Staycations are quintessential to professionals right now. Here’s why and what to do about it.
Borders Are Closed
Isn’t just the way of the world that when your boss couldn’t care less about the amount of vacation you take or whether you work from anywhere other than the office – we can’t go anywhere? Borders are closed and they are not likely to re-open any time soon.
It’s not just the US, experiencing the highest rates of infection (though lowest relative mortality rates) since the beginning of the coronavirus crisis, it’s many countries around the world. France, Germany, and the UK have just locked down again – the latter indicating it will last no less than a month.
Even if the US opened borders again, other countries would remain shut to Americans. For once we have all the time in the world and nowhere to go.
Stress, Relief, Escape
Studies on health care workers during the pandemic and their mental health are numerous and give obvious answers to obvious questions. Health care workers are disproportionately stressed, concerned, and experience other biological symptoms as a result of the pandemic.
But more broadly, just about everyone is experiencing some adverse effects of the pandemic and associated lockdowns:
“88% of workers reported experiencing moderate to extreme stress over the past 4 to 6 weeks. Among those reporting stress, 62% noted losing at least 1 hour a day in productivity and 32% lost at least 2 hours a day due to COVID-19—related stress.”https://bitly.com/35gQTnm
A usual stress relief method would be to step out of routine, try something new, and travel. That’s a great idea under normal circumstances. With borders closed and non-essential travel discouraged by the CDC travel, trying something new will be limited to getting takeout and watching a new show one TV. Unless, of course, you try to find a way to escape while staying close to home.
Staycations can satisfy a few of these things. If you’ve never been on a staycation, you’ll find the experience different but similar to a vacation. It will feel like traveling (if you’re doing it right) and will certainly break your routine. Planning a vacation is as exciting and stress-relieving as actually taking it, so add some new restaurants, think about the spa package, pack some good pajamas – whatever helps you to relax.
Staycations Are Essential, Easy to Execute
One psychologist mentioned the importance of brief getaways especially in a world where everything feels cooped up. Dr. Shari Dade mentions the benefits of both planning a taking a vacation can still be achieved in a staycation but with a couple of added benefits:
“Sometimes, we get caught up in planning a vacation that we often forget that we can de-stress through a staycation that is much more convenient and cost effective,” she says. “This allows you to step away from [your daily life] to reflect on what’s actually going on.”https://bitly.com/2IoaJoc
Luckily, hotels are making it next to impossible to schedule a bad staycation. Hilton and Hyatt will count any stays this year toward status with next year and doubling the stay credits and points earned. Rates are already extremely low. Hotels everywhere are offering staycation packages to incentivize locals and put heads in beds. There was never an easier, cheaper nor more needed staycation than is possible right now.
For those that might typically leave the country or even just fly further from home for an escape, the staycation is the last bastion of relief for the weary. The good news is that staycations are easier than ever to book and enjoy. In the past, staying close to home had marginal cost advantages over going away with limited rewards, but now that’s all changed.
What do you think? Are you ready for a staycation? Do you agree that staycations are more necessary now than ever before?