What is a Staycation?
A vacation spent in one’s home country rather than abroad, or one spent at home and involving day trips to local attractions.
Instead of expensive airline tickets and hotel stays, people have been substituting with cheaper alternatives: waiting for special travel deals online, driving to see relatives, having friends and relatives come to see them, etc.
But an increasingly popular and fun vacation is the stay-at-home-vacation, or the “staycation.”
Just like a traveling vacation, a staycation is about relaxation and enjoyment. It’s about “me” time or “us” time, whichever the case may be; and a staycation can even be about experiencing new things.
After all, can you really say you’ve seen and done everything your hometown and the surrounding areas have to offer?
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What Is A Staycation Summary:
What comes to mind when you think “vacation?” A lake and a picnic, holding a glass of wine or an iced tea while you lie on a blanket with a book? Breakfast in bed? An amusement park and happy, squealing kids? Wandering a museum, then followed by a fine dinner out?
Now just tweak the setting to a local lake, your comfortable bed, or an amusement park that’s just an hour away that you haven’t had time to get to in a few years.
It may not have the draw of putting yourself in a whole new setting, but in some ways, it can be a lot less stressful than a getaway.
There’s no packing, no waiting in line at airport security or sitting in traffic, and no scrambling to get where you’re going by a specific time. Plus amusement parks and fine dinners don’t come cheap.
Staycation is a fancy term for spending your time-off at home. In the days of cheap air travel and a booming economy, this option is rarely ever considered.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, about 1 in 6 Americans move each year and the average American moves 11.7 times in their life. After each move, a new area becomes home but do we ever take the time to explore the area as we would if we were tourists?
Let’s admit it, we probably have spent more time exploring places far away from home than we have the sites of our own hometown or city. This is natural, and people tend to dismiss local sites or always assume they’ll go there someday. So there are bound to be places around us we haven’t explored or activities we haven’t tried.
Looking for more travel inspiration? Read this: 15 Adventurous Female Travel Bloggers You Should Follow Right Now
To save money of course! There is no airfare, hotel, or rental car costs. In its annual summer vacation survey, the American Automobile Association said “the average North American vacation will cost $244 per day for two people for lodging and meals. Add some kids and airfare, and a 10-day vacation could top $10,000.” With a staycation…
- There is no wasted travel day on the front and end of a vacation — two more vacation days for fun!
- No travel means no physical drain. Let’s admit it, travel is exhausting.
- You don’t have to spend your vacation with strangers, either on flights or in hotels.
- If the weather is lousy, who cares? Adjust.
- Your vacation can’t be canceled by an airline or other travel situation.
- Visit Your Local Museums, or galleries
- Art, natural or American history, botanical gardens, zoos, cars, sports, or whatever the interest is. Every area of the country has its local attractions, some world-class, others just for fun. Every area also has its architectural gems that are registered on the National Register of Historic Places. Just pretend you’re a tourist and have a blast.
- Go To The Beach or Pool
- Over half of all Americans live near the coast, 10% live near the Great Lakes, and a huge percentage more live near a lake or reservoir. No beach? No worry. Just go to the pool. About 20% of homes have private swimming pools, as do most high schools and many community centers.
- Get The Bike Out
- There are thousands of miles of dedicated bike trails, and not to mention shared use trails. Go for a ride through all that beautiful nature out there.
- Go See A Movie
- Yes, you can rent a movie on Netflix, but you can also physically go and see one. You know, in one of those giant theaters that have huge 3D screens to maximize your experience.
- See a Show
- Of course, major cities have theater, opera, dance, etc. But many smaller communities have either traveling versions or local playhouses that can be just as much fun.
- Shopping Spree
- Make the trek to the regional mega-mall and spend the day seeing what’s new. These complexes are like cities with food service, theaters, entertainment, etc.
- Just Take A Nap
- Hey, vacations are for escaping the daily grind of life and relaxing, so go and catch up on some much-needed sleep.
- Take A Hike
- Walking is the best exercise. Find some park or scenic area and plan a hike. Pack a picnic and water and go explore.
- Read A Book
- You don’t have to be sitting in a faraway place to settle in with a good book. Go to a local coffee shop and splurge on a cappuccino or other creation and spend a few hours lost in a book.
- See A Ball Game
- This country is dotted with major and minor league baseball teams. Go, get some sun, have a hot dog, and relax.
But there are pitfalls to staycationing, and you’ve probably already thought of a few of them. Let’s take a look at some staycation dos and don’ts that could help you avoid sabotaging your time off.
It’s pretty easy to ruin a staycation with certain bad behaviors that turn downtime into plain old working from home, and that defeats the whole point because it’s no longer a vacation.
You may do a great job of ruining your weekends with these behaviors. Do you check your work e-mail on Sunday? Spend all day Saturday doing laundry, grocery shopping and cleaning out the garage?
Well, you can kill a staycation using the same time-honored approach. But if you obey a few simple truths, you’ll have a much better chance of actually enjoying a vacation at home. Otherwise, just go to work.
Work Is Not A Vacation
There’s working from home, and then there’s staycationing. Pretend you’re halfway around the world — don’t check your work e-mail, don’t plan to get in on a conference call because you can, and by all means, do not stop by the office “to pick something up real quick.”
Chores Are Not Vacation
Do everything you would do before leaving on a trip. Get your important chores done, because you can’t do them while you’re vacationing. Pay your bills, make your phone calls, and let people know you’re going to be “away” so you don’t find yourself sucked into the daily grind of your personal life. Do not plan to finally pull those weeds, repair the leaky faucet or clean out the attic.
Vacations Require Planning
Don’t get lazy about a staycation. Just like you would if you were going away, plan some activities, do some research about your city to find out what there is that you haven’t seen or done, and set a budget.
Even though you’ll be spending less than you would if you got out of town, make sure you spend more than you would during your regular daily grind. You’re on vacation, so treat yourself.
The bottom line here is, don’t get stingy, either with money or indulgence, just because you’re home. If you’d eat out during a getaway, eat out during your staycation. If you’d do a bunch of fun, different things 500 miles (804 kilometers) from home, do a bunch of fun, different things 5 or 10 or 20 miles from home.
There’s definitely something to be said for experiencing the world, but until you can afford a trip to see the Great Pyramids, experience some good times at home. Your friends, family, co-workers, planet and mental health will thank you for it.
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