A Simple Guide to a Great Staycation

Cismigiu Park, Bucharest

Buzz word or marketing trick, staycations are a trend and I believe are not as new as the media would have you think. First off, what are staycations? The product of financial troubles, they are those vacations where you cannot really travel far. Maybe you take a few day trips close to home or just enjoy your home city, maybe you just visit all your relatives, the bottom line is staycations are not your normal vacations: you don’t plan much, you don’t really have a budget, you’re just looking for ways to relax and recharge without the actual expenses of a real holiday.

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While this happens a lot in recent troubled economic times which keep nagging us since 2008, we’ve all experienced that one year when money was scarce at best and while the possibility to take time off work existed, actually going away on vacation didn’t. After reading this inspiring post, I wanted to further express the best staycation philosophy – instead of fighting it, let’s take the worst case scenario and embrace it. If we’re stuck with a staycation, what can we actually do to make the best out of it? Here are a few things to consider:

Who else will be joining you?

When on a staycation, the mundane things have a habit to take over – clean your house, catch up with chores and errands, work on personal projects, basically finding some work to do instead of really taking a break. One of the best ways to distract yourself is not taking the staycation alone. If someone else in your close group of friends or others in your family are in the same situation, make plans with them. If you have someone else to disappoint apart from yourself, you’ll find it hard to cancel and get stuck in to-dos.

What’s happening in your city?

Concerts, fresh exhibitions, theater plays, a new movie premier, fashion the all need exploring and now you have no excuse not to attend. Some cost, others are free, you can pick your flavors according to likes and budgets.

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What spots in your city haven’t you seen?

Yes, it’s true, no matter how long you live somewhere, there are certain places you’ve never been to. A museum, a famous street, a church or unusual temple, a park to far from home to explore, a restaurant you’ve been meaning to try but never gotten around to. Make a plan to squeeze all of them in.

Which places do you miss?

After seeing all the new attractions, why not go back to those you know but still want to visit again. We all have that museum, exhibition or theater play we see over and over again. Why not make a day tour of all the old loves your city houses and revisit them. Fresh eyes will do wonders: you’ll see the things you used to love and notice new additions, which will surprise you.

Cismigiu Park, Bucharest

Boats in Cismigiu Park, Bucharest

Why not shop like a tourist?

Yes, I did say shopping! You do that all the time, but mostly because you need it: groceries for home, clothes for work, new furniture for the house. Why not stroll in the shopping hot spots aimlessly, picking up things you don’t really need. It does not have to be something big, as you still have to watch your budget, but you can still have a tacky souvenir, a bottle of wine or a nice scarf that does not cost much, yet it’s not a familiar item on your normal shopping list.

Don’t you miss the great outdoors?

You might lack the budget for a beach holiday or a hike up the mountains, but luckily for us, there are loads of large parks to explore! Choose the one you like most, that’s large enough to get lost in and no longer hear the city (traffic, people, craziness). Have a picnic, read a book, linger in the sun, take a boat ride on the lake if there is one.

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Now that we’ve cleared the main aspects you should have in mind for a successful staycation, here are some extra dos and don’ts:

What to do on your staycation:

  • Get in tourist mode
    • take lots of photos and always have a camera with you
    • call friends and family to check in and tell them about the wonderful things you’re experiencing in your staycation
    • don’t think of your place as home, think of it as a cozy short-term rental
  • Eat out a couple of times, it’s part of the vacation experience
  • Try to be enthusiastic about everything you do
  • Wake up everyday and remind yourself you actually aren’t going to work! Even if you love your job, being on vacation always puts a smile on your face
  • Politely refuse to do errands for family and friends, you are on vacation

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What not to do on your staycation:

  • Don’t tell your office they can contact you at anytime, cause you’re at home
  • Don’t act as if it’s not a real vacation, telling people you’re not working but not vacationing either
  • Don’t do any house work
  • Don’t offer to babysit for friends and family

2 Comment to “A Simple Guide to a Great Staycation”

  1. Thanks Alina for all these interesting thoughts on the Staycation, building out on my original piece. I’m ready to staycate!

  2. Andy, thanks for the inspiration 🙂 I have this feeling staycations are here to stay, we’d bette embrace them and have a blast while at it 🙂

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