Fun in the sun. Margaritas by the pool. Romantic candlelit dinners. Relaxing spa treatments.
Snapshots of my last vacation? Nope – they’re memories of my last STAYcation!
Sure, a travelling vacation has its rewards – you discover new places, meet new people, and enjoy sometimes-life-changing new experiences. Indeed, the thought of vacationing in Hawaii, Greece, or more exotic locales is exciting. But the realities (the high cost, potential screw-ups, uncomfortable beds, and the stress and hassles involved in traveling) are enough to give you second thoughts. No wonder that when it comes to taking time off, especially for couples, vacations are so-oooo last year. This is the year of the staycation– and you’ll soon see why.
You call THIS a vacation?
Vacations are great, but they come with a price…
Expenses – Need to fly to your destination? Expect to spend something in the area of $5,000 in airfare, hotel, rent-a-car costs. How about meals, guided tours, and entrance fees? Or entertainment, tips, and souvenirs? Maybe it’s all worth it. Then again, maybe not.
Pre-vacation to-do lists– Did you really pack everything you need? How about that 220-volt converter and those emergency phone numbers? Did you remember to take travel insurance? Turn off the thermostat? Who’s going to feed the cat? Water the plants? Pick up your mail?
Airplane anxieties – Can you deal with flight delays? Waking up at ungodly hours so you don’t miss your plane? Hours and hours of leg cramps and bland airplane food? Then doing the whole thing again on your way back?
Vacation doldrums– Okay, you’re finally there! The beaches are magnificent – hopefully, the sunny weather will hold. The ruins are spectacular – well worth the 300 steps you climbed to get there. The cuisine looks great – if only the menu was in English. But at least you’re finally unwinding.
Post-vacation blues– So how was your vacation? Great, except for that endless, bumpy flight back home? Super, except for that pile of work that accumulated in your absence? Fabulous, if only you weren’t thinking, “Could I have done something better with that $5,000?”
Well then, you need another vacation! But next time…
…take a STAYcation!
A staycation means you hang around your home or take trips in your town, city, or state – instead of travelling long distances or to another country. At first glance, it may seem like a second fiddle to a “real” vacation, but here’s why it may actually be more relaxing, stress-free, and fun:
- Make planning a piece of cake – No flights to book. No suitcases to pack. No itinerary to make. No pet-sitting to arrange. Just take a week off and do what you feel like doing!
- Eliminate travel costs, travel time, and travel stress – Goodbye, overpriced plane tickets and over-the-top hotel prices! So long, precious time lost just getting to your destination and back. Good riddance, potential mishaps like missed flights, lost luggage, misplaced reservations.
- Stay comfy – There’s nothing like sleeping in your own bed, and not having to worry about where to eat or whether your cell phone will work. And at the same time, be on “vacation.”
- Take your time– No need to rush or be restricted by a strict sightseeing itinerary – you’re on staycation! Go to the beach, visit a museum, have brunch with friends – or simply do nothing. But all at your own pace.
- Do what you’ve always wanted to do (but never had the time)– If you kept putting off making that photo album, decorating your room, or seeing that best-selling play, now is the time to DO IT! Staycation time is catch-up time.
- Discover new ways to have fun, right in your backyard – Explore your town or city. Is there a park you haven’t explored? A watering hole you haven’t been to? Flea markets you’ve always wanted to try? Old friends you’ve lost contact with? See your surroundings in a whole new light!
BONUS! Best Ways to Have a Staycation-for-Two
1. Synchronize your schedule and give your staycation a start and end date
2. Turn off your TV, laptops and smart phones; put everyone on notice that you’re both on staycation
3. Stock up on couple-friendly movies and games
4. Take lots of staycation pictures
5. Create an at-home spa (complete with fancy soaps and comfy robes) and pamper yourselves
6. Maximize your backyard or patio with Margarita nights, camp-outs, or backyard barbecues
7. Enjoy foreign foods – order out for Chinese, Mexican or Italian
8. Make it like you’re staying in a hotel – splurge on a cleaning service pre-staycation
9. Take lots of day trips to nearby attractions (look out for midweek discounts!)
10. Wake up late, stay in your jammies, and watch Star Wars movies all day
11. Live near a lake? How about a dinner or sightseeing cruise?
12. Go antiquing or vintage shopping
13. Make it a gastronomic staycation – visit a winery, indulge in an expensive restaurant
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