What is a staycation?
A staycation or “holistay” is a vacation in which a person or family stays home and enjoys their time by taking part in activities that are close to their home and within driving distance and does not require overnight accommodation.
What will you do on a staycation?
As it’s the case with almost everybody, you can find a new idea to do, or new places to visit, that you have never done or been to, in your hometown.
Where did the staycation come?
According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, staycation means “a vacation spent at home or nearby.” Some people prefer to stay overnight in their homes during time off; while others stay overnight at a hotel to get away from home, they will choose a hotel within a close driving distance. Historically speaking, staycations became popular during the financial crisis of 2007-2010. And again, this year, in 2020, staycations have become popular due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A staycation is an ecological way of spending your vacation near to your home. It is associated with less pollution, saving money, and not contributing to the overwhelming chaos in some of the world’s most tourist areas.
In other words, a staycation is a combination of vacationing and staying at home. That may not sound like a vacation, but a staycation can be real if you do it right. Just like the usual vacation, It is about relaxing and enjoying your time. As with any other holiday, it’s about “me” time (or if you are with family, “us” time); but it can also be about experiencing new things.
Is staycation similar to vacation?
A staycation can be precisely similar to a typical vacation. Think about it! When you think about vacation, what comes to your mind? Going to the beach? Going to a lake and having a picnic? An amusement park? Relaxing in a hotel and breakfast in bed? Visiting a city and its museums and having lunch and dinner out? If you take another look at it, you realize that all this can be done locally, in your hometown, or places within close driving distance. And the good thing about it is that it can be a lot less stressful and tiring. You wouldn’t need to pack, go to the airport a few hours earlier, stand in the security line, or sit in your car in heavy traffic or hurry up to be at a place by a specific time.
There are several benefits to stopover and a few drawbacks to it. Before mentioning the benefits, let us quickly go through the cons and how to avoid them.
What are the cons of a staycation?
As you stay at home, it is quite easy to ruin your trip with your old habits and behaviors, which also happens quite often during your weekends. You might be tempted to check your work email during this time. You could spend all day doing laundry, cleaning out the house, or going grocery shopping.
How to avoid ruining your staycation?
To avoid such pitfalls, you need to set and follow a few simple rules.
- Work is no vacation. You can work from home, and then there is a staycation at home. You need to make these two completely separate. When you are staying at home, pretend you are somewhere far away with limited access to the internet and do not check your work email or get in on a conference call, and do not stop by the office for a quick visit by any chance.
- Chores are not on vacation. Before starting your holidays, get your essential tasks done and make it clear to yourself that you cannot do chores while staying. Let people know that you will be away and make the phone calls you need to make. If there are any repairs required in your house, tend to them, and pay the bill if there are any, and make sure that everything is ready and prepared to start your vacation.
- Plan a little. Although staycations should be flexible and are without the hassle of transportation or at the airport, train station, or another place at a particular time, a little planning can help you make the most of it. So it would be great if you do some research about your city and its vicinity to see if there are any places you haven’t seen or things you haven’t done; then plan some activities. It is also highly advisable to set a budget. It’s a given that you will be spending less than a vacation, but as you are on a nearcation, you might want to spend a bit more and treat yourself, compared to a usual weekend.
What are the pros of a staycation?
Now there are several benefits to staycation.
- You are saving money. As travel is almost non-existent (and if there is a need to travel, it’s for short distances), expenses such as gas for the car, airplane, or train tickets are removed. So leisure can save families hundreds of dollars by eliminating transportation costs and expensive accommodation costs.
- You are bringing revenue to the local economy. It is a great help and boost to the local economy (restaurants, bars, local shops, hotels) when citizens visit them rather than travel out of town. The other one is not needing to take time off from work. As travel is minimal, most of the vacations can be done over the weekend. This fact makes staycations even more affordable and convenient.
- Ease of planning. Compared to a faraway vacation, planning a break can be a lot less stressful and take a lot less time. This comes naturally, as most people know the city and the area in which they live. So which hotels are clean and safe, which restaurants are nice and reasonably priced and so on, are already known to you or can be found out easily.
- No packing or light packing required. There is no need to pack too many things as most staycations are kept short and within close driving distance. So, you should only pack the necessities; but even if you forget something significant that you can’t live without, you are close to home and can get it quickly.
