Staycations: Planning the Perfect Vacation at Home

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Vacations are amazing. No one will argue that fact. However, time and budget constraints can sometimes make jetting off to an exotic locale impossible. Don’t worry, this is where the staycation steps in to save the day!

Staycations may not sound as glamorous as an international getaway, but with a little creativity and planning, your staycation can offer just as much fun and relaxation as a resort reprieve. Here are some tips to help you plan a staycation to rival the vacation.

The first rule to any successful staycation is getting yourself out of your everyday routine. Unplug! Let the laundry stay in the hamper, avoid those pesky work emails and household chores. This time is for you to enjoy.

Some people choose to stay in a local hotel during a staycation to help in stepping out of their day-to-day. Choosing a hotel in an area of your city that you don’t frequent often can give you the opportunity to do a little exploring. You may want to pick a hotel that is within walking distance to shops, dining and other entertainment venues. Many hotels offer last minute booking deals. Check online sites such as, Trivago or Hotwire to find deals in your area. You can also score some savings by booking directly with the hotel of your choice. Hotels are often willing to slash rates in order to fill rooms.

Keeping your budget in mind, you may want to save money to spend on activities. In this case, staying at home may be a better option than a hotel. If you do choose to stay in your own abode, tidy up your home, or splurge on a professional cleaning, before your staycation begins. This will help keep you from performing household chores while you’re supposed to be treating yourself, as well as provide a calming setting for your retreat.

Now that you are in staycation mode, what are you going to do? Staycations gift you with the perfect opportunity to try something new. Pick a neighborhood in your city to play tourist. Visit local shops and restaurants or grab a coffee and stroll through a park. Search online for local bloggers from your city. Lifestyle bloggers often compile city guides or give insights to popular, new or hidden gems throughout various cities. Travel bloggers are another great resource in finding new places to explore. Bloggers such as Blonde Atlas, American Travel Blogger, Nomadic Matt and Traveling Newlyweds offer guides to many major cities throughout the U.S. and abroad.

If the weather is cooperating, the staycation can provide a great opportunity to explore the outdoors. Check out a local golf course or tennis facility and learn a new skill by scheduling a lesson. Go on a picnic at a local park, or maybe go for a hike. Did you know that there is at least one National Park in every state in the U.S.? You can search for one close to you on the National Parks Department’s website, which also offers free entrance to parks on various days throughout the year. You can learn more and plan an adventure by checking the great information the department provides.

Staycations can be a great treat for the foodie. Search for cooking classes in your area to learn how to make a new cuisine or look for wine-tasting events. Many local wine shops or specialty grocery stores offer tasting events. Groupon, Open Table and Seated are good resources to search for discounts at local restaurants. Check out that new restaurant that you’ve wanted to try but haven’t had the time. Splurge on a fine dining experience. Be brave and expand your palate by trying a foreign food.

Staycations can also be a family affair. Use this time to visit your local zoo, aquarium, amusement park or sporting event. Public libraries offer many family-friendly events. Schedule a family game night at a local bowling alley or play a round of mini golf. Take in the arts at local museums and art galleries. You can also visit some of the best museums in the world, such as the Louvre, the Vatican Museum and the National Gallery of Art online through a virtual tour from the comfort of your own home.

No matter how you choose to spend your staycation, make sure it is all about you. Treat yourself to a break from your daily routine. Try something new, explore, play tourist in your own town. Relax, rejuvenate and, most importantly, have fun!

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