeque for dinner; a very inexpensive way to get out.

Having family fun, like cooking lessons with the kids, or even taking it up a notch and planning a block party with the neighbors and a pot luck dinner may also be a great idea.  You could top that day off by planning a movie night and going out or staying in.  It’s all about popcorn, candy and fun.

Don’t forget the local museums, and other learning attractions including Quiet Valley which is a great day’s worth of entertainment for the family while it also teaches the kids a little bit about our area.

Your staycation doesn’t have to be taken all at one time, you can spread it out over the summer and pre-plan these activities so while it’s not like the traditional vacation where you go and come home and then go back to work,  a staycation can be used for the entire summer time.

Go online to Shawnee Mountain and see the great festivals that they have planned for the summer and fall.  It’s an afternoon or evening that you just can’t miss.

For Mom, spa days always work.  A pedicure, massage or manicure can do wonders.

For those of you out there planning on visiting the Poconos, our Vacation Rental department came up with a “stimulus week”.  It’s a popular mini getaway, but doesn’t take the entire week.  It’s actually a 5 day/4 night stay which has been reduced in price.  It’s designed to be affordable while still allowing you to enjoy one of the great homes, town-home communities or condominiums that we have to offer.  Ask our Reservationist more when you give us a call.  The “stimulus week” is designed with families in mind.  Maybe it’s time for that family reunion?

Well, that’s some ideas on how to save money and enjoy either a “staycation” or a “stimulus week”.   At Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Wilkins & Associates you are always what we think of first.

Thomas R. Wilkins is the author of this blog.  Wilkins is CEO of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Wilkins & Associates and CEO of NEPA Management Associates, Inc., a sister company.

In Wilkins’ capacity, he is responsible over the performance of the Vacation Rental Department which books weekend, weekly, and seasonal stays and corporate rentals throughout the greater Pocono region.  They are property managers and preferred leasing agents of Northslope II, a town-home community near Shawnee Mountain in Shawnee-on-the-Delaware.

“Staycations” is a term that was used by First American Title Insurance Company in an article.  The term “stimulus week” is a term used and developed by Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Wilkins & Associates Vacation Rental Department.  Learn more by visiting them online at

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