As fun and relaxing as vacations are, they aren’t always possible–no matter how much you need one. Whether you’re headed to the beach to catch some waves or taking a road trip with friends, these long-distance trips often require a lot of resources and planning (and, if something goes wrong while you’re away, the entire trip feels wasted). You may not always have enough money or time to splurge on a vacation, but you can take a “staycation.” Even though it’s a budget option, we’ll show you how to plan a staycation that is both fun & memorable!
What is a “Staycation”?
If you’re wondering what that is, it’s exactly what it sounds like–a staycation is a trip where you vacation without leaving your city (in some cases, without even leaving your home). It might sound like an odd concept, but once you’ve learned how to plan a staycation, these local vacations can be even more fun than a traditional trip.
What’s The Purpose of Taking a Staycation?
There are several reasons why someone might take a staycation. Perhaps, the most common reason is money. Taking a vacation is expensive–you’ve got to pay for gas, hotels, food, and souvenirs. For many people, these trips are something they have to begin planning a year in advance.
Speaking of money, traveling around the holidays can get really expensive. Prices are high, airports are cramped and highways are backed up with traffic. Rather than deal with the pricey hassle of holiday travel, you can always take a staycation instead.
Another reason to take a staycation is time–even if you can swing it financially, there’s no guarantee that you’ll be able to take the time off work for a long-distance trip.
It’s important to understand that a staycation doesn’t necessarily have to replace a vacation. It can, but it doesn’t have to. If you have an annual vacation that you take each year, you can still take a couple of shorter staycations too.
In fact, that’s one of the great things about staycations–you don’t need to have a big reason to take one. Oftentimes, people plan their vacations around the holidays. (it’s become so much of a trend that it’s odd to see someone take a vacation that isn’t in the summer or during the holidays.) However, you don’t have to have a special occasion to go on a staycation–maybe you just want some time to pamper yourself, or spend time with your family, or even have a little fun.
The Number One Rule of Staycations
Before we get into what sort of things you can do on a staycation, it’s important to remember the golden rule of taking a staycation: no work. That means, not only should you not be at your job, but you also shouldn’t be cleaning, paying bills or handling any other stressful responsibilities you have.
When you’re on a vacation and far from home, it’s easy to leave your work behind–you just don’t take it with you. On a staycation, however, this rule can be a little bit harder to follow: since you’re at home or near home, it’s harder to relax. You may feel like you should be doing something productive, but don’t give into this feeling: you may not be far from home, but you are still on vacation.
If it helps, you can deal with these responsibilities before your staycation starts–that way, you won’t have to worry about what you “should” be doing. Or, set clear ground rules about what you can and cannot do.
What Can You Do on a Staycation?
Now that you know what you shouldn’t be doing on a staycation, let’s talk about what you should be. Here are some great ideas for a staycation:
Become a Tourist In Your Town
Think about this: have you ever been to the museums, historical sites and tourist attractions in your own town? If the answer is no, then maybe it’s time to pick up a camera or smartphone and head to the nearest museum. Chances are, you’ll learn something cool about your town that you didn’t know before.
Have a Movie Marathon
There’s nothing more relaxing than spending the day watching movies. You can cuddle up with a blanket, pick out your favorite DVDs and turn on the TV. Then, when it’s finally time to go back to your responsibilities, you’ll feel refreshed and rested.
Spend Time With Your Family
A great way to have a little family bonding is to take the entire family on a staycation. You can head to the pool, have a picnic or go to an amusement park. The activity itself doesn’t matter that much–the important part is that you will be spending time with your loved ones.
Go To the Spa
Are you in need of a spa day? For some of us, the best way to unwind is by getting a massage or hanging out in the sauna. If you’ve been feeling stressed or overwhelmed lately, a spa day is the perfect way to feel refreshed and rejuvenated.
Where Can You Stay During a Staycation?
The first, and cheapest, place to stay on a staycation is your own home. You can have fun all day, and at night, you’ll be able to fall asleep to familiar surroundings.
A local hotel is another place to spend your nights. Being away from home can really help you can get into the vacation-mindset, and make the trip feel special.
If a hotel is too pricey but you don’t want to stay at home, an AirBnB is a cheaper alternative. Plus, there’s a lot of flexibility: depending on your situation, you could rent out a room or an entire house–it’s up to you.
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Feeling adventurous? Instead of staying at home or in a hotel, try taking the family camping on your staycation–not only will you be bonding without distractions, but it’s a great way to reconnect with nature. (Just make sure you bring bug spray).
If you don’t have your own camping gear, there are plenty of outdoor stores that will rent it to you. But if you are looking for a REALLY fun experience with less hassle, then definitely look into renting an RV for your trip!
Renting an RV is a fantastic way to create memories with your family by doing something totally different. You don’t have to travel far if you want to save cash, maybe just an hour or two down the road to a nearby State or National Park (if there are any around you).
There may even be some great RV parks near your city where you can enjoy activities such as swimming, roasting marshmallows over the fire, and more.
Get Started Planning Your Staycation!
Instead of trying to plan a long, expensive vacation, try using one of the ideas above and have a staycation. You won’t be far from home, and you’ll be saving a bunch of cash over the traditional family vacation…but you’ll still be having tons of fun anyway.
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