What if you could enjoy all the benefits of a holiday, without paying the price? As the tendency to look at holidays closer to home grows, we’re ever more drawn to the idea of a staycation.
What is a staycation?
A staycation is a holiday spent at home or in your local area; a stay-vacation, or a holistay if that floats your boat! Whatever you call it, a staycation can be a wonderfully enjoyable experience if you do it right.
Things to do on a staycation
- Learn a new skill
- Support a local business and stay in a nearby hotel
- Be a tourist in your own town
- Sleep under the stars (in your own garden)
- Feel good about yourself and volunteer for a cause you believe in
- Go to a sports game or theatre show
- Rent a car and take a road trip in your local area
It’s important to plan what you want to do with your staycation, to avoid getting sucked into your normal daily routine. We’ve all at one point said we wish we had more time to read that book, to see that movie, to hike that trail. Well, a staycation is the perfect time to do all these things.
Learn a new skill
Sign up for tennis lessons at your local sports centre, take a diving course or simply dedicate some time to being able to do the perfect handstand. There are so many opportunities to learn a new skill while on a staycation, and the choice is completely up to you. Cooking, training for a marathon, learning to surf, painting, taking an online course, learning how to play the guitar, ukulele, triangle, brushing up on your French. Whatever it is, set a goal and commit some time each day to honing your new skill. If you’re someone who likes to see results, why not film yourself doing your chosen activity on day 1, so that you can see your progress from the beginning of the staycation to the end.
Support a local business and stay in a nearby hotel
What’s the best thing about staying in a hotel? Is it the freshly cleaned sheets every day, the all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet, or enjoying room service as you waltz around in one of those fluffy white bathrobes? What about the long summer evenings spent soaking up the last sun rays on the rooftop pool, followed by a long, warm shower, a cocktail in the hotel bar before making your way to dinner on the terrace? All the things we love about hotels can be enjoyed just as much in a hotel close to home. In fact, a hotel stay in your home town can inject life and excitement into your own neighbourhood. Whether it’s a 5-star luxury all-inclusive hotel or a small boutique with quirky rooms, check out what your local hotels have to offer!
Be a tourist in your own town
You may have lived there for years, or for your whole life, but do you really know the city you grew up in? What if you were to visit it for the day with fresh eyes, as a tourist might do? Take a free walking tour or pick up a guide book and choose a sight you haven’t visited before. There’s much to explore right on your doorstep!
Sleep under the stars (in your own garden)
This is a great one to do with kids, or for your inner kid. Set up a tent in the garden, and have the real camping experience by cooking dinner on a burner (or a barbecue will do!). Lay a few cushions and lamps on the ground outside the tent and sit outside telling stories until it’s time to retreat into your tent. The beauty of this is you can drag your duvet and any other home comforts into your tent for the ultimate camping experience, without having to lug it further than the garden!
Feel good about yourself and volunteer for a cause you believe in
When you travel do you look for ways to give back to the local community? Many travellers are happy to offer a bit of their free time, be it doing half an hour of beach clean-up, or giving English lessons to local kids. Wouldn’t it be great to bring this philosophy of giving back to your staycation? There are plenty of ways you can offer assistance to people or causes in need, locally. Not only will you be giving back and offering your help, you’ll also feel great having done so!
Go to a sports game or theatre show
This might seem like an obvious one, but sometimes we can forget to check what’s on at the local theatre, or the joy we get from watching our team play.
Rent a car and take a road trip in your local area
When you hear the word road trip you might have visions of driving down route 66 in a Cadillac convertible or sweeping down the Great Ocean Road in Australia, surfboard in the back. Whilst both of these are idyllic, it’s not to say there aren’t routes closer to home that are just as thrilling! If you live in a major European city, try one of these day trips to enjoy your local area.
Benefits of a staycation
- Save money
- Maximise your time
- Practice responsible tourism
- Take your pets with you!
- No travel stress
On average, people spend around €1000 on each holiday they go on. Think how much of that you’ll be able to save by bringing your holiday closer to home. The other way to look at it is to think how much more you can do with this budget if you stay closer to home! Rent a nicer car, fancier hotel, maybe even try out that Michelin starred restaurant you’ve heard about but never had the chance to go to!
Maximise your time
Time is of the essence when you only have a few valuable days to spare on a holiday. A staycation ensures that your holiday starts from the very beginning. No travel days before or after, no jet lag, no long journey home.
Practice responsible tourism
A staycation keeps your fuel consumption down, and is a fun way to look after our planet. It’s also a great way to support your local economy, especially if you choose to stay in boutique hotels, shop in small shops or markets and eat at local restaurants. Nurture your local community by enjoying all it has to offer. If you are looking to travel further afield, take a look at these tips for practising responsible tourism.
Take your pets with you!
Your furry friends will certainly be pleased with this one. Not only will you save costs not having to put your dog in a kennel, or pay for a cat sitter, you will save that heart wrenching guilty feeling of saying bye to them while you go off on holiday. If only they could understand that you’re not leaving them forever and you WILL be back for them!
No travel stress
Keep it calm and simple, no need for the travel stress when taking a staycation because you’re already exactly where you’re meant to be. Forget the last-minute search for accommodation and the endless packing and weighing of suitcases. You won’t worry if you’ve brought the correct balance of sweaters to sandals – only to find out that you actually wear a variation of the same outfit most days.
Whether you’re staycationing in your own back garden or taking the weekend to explore your local town, here’s one key thing to remember: you’re on holiday, so enjoy it.