Take a Staycation

When you think about taking a vacation, what comes to mind?  Flying on a plane to an exotic location? Visiting Paris, New York, Tokyo, or another famous international city?  Traveling abroad is great and can open you up to so many new experiences. However, have you ever tried to take a staycation?  For those who don’t know, a staycation is basically a vacation, but in your local area. Instead of going to some faraway location, you take your vacation (or staycation) in a place not too far from the place you call home.  Maybe the idea of a staycation is a boring one to you. Maybe images of going to the mall, eating at a fast food joint, and catching a movie before returning home for the night are what come to mind when you hear the word “staycation”. 

If you take a staycation, it could be those things, but it could be much more. Ultimately, it’s in your hands.  

Things you can do on a Staycation

Think like a Tourist

So you’ve decided to take a staycation.  Great decision. What can you do? First, change your mindset.  For the days that you take a staycation, forget that you’re a resident of the area.  To really get the experience of “traveling” while being local, you have to become a tourist.  If you were traveling to a different country, what things would you do? First, you’d probably look for different activities and recommendations.  Hiking, concerts, shows, museums, social events, etc. You’d probably also want to figure out how to get around town and see different sites and landmarks the place is famous for.  Of course, you’d have to eat during a vacation, so you might check out recommended restaurants that serve different cuisines. When you take a staycation, do the same thing. Sure you’re from the area and you know places that are popular with locals.  However, we usually tend to stick to things we already know. Instead of doing that, why not try to go somewhere different and try something new? Think like a tourist. Make use of travel guides and travel forums online. You can also check out local newspapers to see what’s happening around town.  

Visiting New Places

Part of a vacation is going to areas that are brand new for you.  Places that you’ve heard about and that you’ve seen pictures of. As it is with a vacation, so is it when you take a staycation.  What places are there in your city or state that people talk a lot about? What’s a place that you’ve wanted to visit for the longest time, but never had the chance to?  Add a few of these to your trip. Remember, you’re in tourist mode, it’s time to do touristy things. If the city that you’re in has a hop-on, hop-off bus, and you’re willing to spend the money, then take advantage of it and spend a day checking out the sites that the city has to offer.  You can also revisit places that you haven’t visited in a while.  

Venture Outside of your Neighborhood

If you take a staycation, don’t think that you’ll have to only stay on your street or in your neighborhood.  Escape from what is routine for you. The idea is to feel like you’re on vacation and to enjoy yourself. Do you have a car?  Do you have gasoline? Take a roadtrip. A drive that’s an hour or two outside of town is usually enough to put you in a new environment.  Road trips are great. While you’re on the journey to your destination, you have the chance to stop and check out small towns. You might even find some interesting souvenirs to take back home when you return.  Venturing outside of your neighborhood is when you truly begin to feel like a tourist. You become a stranger, you’re getting to meet new people, you have to ask for help, directions, and advice. All a part of the experience of tourism.  This is when you begin to realize that you really can become a tourist in your country, state, and even city if it’s large enough.

If you’re willing to splurge on some money, go ahead and make your trip one that lasts for at least a couple of days instead of simply a day trip.  Check into a hotel or a bed and breakfast and take advantage of the amenities that they have.       

Why should you take a staycation?

There are a lot of reasons why you should take a staycation.  First, it’ll usually be cheaper than foreign travel. You don’t have to pay for flights, visas, and other things like that.  It’s also convenient. Since you’re going to be vacationing somewhere not so far from home, a lot of planning won’t be required.  In fact, after reading this blog post, you could take a staycation either tonight or tomorrow. It’s much more convenient than the alternative.  Finally, and maybe the most important is when you take a staycation, it can give you a greater appreciation of what you have in your own neck of the woods.  Many of us have treasures in our very own backyard, but we’re oblivious to it. We often spend time exploring other areas, but when it comes to our own homes, we put it on hold.  Either we say something along the lines of “there’s nothing here” or “I’ll do it another time”. However, having a local vacation can be just as exciting, exhilarating, and enjoyable as traveling abroad. 

In ending

Whether you take a vacation internationally, domestically, or locally, you’re sure to find something worthwhile.  I’m not saying that one is better than the other. Each has its own benefits and you’re probably better off doing a mix of these.  An international vacation, another vacation domestically, and another locally. You don’t have to limit yourself and the experiences that you have.  You also don’t have to neglect your own hometown. Take advantage of what’s right in front of you.

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