As a kid, hearing the word “staycation” sounded a lot like “not the beach.” But now I love the idea of a week at home, and with these staycation tips, it’s impossible to not see something new about where you live.
The Perks of Taking a Staycation
It’s true that a staycation can be a great budget vacation, but it’s not all compromise. There are unique benefits to taking a staycation that you can’t get from an out-of-town trip.
Before you start planning, it’s good to think about the special opportunity that a staycation offers.
1. Spontaneous and easy to pull off
A week-long trip, or any trip involving a flight, takes planning and arrangements. Especially during peak vacation season (probably summer), when Air BnBs and hostels in popular destinations sometimes book up months in advance.
With a staycation, you can stay at home, or camp out in the backyard or maybe go to a campsite or cabins in your town that you’ve never been at.
2. A staycation is less stressful than an out-of-town vacation
Is it too far to call a staycation stress free? Maybe stress-LESS is more realistic. On a staycation, if someone forgets their rain jacket, allergy medicine or can’t-sleep-without-it stuffed animal, there’s no need for panic.
You can focus more of your energy on enjoying the days and less on planning for “what-ifs.”
3. You have a smaller environmental impact
Traveling by car instead of flying will quickly avoid the bulk of travel’s ugly carbon footprint.
Flying is one of the most damaging activities one can support. So much so that the “flight shame” movement in Sweden is actually being sourced as the reason for a dent in the aviation industry.
By slowing down, also known as slow travel, you can explore forms of travel that don’t involve aviation, like:
- Walking on local walking routes or paths. There might be a famous walking route that goes through your area that you’ve never tried. I used to live in Washington State and Pennsylvania, which are both home to the 2 most famous walking trails in the US – the Pacific Crest Trail and the Appalachian Trail. For some reason I never tried either of them when I lived there! What a missed opportunity.
- Bicycling. Like walking, there might be trails or paths that you’ve never visited before. You can look for ideas at your local parks and recreation department or tourist bureau.
- Canoeing or kayaking. Find the closest river or lake and see if there are canoe or kayak rentals. Pack the reef-safe sunscreen, a good lunch, lots of water and go enjoy life on the water.
- Don’t forget that you need reef-safe sunscreen even if you’re not at the beach! Fellow blogger Dr. Stephanie Schuttler shares more about reef-safe sunscreen on her blog, Fancy Scientist.
4. A staycation builds appreciation for where you live
A staycation is so much more than just an opportunity for a budget vacation. It helps you practice mindfulness of your daily surroundings.
Mindfulness is the practice of focusing your attention on the present moment. It’s said to improve mental health and increase the overall feeling of well-being.
But between routines and errands, being mindful of our daily surroundings can fall through the cracks.
If your staycation helps you slow down and be mindful of your surroundings, you ‘ll be benefiting from it for months to come.
5. A staycation gives you the opportunity do a local activity you’d otherwise never have time for.
Are there any nearby attractions that you’ve never tried? Something that only out-of-towners do? Maybe take the trolly or train to scenic viewpoint, or go to a famous museum or historical site that you’ve just never made it to.
When you travel somewhere new, the goal always seems to be finding that the locals do. But on your staycation, try seeing things through the eyes of a newbie.
The #1 Staycation Tip
The absolute best staycation tip to guarantee a great week: invite someone from out of town. It could be a friend, grandma and grandpa – anyone who isn’t originally from your town.
This staycation tip has given me all of my best staycations (and some of my favorite memories of those cities).
I’m lucky that my family has to come visit me wherever I’ve lived, in the US or abroad. Some of my most fond memories of those cities are with my sister or parents.
Showing my family the local market. Groningen, Netherlands 2019
With visitors from out of town, moseying through the streets and shops, eating the local specialties and experiencing the best of what the area has to offer is a given.
Hearing observations about your own town can bring on a wave of appreciation for your daily life. By inviting visitors into your town, you bring them closer into your life.
When your staycation comes…
Find some good people and just enjoy where you are. Try to not be in a hurry and really see where you live, not just pass it by.
Have you ever tried a staycation with out-of-town guests?? How did it go? Let me know in the comments or on Instagram at @kayla_ih.