Last updated on January 17th, 2019
Many people overlook what’s right in their backyard. They forget to check out all the great things their home town, and surrounding areas, have to offer.
- Trying to save money?
- Want to avoid the stress of travelling?
- Can’t travel because of health concerns?
- Your boss won’t give you a couple weeks off work?
What you need is a staycation!
Discover your part of the world
A staycation is a vacation spent close to home, instead of travelling to far away foreign places. Who wouldn’t want to go to Bora Bora for 10 days, but unfortunately that’s not always a realistic option.
While staying around home for a week might not sound as exciting as a 10 day trip to Fiji or Peru, it’s still a lot better than nothing. It’s certainly better than moping around all summer depressed about being stuck at home.
Your city is awesome so start acting like it is!
Get out there and enjoy it. Even if you live in some tiny hillbilly country bumpkin town (I feel your pain) and you think that there can’t possibly be anything to do, get creative, do some research online, and look for day trips and nearby cities and sights that interest you.
You don’t have to travel far on a staycation
When you live somewhere you tend to take it for granted. There are probably many attractions and events close to home that you’ve never experienced.
Does any of this sound familiar?
- I drive by it every day on my way to work but I’ve never actually been inside.
- I’ve lived here ten years but never been to that festival. I have always wanted to go but never had the time.
- I’ve heard that restaurant makes delicious burgers but I always end up going somewhere closer to home.
- I know it’s popular with the tourists but I’ve never been there.
So get out your camera and get ready to be a tourist in your own city!
Ground rules for a staycation
To have a staycation you first have to set a few ground rules, after all you want this to feel like a vacation not just like any other week at home.
- Set a start date and an end date.
- Set a budget.
- Create an itinerary of what you want to do and see.
- Don’t do anything you wouldn’t do on vacation. No laundry, cleaning, grocery shopping, or yard work.
- Turn on your answering machine and leave emails behind.
Ideas for staycation activities
- Go somewhere ‘touristy’. Visit a nearby tourist stop or attraction that you’ve never been to.
- Rent a bike and explore a scenic park or trail.
- Go kayaking or canoeing for the day and pack a picnic lunch.
- Visit National Parks and go walking and hiking.
- Camp at a nearby campsite or even in your own backyard. Even sleeping in your backyard, because it’s something you’re not used to doing (I assume) and is something different than your regular routine, will feel like a mini adventure.
- Take a road trip. Plan out a road trip that you can do in one day. Choose roads and places that you’ve never been before.
- Take a ferry if you can. Stop along the way for pictures as if you are not going to have the opportunity to go back.
- Spend the night at a hotel. Treat yourself to a night in a hotel, you’ll feel like you’re on vacation even if your only a couple of hours away from home. No cleaning, no cooking. Order room service. Book a spa treatment.
- Find a local event or festival. Research what festivals, events, shows, and concerts are happening around your area. Go and enjoy them because you don’t have to work the next day!
- Spend a day at the lake, river, or beach. Swim, rent a small boat, explore trails, enjoy the scenery and soak up some sun.
- Take a ride on the city tour bus or go on a walking tour – you might be surprised what you learn about the history of your city.
- Use apps like Yelp to find new places to eat. You might discover your new favorite restaurant!
- Book a local house sit and share you staycation with someone’s pets.
Staycations and house sitting
Staycations and house sitting go great together. Take a vacation close to home and save money by booking a house sitting assignment. Staycations give you the opportunity to discover and explore your part of the world. Staying in a home other than your own will give you a more unique experience and enhance your staycation.
Remember that if you house sit you will often be required to look after pets and care for the property during your stay. This is why the accommodation is provided free of charge! If you want to spend a lot of time out and about, you’ll also need to consider whether this works for the home owner and the animals in your charge.
Generally this means no overnight trips, but remember cats can usually be left alone for much longer periods than dogs. On the other hand, you may enjoy having a dog to take with you on your days out, and to cuddle up to in the evening if you are staycationing alone!
Alannah McEwan has a serious case of itchy feet and incurable wanderlust!
Since going on her first international trip 10 years ago, her passion for travel and adventure has continued to grow. Having visited over 30 countries and lived in Canada, Austria, Italy, and Australia, she’s learned a lot about traveling on a budget and life as an expat.
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