Random thoughts, Travel

The Essentials for a Staycation

With Memorial Day Weekend quickly approaching, the most popular time of year to travel is upon us.

The summer months are filled with weekend getaways and lengthy vacations. Instagram populates with beautiful photos of faraway places you’ve been dying to visit. Everyone seems to be taking off to somewhere new while you’re sitting home watching reruns of The Ellen Show and eating copious amounts of snacks.

I’m a firm believer in taking days off work even if you don’t necessarily have somewhere to go. I’m not saying to blow all your days before you even get a chance to book a vacation, but if you know you aren’t making anymore plans, take some time to chill out at home.

Some of you are screaming right now. I’ll be so bored! I can use those days for something more useful! Why would I waste days off to stay here?

Relax. There is nothing worse than wasting PTO (paid time off). I don’t mean taking days off and not going anywhere; I mean never taking the days and losing them at the end of the year.

Just because you don’t have a vacation planned, doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a nice staycation.

Here’s all you need to know to make a successful staycation count:

1. Make a list of the “touristy” things you’ve never done.

I can almost guarantee there are a handful of things in your area that you’ve never done because they’re too touristy. For example, I spent my entire life steering clear of the Empire State Building because out-of-towners flood the area.

STOP DOING THAT! They are tourist attractions for a reason. People from all over come to your area to see or do whatever it is, so take full advantage. Stop taking it for granted, and pay whatever it is a visit. Even if you laugh at how stupid it is the whole time, at least you had fun!

2. Unplug for a while.

I know it’s really hard to turn off your phone. It may even be difficult to stay off your computer. However, it’ll feel more like a vacation if you virtually unplug.

Think about it: when you go on vacation, especially abroad, how often are you on your phone? Sure, you’ll check in every once in a while, but you’re not on it nearly as much as you are when you’re home. A staycation will leave you far more rejuvenated if you shut it all down for a bit.

3. Test a hobby you always wanted to try but never did.

I can list a whole bunch of hobbies I always wanted to try but never found the time for. If you’re planning a staycation, you have plenty of time. No more excuses.

When on vacation, I do things I never would have dreamed of doing at home. Partly because I don’t have the resources, but mainly because I never think of them! Start a list of activities you could take part in and pick out some of the most interesting ones. You’d be surprised at what you might find.

4. Camp out in your own backyard.

Now, this isn’t for everyone, but if you’re the outdoorsy type, this could work! Camping in your backyard may not give you the full camping experience (depends where you live), but it’ll give you a feel that you aren’t home. It could provide plenty of laughs for you, friends, and family—whoever you’re staycationing with.

If you aren’t the type to enjoy the outdoors, you can always rent a hotel room for a couple of nights. It won’t be far from home, but it’ll get you out of the house.

5. Pick out a good book.

Many people’s go-to vacation includes the beach, fruity cocktails, and a good book. In typical vacay fashion, grab yourself a great-sounding book, and read. All too often, people stop reading for fun because they’re too tired from work and can’t seem to find another time to squeeze in a few chapters.

Vacations serve as the perfect opportunity to dive into a novel. Typically, by the end of the week, the book is finished. That’s your goal for a staycation: when you’re not taking time to try out new hobbies, you’re working on finishing up a great read. Reading is calming and can take you away from reality without actually having to go anywhere.

These tips aren’t limited to staycations. You can implement these ideas in your everyday life. Maybe you have a handful of vacations planned but just want to see more of your area. Whatever floats your boat!

Taking a staycation rather than a vacation doesn’t have to be a drag.

No, you aren’t going to an exotic island no one has ever heard of, but you are taking the time to relax and explore a place you’ve most likely been taking for granted. That should be reason enough to brag about your “traveling” plans.


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