Staycation. It’s a thing, people, and what a thing! Spending your time off exploring the locale is not, I repeat, is not second best. It’s not meant to sweeten the sour grapes of your limited travel budget. “Air transport is not eco-friendly after all!” True, but reducing your carbon footprint isn’t the only reason to do something different this year. And that’s precisely the point. Do what you don’t usually do, boldly go where no local has gone before – start planning the ultimate staycation and explore your neighborhood.
If only major dictionaries would agree on its definition. But that’s beyond the point. Whether you’re staying in your city, visiting the area, or exploring your state or country, it still counts as a staycation. Its most significant benefit, apart from the fact it significantly reduces your travel and lodging expenses, is that it helps you discover a new perspective on the area you already feel familiar with.
Haven’t we all walked by the exciting stuff in our vicinity sometime in the past? Caught in a daily grind, it’s easy to take it for granted. But not anymore! Staycation is here to remind us of what we have, discover something new, and enjoy it all to the fullest. And these are the tips you should kindly consider.
Tip#1 Be your guide or join forces with a pal
What’s more touristy than signing up for a guided tour? With staycations, city and area tours come with a twist! Have a friend create a tour for you. There’s no better way to experience something new in the same ol’ town than asking other people for recommendations.
It will surprise you to discover how many things have passed under your radar. Otherwise, check out what the online community says about your city. Search for the less-known best things to do in your area, and then follow the leads. Try out new foods, explore new music or the seventh art genres, and even change your usual means of transport.
Tip#2 Sneak a peek into other people’s lifestyle
I don’t endorse stalking. What I meant is to reap the benefits of inexpensive lodging and getting to know your fellow countrymen via couchsurfing, for example. Sometimes, the best way to learn about ourselves and our neighborhoods and improve our lives is to change our perspective. Or discuss it with a fellow local.
Long talks with your hosts on their porch while you sip icy cool mint lemonade can be eye-opening. Besides, the more people you get to know, the wealthier you are. In other words, meaningful connections are the new currency, and staycations have the potential to expand your network, if not precisely your wallet.
Tip#3 When was the last time you saw the stars?
Light pollution has hidden the most romantic light of all – starlight. And to think that all you need to do is step over the city limits to feel the awe of the first humans. Camping spots make this “return to innocence” possible wherever you are.
If you’re a Tennessean and just discovering your passion for camping spots, there are truly awesome places to check out in your neighborhood. Also, spending some time googling is a basis for planning the ultimate staycation. It will undoubtedly return excellent results on camping locations and quality second-hand camping equipment and tips.
Tip#4 Take merciless advantage of discounts
Because why not. If local businesses offer discounts, use them. You will have an easy time finding them, knowing exactly where they advertise. Moreover, your credit card issuer may provide additional price cuts or rebates that wouldn’t work in different states or countries.
Save whenever you can but don’t shy away from treating yourself to a fancy dinner in the poshest hotel restaurant in the city. How many times have you done that? Probably never because you’re not a tourist in your city.
If you take the time to outline a budget and search for local discounts, it will surprise you how many things you can afford! And besides, there are always new free sights and events to visit in every city.
Tip#5 Please DON’T check your network connection and try again
Don’t you covet sending automatic out-of-office messages to your peers? “Thank you for your message. I’m on staycation, will respond ASAP” somehow doesn’t weigh the same yet. However, a time off is a time off, and its value to you isn’t any less important. So, take the opportunity to go off the social media grid, at least for a short while.
Take the time to cycle, hike, or experience museums, galleries, restaurants, bars, bookstores, outdoor tai chi classes, and everything else in your area you didn’t have the time for. Turn off your experience tracker and immerse yourself in real life, right where and when you are. Your friends will survive a couple of days without your reels and stories, and, believe it or not, you will feel more satisfied than ever.
Tip#6 Enjoy the company of yourself
Staycation, just like its long-distance counterpart, is a journey meant to reset you, recharge you, and make your efforts in tackling everyday challenges bearable. Your days off may not overlap with your friends’, and that may not be too bad after all. What’s your take on that local indie performance? Don’t tell us. Savor the taste of an unspoiled opinion.
The best part of spending your time off work in the area is taking advantage of the workday offers. Sports, wellness, and cultural venues like swimming pools, spa centers, stadiums, theaters, and museums often share special packages to fill capacities on slow days. Take a look; single tickets may be particularly affordable and easy to obtain. And not sharing sorely needed relaxation time may be particularly satisfying.
Are you ready for the scary part?
You might hook on the feeling of freedom of doing what you want when you want and paying less for it without drastically changing your coordinates. But don’t worry. Planning the ultimate staycation will take some budget and googling practice and time to set up a perfect checklist. Not too much of it, but just enough to get you closer to the next best experience in your life!
Author bio: Jenny Hu is a multitasker – a blogger, natural sciences student, ice skater, avid reader and traveler, who also dabbles in tiny home hobbies and horticulture. Always on the lookout for a new horizon to explore.