How to Get the Most Out of a Staycation
A few weeks ago, I wrote about planning summer vacations, and I neglected the concept of a staycation. Yes, that is exactly what it sounds like, a vacation where you stay at home. There are a few reasons you might choose a staycation, and I’ll cover them here. I also have some tips to help you really enjoy it.
Why Stay at Home?
- You Live Somewhere Interesting
I grew up outside of Washington, DC, and people came to our house so they could tour the city. We often went into the city for the day to see museums, go to festivals, or just enjoy walking in the many parks. The same was true when I lived in a suburb of New York City. There was always something to see or do there, so not traveling somewhere else wasn’t a big deal.
- You Can’t Afford a Trip
Let’s face it, even a budget trip can cost more than you can or want to spend. For instance, you are saving up for a big goal like a down payment on a house and have cut out as many extras as you can. Or maybe you just don’t feel like you can spare the money at this time. There are plenty of ways to treat yourself that are free or very inexpensive, so you still get a vacation feeling.
- You Have Unexpected Time Off
Perhaps your boss just told you that you have time off you have to take or lose, or you are asked to take some extra time off for business reasons. In my past, both of these have happened with very little notice, and I didn’t have time to plan travel. So, I took my days off and stayed home to recharge myself.
How to Make it Feel Like a Real Vacation
The most important part is to trick your brain into entering “vacation mode” and turning off work/school mode. Here are a few things that might help:
- Sleep in the guest room. A change of environment can help you remember it’s not a regular week/weekend. Besides, you should sleep in the guest room every so often to make sure it is comfortable for your guests.
- Wear your vacation clothes. Don’t tell me I am the only one who has clothes just to travel? What I really mean is when I travel, I have outfits and make sure I match. At home, I’m likely to grab a novelty printed tee and jeans or the same few pairs of shorts, definitely not my best look.
- Turn on your out of office reply on your work email. Tell your friends and family you are going to be on vacation, and you won’t be available all the time. Then silence your phone and check messages once a day (or whatever you typically do when you travel). If you have pets who usually get boarded when you are gone, try to board them so you don’t have to rush home to feed and walk them.
- Do the tourist things in your town. Take a tour of the historic district or any other things your town is known for. I have recently moved back to a city that has changed quite a bit in the 10 years I have been gone. I plan to take a downtown tour of some sort and have a list of festivals I want to go to in the next few months. Lots of things should feel brand new to me and I am really looking forward to it.
- My favorite tip is to turn off your alarm. Some of the greatest joys to me on vacation are: sleeping when I’m tired, getting up when I want to, eating when I’m hungry, and having plenty of unstructured time to enjoy. Your favorite things might be very different from mine, but whatever you love to do on vacation, do that on your staycation, too!
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