THE ART OF THE STAYCATION: ENJOYING RIGHT WHERE YOU ARE

W
ITH SUMMER’S END SLOWLY LOOMING AROUND THE CORNER, IT’S TOUGH TO GET BACK INTO THE MINDSET OF ALL-WORK-NO-PLAY, ESPECIALLY FOR THOSE OF YOU STILL WINDING DOWN FROM WARM WEATHER VACATIONS AND ENDLESS BEACH DAYS. BUT LET’S FACE IT: VACATIONS ARE EXPENSIVE, ESPECIALLY WHEN THEY INVOLVE FLIGHTS, AND THE SUMMER TRIPS WE PAINSTAKINGLY SAVE UP FOR EVERY YEAR, WHILE FUN, ARE A PAIN IN THE YOU-KNOW-WHERE TO RECOVER FROM FINANCIALLY ONCE THEY’VE COME AND GONE. INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS AND ALL-INCLUSIVE HOTEL FARE ARE GREAT (NO ONE’S DENYING THAT), BUT THEY AREN’T THE ONLY WAY TO KICK BACK AND TAKE A BREAK FROM YOUR DAY JOB. YOU MIGHT ALREADY KNOW WHERE WE’RE GOING WITH THIS, BUT STAY WITH ME. SOMETIMES, THE BEST “VACATIONS” ARE THOSE THAT CAN BE ENJOYED FROM THE COMFORT OF YOUR OWN HOME, CITY, OR STATE. YEP, YOU GUESSED IT. WE’RE TALKING ABOUT STAYCATIONS. NEVER MIND THE SILLY PORTMANTEAU. A STAYCATION IS EXACTLY WHAT IT SOUNDS LIKE: A VACATION THAT IS SPENT ENJOYING THE COMFORTS OF ONE’S OWN HOME AND ALL THAT IT HAS TO OFFER. NOW, YOU MIGHT BE THINKING RIGHT OFF THE BAT THAT THIS SOUNDS PRETTY LAME, BUT I’D BET THAT THERE ARE A ACTUALLY SEVERAL THINGS TO DO IN YOUR CITY OR STATE THAT YOU’VE NEVER DONE (BUT HAVE ALWAYS WANTED TO), AND EVEN MORE THAT YOU DON’T EVEN KNOW EXIST. BEYOND THIS, STAYCATIONS ARE A SOLID OPTION BECAUSE THEY AFFORD YOU SEVERAL CONVENIENCES THAT A TRADITIONAL DESTINATION TRIP JUST CAN’T SWING. SO NO, VACATIONS DON’T JUST HAVE TO BE LIMITED TO THE SUMMER MONTHS, OR TO THOSE RARE OCCASIONS WHEN YOU’VE SAVED UP ENOUGH PTO. HERE ARE SOME OF THE MANY REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD LOOK TO TRYING A STAYCATION THE NEXT TIME YOU NEED TO JUST GET AWAY FROM IT ALL.


WHY IT’S AWESOME

IT’S COST-EFFECTIVE:

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Oh, all of the money you’d save, let us count the ways…

In all seriousness, planning a memorable staycation in your home city or state (or even in your actual home) is awesome, first and foremost, because it’s cheap. Well, cheaper, depending on what you do. If there’s one thing that eats away at the budgets of all willful travelers and jet setters alike, it’s the cost of a plane ticket. With a staycation, you completely rid yourself the need to pay absurd amounts of money, grab a taxi to the airport, and brave the angry crowds in TSA. Not having to worry about any of that will drastically reduce costs right off the bat. Now, all you have to shell out money for is a tank full of gas, whatever your activity of choice costs, and, maybe, a hotel. Want to get even cheaper? Ditch the hotel and plan a weekend full of things to do that allow you to remain close enough to return home every night. A staycation affords you more money in your pocket at the end of the day, and the flexibility to make plans that realistically fit your budget.

IT’S LESS STRESSFUL:

Let’s face it. Planning for a vacation in your own city is considerably less of a headache. You know how the world works from where you stand, you know the places that are worth checking out, and you know how to get around easily. You don’t have to do all the extra research and endless, meticulous planning that comes with going somewhere you’ve never been. Sometimes, a vacation that takes all of the guesswork out of it is exactly what the doctor ordered.

Beyond that, think about the last time your itinerary got ruined on a trip abroad because you missed a train or couldn’t understand the signs and got lost. We’re not saying that the highs and lows of traveling for a vacation aren’t equally part of what make it great, because they are, but with a staycation, the stakes are considerably lower. If something doesn’t go 100% as planned, you can easily pivot without compromising the whole agenda.

IT’S LIKE A MENTAL RESET:

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Want all of the luxury of a getaway without having to deal with the planning? Book a staycation at a resort or spa near you. Want to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city without needing to buy a ticket halfway around the world? Head to the beach, go camping, take a fishing trip, or gear up for a hike. The beauty of a staycation is that the stress is practically nonexistent, and you can still reap all of the benefits you need from it, like de-stressing and taking a mental break from all of the everyday burdens and to-do’s you face during the workweek.

IT’S CONVENIENT:

You know it is. We don’t need to explain this one.

I’M IN. NOW WHAT?

Now, all you have to do is find something in your own home, city, or state that appeals to you, and, well, do it. At first, nothing new might come to mind, but you just have to think beyond the realm of things you’ve already experienced. Odd are that there is a multitude of activities, new restaurants, and places out there just waiting to be seen, visited, and explored that you hadn’t even fathomed into existence. To uncover these hidden, local, gems, all it takes is a Google search, some word-of-mouth discussion, or a little out-of-the-box thinking.

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  1. Read Google reviews, blog posts, or travel guides written about your city. What better way to uncover the best of the best near you than by seeing what others are writing about? The best part about this is that you’ll usually find some pretty candid advice about whether that museum or beach is worth it or not (No parking? Expensive valet? Forget it).
  2. Ask your friends. You know they’ll give it to you straight.  
  3. Take a class you’ve always wanted to try out, like surfing or parkour.
  4. Sight-see. There are probably a bunch of touristy destinations near you. And you probably have never even considered checking them out because you’ve taken them for granted. Go see what all of the fuss is about. Now’s the time.
  5. Go camping. There’s nothing like the great outdoors to wipe away all of the stress and worries of your workweek.
  6. Book a hotel staycation. Not the camping type? Try a hotel stay. Some hotels even offer staycation packages that grant you pool access and discounts on spa treatments.
  7. Eat or drink like a tourist. Make a day out of doing a bar or restaurant hop.

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Of course, for a true staycation experience in all its glory, and if solitude and respite within your own house is all you need, try blocking off some time on the calendar dedicated exclusively to, you guessed it, staying at home. Binge-watch a show on Netflix, work on some unfinished projects, cook some good food, and do whatever other unfinished business you might have that can be accomplished without ever having to leave home. It’s 100% okay to take a weekend entirely for yourself and shirk responsibilities every now and then. Sometimes, that’s all it takes.

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About The Author: Rachel-Jean Firchau

For as long as she can remember, Rachel has had an affinity for fashion, and in the past few years, this passion expanded into the world of menswear. Her favorite thing to see on a man is a well-fitting suit, and she takes note of people's shoes like it's her job. Rachel is the face and voice behind Rachel Off Duty , a west coast personal style, lifestyle, and travel blog. When she's not writing, Rachel spends her free time practicing yoga, salsa dancing, cooking, and watching New Girl. She holds two bachelor degrees in Public Relations & Advertising and Communication Studies, and she owns more clothes than she's willingly ready to admit.