Many of us choose at one time or another to stay home and take our “hard earned vacation” closer to home. Perhaps it’s because of the expense of travel, or needing to be close to someone who can’t travel, or just being too burnt out to face battling the hassle of travel. Whatever the reason, there is a LOT to be said for enjoying a staycation. Here are my seven favourite tips for having the best, most relaxing holiday ever!
- Planning is key, as in any vacation. If you leave it to whim and wait to see how the weather is, you will end up doing nothing. Sit down with those you would normally be travelling with and get everyone’s input. At this time, also set a budget for your vacation so you can creatively stay within your limits. There are lots of free things to do in every city.
- This is the time to do things in your own locale which you may not have done before, or at least for a very long time. Take into account everyone’s interests and make a long list or “wouldn’t it be fun to ….. “. Include museums, galleries, theatres, sports events, day trips, city trips, national parks, heritage sites, tours and landmarks. Find out what’s happening in your city/town during your vacation period. “Skip-the-line-tickets” cut down on waiting for hours to enter popular tourist sites. Even your local travel agent can help you plan your staycation if you don’t have the time.
- As in all vacations, you need to pace yourself so that you feel relaxed by the end of your vacation. Allow for late starts in the morning, or an afternoon off to just chill in the backyard or outside at a local café.
- Don’t be afraid to split up the group if not everyone is interested in the same activities. Example, Grandma might take one grandchild to a certain dance theatre and Grandpa might take a different grandchild to a natural history museum. Parents may take advantage of some quality time to have a picnic at a botanical gardens. The whole purpose is to reconnect with those who are important to us.
- Meals are another major part of the “vacation experience”. Don’t leave a family member in the kitchen preparing everyone’s meals …. Unless perhaps they are enjoying a culinary class with a chef! That’s not to say you have to eat out the entire time – as that too can be exhausting and hard on the pocket book. Perhaps shop in a local farmers market and select foods to prepare together at home, visit a winery and pick up a bottle or two of your favourites, or prepare a picnic lunch to eat in a quiet location and people watch. Food trucks are also becoming popular and you can try an array of international foods which don’t soak up your entire budget.
- Add some adventure to your vacation and try something new …. Rock climbing, cycling, riding a steam train. Psychologists say that those who use their vacation time to test their limits, physically and emotionally come back more energized then those who lie on a beach.
- And last but not least …. LAUGH! Release those endorphins and all of a sudden, the world is a more exciting place. Change your routine to vacation mode and put your devices away … at least for a portion of each day. Who knows, disconnecting while at home may become a regular habit, along with conversation and laughter. Enjoy your best vacation ever!