In choosing your next big vacation destination, “nowhere” might not have been at the top of your list. But it may be worth a second look. Far from a default setting or consolation prize, a staycation may go toe-to-toe with an all-inclusive beach resort for your next family vacation.
A staycation, or holistay, is nothing more or less than a relaxing and rejuvenating period of time off at home. It is a fantastic way to celebrate life with friends and family while reducing some of the stress of travel. With many of the same benefits of an upscale trip abroad, plus a few of its own, you may want to consider whether a quality staycation is ideal for your next trip.
Benefits of a Staycation
At first glance, a staycation may look bland against luxurious accommodations, distant getaways, and beachfront resorts overlooking the ocean. However, there are several perks to booking your next relaxing vacation right at home.
Bringing the Outside World In
Whether your family trip is to a secluded getaway in the mountains, a blissful tropical cruise, a boutique hotel in a vibrant city, or a foreign country with a rich history to explore, the benefits of vacationing remain much the same no matter the location:
- Disconnect from work and the day-to-day grind
- Unwind and connect with friends, family, or loved ones
- Discover new experiences and create memories
- Learn, explore, and gain a new perspective on life
The marvelous hidden truth is that you can achieve all these things without ever setting foot on a plane, ship, or train. There are many opportunities for you to heal, recharge, experience, enjoy, and luxuriate right where you are. All it takes is a bit of intention and creativity.
Unique Advantages of Staying Local
A staycation can have many therapeutic traits in common with a trip to Aspen, Tokyo, Disney World, or Bali. Although, at the same time, vacations to luxury hotels around the world carry many costs that a staycation does not:
- Per-person monetary expenses such as airfare, hotels, activities, meals out, souvenirs, and other purchases.
- The emotional energy and stress of planning a big trip, including working out an itinerary and where to stay, making sure all reservations and documents are in order, and remembering not to leave one of the kids at home.
- The time and physical exhaustion of travel days, recovery days, and jet lag.
If it is possible to achieve even some of the refreshing nature of a vacation, with none of these added stresses and costs of a distant luxury hotel stay, isn’t it worth your consideration? A staycation is simultaneously an effective way to have fun experiences, find some mental and emotional healing without added stress, and cut back excess spending.
A staycation isn’t always the perfect option. Some trade-offs may make a more traditional vacation the right option for you. For most of us, time off is a limited resource and it’s best to consider all factors before deciding how we want to spend it.
One thing to consider is the simple appeal of “getting away.” In many cases, one core motivation for travel is that distant escapes make it easier to disconnect from your day-to-day life. In contrast, taking time off at home may make it harder to escape things like a messy kitchen, off-the-clock work email, or a leaky faucet.
Before booking a vacation package at the Your House resort, you may want to consider other options. For many, one of the biggest appeals of travel is experiencing new things through nightlife, excursions, and gourmet culinary adventures.
Unfortunately, this may not come as naturally or feel quite as rewarding near home, although it is certainly possible to create novelty right in your backyard.
As you’ll see below, there are several great ways to plan a staycation that is restful, exciting, and fulfilling. You may find one that feels like the perfect fit for your next family holiday, but that doesn’t mean that stay-at-home time-off needs to supplant your family travels altogether.
As always, what’s most important is knowing you have options and taking a chance to consider each before deciding the right fit for your next trip.
4 Relaxing Staycation Ideas
There is no one “right way” to do a staycation. Just as a traditional travel vacation can be relaxing or adventurous, domestic or international, tightly scheduled or free-flowing, each staycation is unique, too.
Below are a few common ways to structure a staycation so you can think of how best to set up your next local adventure.
1. The Great Indoors
Let’s start with what you might call the “classic” staycation. The simplest way to enjoy your stay is a free-flowing, low-commitment week off around the house.
A period like this could include movie marathons, a bit of intentional couch-potato time, games and activities with the family, trying out a new hobby, and just about anything you might think of that you usually struggle to find time for during work and school times.
2. To-do List Tourism
For a staycation that’s a little light on the “-cation,” you may want to consider a few days at home catching up on life’s myriad tasks and to-dos.
A few different things drive us to take time off school and work to travel. Sometimes, we need a little time away from it all to rest and recharge, then jump back in. Other times, we find ourselves craving a vacation because life feels chaotic and overwhelming. Our responsibilities can lead us to burnout.
A staycation with a productive streak can be the perfect cure for that restless energy. Intentionally spending a few days catching up on bills, housework, phone calls, paperwork, etc., might be a surprisingly effective way for you to return to the office on Monday feeling calm, centered, and on top of life.
3. Local Getaway
If you’re looking for a staycation without too much “stay,“ you could also consider a bit of hyper-local travel.
One fun thing about a vacation to a new place is all the opportunities to see and do new things. Depending on where you live, you may have more possibilities to do that right near home.
Spending a few days being a tourist in your home town or city is a fantastic way to discover new places and forge delightful new experiences. Considering yourself a tourist in your own city may also permit you to splurge on local tours, events, activities, and spa treatments that you wouldn’t typically set aside the time or money to try.
4. Hybrid Approach
Above all else, perhaps the most significant benefit of a staycation is its freedom and flexibility.
These options above are only a few ways to enjoy an exciting, relaxing, or re-centering vacation at home. One of the most fantastic things about this type of time off is that most of these things require little to no planning or commitment. That means you can mix and match, try different things on different days, or even mix in some new elements we haven’t discussed yet!
A staycation gives you room to experiment, tweak, and customize to your heart’s content, so there’s no reason not to play around with it a bit until you land on something that fits perfectly for you.
Planning Your Next Staycation Geta-stay
There are as many ways to travel as there are people. So before you check in at a five-star hotel or deluxe resort and spa for your next trip, take a moment to consider whether to book a five-night stay right in your own neighborhood.
A brief staycation may not hold the same allure as distant beaches and far-off destinations, but the relaxation and chances to indulge yourself in a staycation are abundant. Plus, you always know who cleaned the guest rooms and never have to worry about cancellation fees, asking a concierge for the wi-fi password, or making it to the breakfast buffet in time.
This post originally appeared on Savoteur.
Sam is the founder of the personal finance and self-improvement blog Smarter and Harder. His mission is to start exciting new conversations that empower people to improve their work, lives, and money, and hopefully have a fantastic time doing it. In all things, he strives to lead with positivity, understanding, and more than a bit of enthusiasm.