As inflation drags on, gas prices soar, and our 401ks continue to plummet, many US Americans question if jetting off to Disneyland or Hawaii is realistically in the budget. A recent Forbes article reports that US American travelers exploring domestically will spend nearly $7,000 on their vacation while those going abroad will spend over $7,600. Can you afford a travel vacation?
Instead of giving up your vacation, why not switch it out with a staycation! If you are considering this option instead of maxing out your credit card to explore Hanoi or Hong Kong this year, rest assured, staying home enjoying local options is still a great vacation option.
A staycation may not instantly conjure up images of excitement. However, when you consider all of the activities you can fit into your staycation at significantly lower costs, you'll realize that a staycation may just be a perfect fit this year.
To maximize your staycation, plan your time in advance. Because you'll be staying home, you can plan a handful of activities over the course of a few days or even weeks.
As you consider how to spend your staycation, consider the ideas from the following list.
1. Local Environs: Learn more about your local community, and explore what it has to offer. Have you ever wanted to visit some of your local tourist attractions, but feel like you never have time? With your staycation, you can now visit the ones that pique your interest. That new local art exhibit that you’ve been wanting to see, that new restaurant your co-workers have been raving about, that newly renovated park. Now you actually have time to experience all these local places you’ve had to put on the back burner.
2. Reconnect: Reconnect with local relatives and friends. So often, life takes over: working overtime, doctor’s appointments, grocery shopping… . Before you know it, months or even years have passed since you last saw your beloved friends or family members. All of those times you’ve wanted to connect with your college girlfriends for martinis, host a BBQ, or meet up with Aunt Betty for dim sum. With your staycation, you will actually have time for in-person meet-ups that we missed so much over the pandemic lockdowns.
3. Game Day: Plan a family or friends game day during your staycation. Spend an entire day or afternoon playing games and having fun. Pull out the Monopoly or Scrabble games from the closet, and make some fun refreshments. Take out the frisbee to your local park. If you have children, allow each child to select a game of their choice to get them really engaged.
4. Quality Time: If you have a significant other, dedicate some of your staycation to spending quality time together. A day at the beach, a romantic dinner, or a stroll through your neighborhood park can refresh you connection and elevate your relationship. Enjoy each other's company without having to worry about travel and expenses, or how to pay off your credit cards when you return.
5. Catch Up on Entertainment: Still wanting to see that “new” release from six months ago? Catch up on a few new movies if you're a movie buff. Or if you prefer the performing arts, go to your local theater, opera, or symphony.
In terms of movies, have each member of your family or friends group select a Netflix movie of his or her choice for everyone to watch together. Gather the snacks for your own home-made movie night.
6. Home Improvement: Is there a home improvement project hanging over your head that you wish you had time for? A staycation will let you finish that project and complete that lingering project. Although not for everyone, doing some housework- purging your clothing closet, painting your master bedroom or re-staining your patio deck- could result in a newly invigorated living space.
If you do opt to complete a home project during your staycation, talk it over with those involved ahead of time. Limit the time you spend working on your home project to allow for leisure and recreation. All work and no play make staycations very dull!
7. Cooking/Baking: With more time, you can culinarily move passed frozen pizzas and stir fry leftovers for meals. You can now try that recipe you saved on Instagram or the healthy-looking salad you saw in your yoga magazine. That Italian family bread recipe from your great-grandmother, you now have time to bake it. Another idea is to host a dinner party where you can put your cooking and baking skills on display, gathering your friends or family.
8. Hobbies: Your yoga mat has been collecting dust as has your tennis racket. A staycation is the perfect opportunity to get reacquainted with the hobbies you love, and the ones you have been longing to try! Call a friend and experience that belly dance class together. Get back into learning about Thai cooking, and make a delicious Thai dish.
9. Day Trips: Having a staycation doesn’t mean you are completely tied to your home. You can take a day trip to the neighboring town. An hour’s car ride or train trip can easily bring you to new environs that you hadn’t explored before. This way, you can still travel, but without the expense of a hotel room.
10. Odds and Ends: All those things that you previously wished you had time for, with a staycation now you do! Plan and hold a garage sale, relax with a personal spa day, or help the kids organize a sleepover. The possibilities for activities during your staycation are endless. Use your creativity to come up with some of your own ideas.
Spending your vacation at home can actually be exciting, fun, and relaxing. Taking a staycation this year might work better with your schedule and household budget. Consider a staycation. You'll enjoy it!