- Considerable reduction in carbon footprints. This is an excellent outcome of no or lesser use of cars, trains, boats, and planes. Instead, other means of transport such as public transport, bicycles, electric scooters, or just walking are favored.
- More time for relaxation. You probably know from past experiences that when you go on a vacation, it requires a lot of traveling (by car, bus, train, or airplane), which could be exhausting. When you do a voyage, that travel time is almost diminished and cut down to zero, which grants you more time to relax and enjoy your time off.
- Slow tourism. A staycation is a form of alternative tourism that is totally in line with the slow tourism trend. Slow tourism is a concept that invites you to live in the present moment. It encourages you to take your time, discover nearby places and landscapes, reconnect, and spend more time out in nature with the people you like. Getaway also allows carrying out activities that you never get to do because of a busy schedule during the year – such as visiting the permanent collections of museums, visiting exhibitions or local carnivals, or taking advantage of the excellent weather to practice some sports in the nearby parks. You can also take advantage of this opportunity and discover or rediscover your city or region’s beauty.
What are some ideas for a great staycation?
Now that we know what staycation is, its drawbacks, and its incredible benefits, let us go through some opinion for a great time off:
Camping is a favorite and affordable choice for a lot of people. It’s a great way to unwind and connect with nature, and it’s a fun way to spend time with your loved ones. Don’t worry if you are not living near a campsite! You can even go camping in your backyard; all you need is a tent and a family or friends with a sense of fun!
- Be a tourist in your city
This is a great idea, especially if you live in a big city. In large cities, there are always new neighborhoods to discover and interesting places to visit. You can visit local museums, historical spots, nature parks, public art displays, art galleries, gardens, and more.
- Movie marathon weekend
If you are a fan of movies, you can plan to have a movie marathon weekend. All you need is a selection of movies to last for the entire weekend, friends or family who share the love of movies with you, and some food and snacks.
Taking a hike is one of the cheapest forms of entertainment and leisure. You can find trails in your area by searching online. Websites that rank trails based on their difficulty and provide photos, comments from others, and inform hikers of the trails’ lengths. This helps you a lot in planning for an enjoyable hike.
- Go to a park
There are a lot of things to do in a park. They have trails to bike or walk, playground equipment, and plenty of space to have fun games or practice for sports and exercise. You can also relax, read a book and take a sunbath.
- Have a picnic
Having a picnic could be a lot of fun and relaxing. You may want to find a nearby lake or a national park for your picnic spot. And then all you need is a basket of food, drinks, and snacks. You’re all set for a great time!
- Go on a food tour in your city
Exploring and trying out new foods at the best restaurants is great entertainment for a lot of people. You can do some research online or ask your friends and family for recommendations on great places to eat and something new to try. Just remember that it’s a good practice to set a budget for your food tour.
- Have a weekend of games
From a game of charades to card games, board games, or even video games, there are many options for planning for the weekend of games. You can be sure that you are going to have a lot of excitement and fun. Don’t forget to stock up on food and snacks.
- Have a day of spontaneity
The aim is not to plan for anything and see where the wind takes you. If you are an adventurous person this could be great for you; even if you aren’t, you should give it a try, it is a lot of fun and exciting. The only plan you need to make is how much you’ll spend that day, so set a budget and don’t go over it. Leave everything else to chance! You could ask your friends or family what to do next, or you could even make it more fun and put outlooks in a hat and draw a new activity on the fly.
- Go to a local festival or free concert
Many cities and towns have events going on every weekend, so check online and see if there are any in your town. The good thing about these events is that they are often free and don’t require time constraints; you can stay for as long or as short a time as you like.
- Rent bikes and go for a ride
If you have a river, canal, or beach near you, they are an ideal place to go to for biking. There are often places to rent bikes and tour the area (if you don’t already have your own). If you are an active person or want to become one, this can be a great way to sightsee in your town and burn some calories.
- Go to the beach or pool
In the summer, this is a great way to relax, get a sunbath, and even read. Many people live near the ocean or a lake where they can take advantage of the beach for free. If there isn’t a lake or the ocean near you, try finding a local pool that you can visit. They are often low cost, and you won’t have to travel far.
