We’ve all been stuck at home for about a year now, which is so bizarre to even think about. As cities begin to reopen, and travel slowly but surely begins to resume, many of you have been asking about the best ways to get back into travel, without going too far away from home, so that you still feel safe. With this in mind, during this month’s Q&A I’ll be answering all of your most commonly asked questions about exploring your own city, and how to plan a staycation. I think the timing of this post is particularly fitting, as we just moved to Connecticut and will be exploring our immediate area & the East Coast for the foreseeable future.
Above: Image from My Post How I Pack My Cosmetics
What Is a Staycation?
A staycation is whatever you want it to be. It can be a spectrum of things, which could range from staying within your own country and traveling around to only exploring your own town, and playing tourist for a weekend, or longer. There are no rules when it comes to staycations, so you can create a “getaway” that involves as many or as few day trips as you’d like, all without the sometimes hefty fees associated with traveling long distances.
Above: Lotte Hotel Seattle Review
What Is the Point of a Staycation?
Staycations are less expensive ways of traveling that allow you to get in touch with your local community. Whether you don’t have enough time to sit at the airport, fly for 12 hours, and then take a train somewhere remote for another 12 hours, or if you simply don’t want to (or can’t) use any more of your vacation days, a staycation is a more eco-friendly, PTO (paid time off) friendly, and budget-friendly way to explore your own backyard, so to speak.
Above: Olympic National Park
Where to Stay
When it comes to staycations, where you stay depends on what you want to get out of your staycation. If you need a break from your routine, and you want to try something totally different, treat yourself to the nicest hotel in your area, and let the hotel staff pamper you. Order room service, spend a day at the spa, and let someone else clean your room, make your coffee, and make your bed. Read my tips on selecting the perfect hotel for your travel needs.
Above: Sanará Hotel in Tulum, Mexico
If you’d rather stay closer to home, or you’re not yet ready to stay at hotels again, staying at home is probably your best bet. You’ll be surrounded by familiar settings, and you know exactly where to find a fork, something that isn’t always easy at a hotel. Plus, you can take the money you would have spent on a hotel and put it towards having new experiences in your city.
How Can I Make a Staycation Fun, Without Getting Bored?
Many people who asked about staycations pointed out that they don’t live somewhere they would consider fun. A staycation can be the perfect way to fall in love with your hometown all over again, and they can help you find fun things you didn’t know about in your town too.
Above: Inn at Bay Harbor in Bay Harbor, MI
Ways To Keep a Staycation Interesting
Try a new restaurant, or go to your favorite restaurant and order something totally new. Explore all of the small boutiques in your area, and check out local businesses you might not have experienced yet, and get to know your community a bit better. You can even center your staycation around all of your favorite things, and spend your time eating, drinking, doing, and seeing all of your favorite things in your area. Get dressed up every day, have your nails done, and pamper yourself, or embrace a cozier style and spend your time relaxing. Celebrate your staycation however you see fit.
Above: Steamline Luggage Review
Whether you want to make your staycation one full of seeing and doing all new things, a celebration of your favorite things in your area, or a bit of both, you can’t go wrong.
Make a Bucketlist
If you’re having trouble coming up with things to do in your area, make a bucket list of the silly, unusual, or unique things to do in your area, like visiting gardens, museums, or theaters you haven’t been to yet. Make a list of all of the things tourists like doing in your area, or come up with a list of things you’d show an exchange student or family visiting from abroad that make your region unique, even if it’s something simple like watching the sunset from the best spot in town, having a picnic on the beach or a meadow amongst the wildflowers, or eating at a farm-to-table restaurant you love.
Above: Sailing the Straights of Mackinac near Mackinac Island, MI
Romanticize your hometown, and look for the very best in it, even if you have to create it yourself by setting up an instagram worthy picnic, ordering in a romantic dinner for two enjoyed by candlelight, or you go on a series of day trips to neighboring towns.
Your list can be full of things you’ve never done before, your favorite things to do, or a blend of the two, but make sure they’re all things you want to do, even if half of it spent at your favorite day spa, a staycation should be all about enjoying yourself and having fun close to home.
Tips for Planning Your Itinerary
Wondering how to plan your itinerary? Check out my Q&A all about itineraries for my answers to your most frequently asked questions about how we efficiently plan our itineraries, without wasting time, money, or our sanity on route planning.
Above: Tulip Time Festival in Holland, MI
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