Summer vacation season is here! For many, this time of year is a welcome break from the norm – an opportunity to get out of town and explore new places. But if the pain at the pump this year is just too much or you just lack time for a full-scale vacation, it’s a great idea to plan a staycation right in your own town.
According to Wikipedia, the concept of a staycation became popular in 2008 when the financial crisis took hold, though the word itself may have been coined as early as 2003. If you’ve ever attempted a staycation, you know it takes a little bit of effort to make sure it feels as energizing and fun as a “real” vacation. We’ve rounded up our best suggestions for success below!
Home or Hotel?
Your first step is deciding if you’ll be staying in your own home or in a local hotel or resort. There are pluses and minuses to both. If you have a pet or small child, it may be more comfortable and less stressful to stay in your own home. For those with school-age children, staying in a resort can offer lots of fun activities without ever leaving the property.
If you’re staying at home, set the stage and freshen up! With the money you’re saving by not traveling, consider treating your home to a professional house cleaning just before your staycation officially begins. A clean home helps clear mental clutter allowing you to relax. An additional splurge could be treating your bedroom to new bedding (or mattress!) for a fresh, comfortable feel.
Next, plan out a menu for the weekend and shop in advance so that you don’t have to do the dreaded grocery store run right in the middle of your fun. Keep any meals that you prepare at home relatively simple for the least amount of cleanup – things like continental breakfasts, sandwich platters, and barbeques.
Just because you’re sleeping at home, doesn’t mean you can’t leave the house for adventures! You might be surprised what your town has to offer when you act like a tourist. Keep an eye on local deal sites for discounted activities and remember that some places will require reservations, so plan ahead.
If you have kids, you know how excited they get to stay in a hotel! If you’ve decided to escape the house for a few days, make sure that you pack everything you might need, so there isn’t a temptation to run home.
To make sure you get your most restful sleep, you’ll want to set your hotel room up to be as comfortable as your own bedroom. Don’t be afraid to bring your own pillows, a white noise machine to drown out any hallway noise, and an eye mask if ambient light bothers you.
Plan to take full advantage of the property you’re staying at by making full use of the amenities. To help keep costs down, plan ahead by bringing plenty of snacks and beverages so that you’re not at the mercy of the hotel gift shop. Rather than packing up to head out to dinner, if your hotel has a restaurant go ahead and enjoy the convenience of eating out without going anywhere.
Make it Count
Even if you’re not actually away on vacation, get the most mileage out of your staycation by treating it like a real vacation. Resist the urge to fall into your usual “at home” routine by unplugging from work and other responsibilities and plugging into family time. And go ahead – take an Instagram or two to let everyone know how fabulous a time you’re having at a fraction of the cost and stress of real travel!