- Go shopping
This may sound strange or seem like a funny idea, but if you are parents and have kids, you know how hard it can be to shop with them. You could book a sitter and a hotel near a mall or local outlet and spend time individually to shop. You might need some new clothes or home appliances or want to look for decorative items and antiques. Whatever you choose to buy, taking a day or two just to shop can be fun and relaxing.
- Go to a drive-in theater
Your town might have a drive-in theater that you’ve never been to. This can be the perfect time to try something new and check out a good movie.
- Visit the local zoo
If you have a family with kids, this could be an excellent idea for a holiday. The zoo is a great place to spend an afternoon that is affordable, fun, and educational.
- Play sports
You can go bowling, or go to a sports facility (indoor or outdoor) to play tennis, squash, snowboarding, beach volleyball, or any other sports that you and your friends or family like.
- Visit a museum or see a show
Visit a museum, or go to a theatre, music or comedy show. You can pick which museums to visit or which shows to go to, depending on your family or friends.
- A learning trip
Plan to learn about things you’ve wanted to learn for some time but never really had the time to read and learn about them.
- Rent an Airbnb
If you’re looking to get away for a night or two, but don’t want to stay in a hotel, consider booking through Airbnb. This is a great staycation idea that costs significantly less. The great thing about Airbnb is that you can stay in unique homes and feel like a local when traveling to a new destination. Airbnb can be more affordable than staying in a hotel, and, amazingly, you can rent out an entire home.
- Have a Spa day
Spa days are great for relaxing and feeling rejuvenated. Many local spas have one-day packages that can be much more affordable. Search for an excellent spa facility near your home, grab a few face masks, relax and enjoy!
Is staying at the hotel possible?
Now that we have some opinions about what to do for a vacation, let us talk about staying at hotels. Hotel accommodation is a way to rest and relax, without the hassle and cost of travel time. A hotel staycation means you would be staying at a hotel in your town or region. If you want to stay in your stomping grounds and pursue vacation-type activities in an area you already know well, hotel accommodation is a good idea; however, it costs more than just a time off at home. One of the fun parts of traveling is staying somewhere you’ve never been, which is even more true for kids. Most kids get more excited about sleeping in a hotel than they do about the location itself.
What are some benefits of a staycation at a hotel?
Some benefits of relaxing at a nearby hotel include:
- Leaving your to-do list at home, packing light, and leaving behind your phones and computers; this forces you to focus on relaxation, which is quite good. If you are staying at home, you might be tempted to multitask and fold laundry while watching a movie, for example, or check your work email, etc. which does not allow you to relax and enjoy your time off fully.
- When you stay at a hotel, you’re more likely to have an adventurous spirit. You could go grocery shopping near the hotel, go to a nearby shopping mall, eat out at an excellent (and maybe expensive) restaurant, go to a cool bar, take a hike, check out the landscapes around, and so on.
- You have more convenience and easy access to the facilities which you might not have at home. Typically, at a hotel or resort, you have access to pools, playgrounds, sports courts, vending machines, arcades, bars, disco, etc. within walking distances.
- You don’t feel obligated to see all the sights. Since you are a local, you have seen most of the views in your area (or even if you haven’t), and you don’t feel the pressure to visit some sights like other guests. Instead, as there are fewer people at the hotel during the day, you get to relax and make the most out of the amenities and enjoy your time.
- Hotels are designed for relaxation. You might like your home and feel relaxed there, but you can’t deny that there are always things to do at home, like cleaning. A hotel is different. With their employees at your service, washing the sheets and towels, cleaning the rooms, providing breakfasts and meals, hotels are designed to give you an experience of relaxation.
With all these suggestions and ideas, we hope you can have the best staycations. There are more ideas that we didn’t get to mention in this article, like hosting a cooking night, going on a Yoga retreat, taking an art class, swapping houses with friends or family, volunteering in your community to help the people in need, etc. You should know that you can always come up with great reasons to have the best stay-at-home vacations, or you could also search online to find more advantages.
Frequently Asked Questions
You can easily find the best hotels to stay in here.
Yes, find out more about the best attractions and things to do here.
You can find out more about traveling during the COVID19 here.
There are many ideas that are offered in this article about the most interesting time off for couples and families.