Travel restrictions have closed international borders, especially to Americans. The staycation is the new weekend getaway, but there are some easy ways to make it count.
A staycation is a vacation taken in your own city. Why would anyone take a “getaway” in their own city? In the time of COVID, any escape is welcome, however, even during a normal year staycations are a great way to rediscover your own city. Often, we get stuck in habits and neglect the things right in front of us; a new restaurant opening we never get around to trying, a museum exhibition that you never make time to see. Staycations help us see our surroundings differently and, ultimately, appreciate them more.
Above all else, staycations allow us pamper ourselves and relax. It’s not just the plush sheets and change of scenery, it’s letting someone else do the dishes, make the bed and finding a chocolate on your pillow at turndown service. Reminders of home might as well be a thousand miles away – there’s no yard to mow, neighbors to greet nor the monotony of a home office.
Easy Ways to Make It Count
There are some easy ways to make sure that your staycation is successful.
- Pack a suitcase
- Leave work at home
- Pick a hotel in an unfamiliar area
- Lean in to relaxation
- Try something new
Sometimes, for stays nearer to home, guests don’t bother to pack a proper suitcase. They simply grab a couple of items, throw them in the car and head off. That defeats the point, it needs to feel like a vacation because it is a vacation. Pack a suitcase, get back in the habit.
I have always taken my work with me on vacation because it often allows me to travel more often and stay away longer. Not this year. It’s important to leave work at home even if it’s just a three-day weekend. Everyone needs a break this year, and no matter how pressing business may be, it can likely wait a day or two.
Don’t stay close to home. If you live in the city, find a spot in the country, if you live in the suburbs stay in the heart of downtown. You may find sites you didn’t know where there, connect with a different crowd of people. If you usually stay in economical chain hotels (Hampton Inn, Fairfield, Hyatt Place) find a boutique or a five-star property.
It’s really important that you lean into the relaxation element of your staycation. Wear a robe, soak in the tub, sleep in late or stay up past your bed time. It’s amazing what a tray of room service can do for your psyche.
Trying something new is what travel is all about. Staying away from comfort zones – in all aspects – is crucial to making any staycation successful. When visiting New York, friends took us to an excellent Korean barbecue restaurant. Despite having lived in Asia and visiting every year, Korean food is not something we have delved into before, but in New York we gave it a try and loved it. Find a staycation that allows, even forces you to try something new and different.
Things to Avoid
Doing the opposite of the above list is a good way to ruin your staycation, but there are things that can sour your experience. Don’t schedule your getaway for a short period of time, you need to allow yourself, your family, or your partner to settle in. That’s not to say that a weekend away won’t help, but most have been unable to utilize their vacation time this year so spend some.
Meeting up with friends is always fun, but treating a staycation as a real vacation is key and you likely wouldn’t meat up with local friends on vacation. We crave variety so keep the entire staycation away from the norm.
Staycations can make all the difference to weary workers that have been stuck at home. It’s been a tense year and vacations are out of the question for most. Staycations offer some of the same respite and relaxation from being at home without the inconvenience of travel and typically far less cost.
What do you think? Have you taken a staycation? What made a great staycation in your experience?