Over the last few years, the idea of a “staycation” has become a popular alternative to the “traditional” family vacation. It eliminates the need for hotels and flights, creating a much cheaper option for couples and families. But for some, the idea of a staycation can become frustrating because instead of enjoying the time off they fall into the trap of their “normal” (whatever that means), every day routines while they waste precious vacation days. Are you that person? Well, let me help you see the light by exploring the perks of the coveted staycation:
- The first thing you need to do when you plan a staycation is set some ground rules with your family. While you might be going home every night and sleeping in familiar territory, it does not me familiar routines should be followed. Ban work emails, regular chores, and zoning out on technology the same way you would on a normal vacation. If you were staying in a beach hotel you wouldn’t be spending hours a day laying in the bed binge watching tv. You would be out and about exploring the city. So don’t let your family fall into the abyss of routine.
- After you have set the rules for the staycation start doing your research! Maybe it’s just me but when I know I’m going somewhere new I start Googling like it’s my job. Looking for the best restaurants, the hole in the wall places that only locals seem to know about, the adventures that are as touristy as fanny packs. I try and find local flavor and cheesy things I only do on vacation. When planning a staycation, it is no different. You would be amazed at how many touristy things are in your area if you just take the time to look. Here in Hampton Roads there are museums, state parks, historical sites, and restaurants galore! Unless you’re living in a one stoplight town, I’m sure there is a ton in your own area that you haven’t even begun to explore. Shake off the idea that you are a “local” and embrace the adventure. You might just find your new favorite restaurant on TripAdvisor when normally you go to the same old places all the time. A staycation might be just the thing to kick you out of a rut you didn’t even realize you were in!
- Then tell people you are going on vacation. When you’re planning a trip, you let your friends and family know. Your coworkers are less likely to call you when they think you are away. Your family expects to hear from you less. People don’t anticipate you being available to help them move, watch their kids, or be on the other end of the phone for venting sessions when you’re out of town. If you set up the staycation like a traditional trip you’re more likely to be able to fully engross yourself in the experience and feel a little less like you’re just staying home.
- Finally, stop thinking about it as a weekend at home and start believing you’re going on a vacation. I know sometimes it is easy to get sucked into the social media jealousy where you see everyone else around you going out of town on “real” vacations while you’re stuck at home. But it doesn’t have to make your time any less meaningful. Think about all the new memories you are going to make with your family. Take the cheesy pictures that you would take on vacation. Eat the foods you only order when you’re out of town. Have ice cream for lunch if that’s what you want! Your staycation is saving you money on hotels and airfare so buy the tickets to the show you’ve always wanted to see. This is still your time away from the normal hustle and bustle of every day life so embrace it! And don’t worry about the mess the house may become in the process. Just like after every vacation, the dishes and laundry will still be there when you get home for forget about it for a few days and just live! You’ll be happy you did.