How To Plan A Staycation
Now is the time to bunker down and make home your getaway. Reports of how the pandemic CoVid-19 virus is rapidly spreading means limiting travel to essential needs, both domestic and international. The whole family can feel the disappointment of postponing a vacation everyone has looked forward to, and now instead, you’re home. There are activities in and around your home as a way for everyone to follow the instructions to self-isolate, stay healthy, not go stir crazy.
Staycations offer the best option for a getaway without the actual getting away. It’s all about staying home and doing some of the same things you would do on a trip. When I talk about staycations, I’m often asked the questions below.
What is a staycation, anyway?
- A way to get away without going away. Vacations involve loading the car for a road trip, jumping on the train for a cross-country adventure, or boarding an airplane to takeoff on an . Staycations are close by and do not require massive travel plans.
- Explore your own city and area. Often we skip visiting attractions, museums, and local activities right in our backyard. Only when family and friends visit do, we plan a day of visiting our local attractions. Staycations are all about visiting those places in your city or state.
- Stay in your neck of the woods. Travel is limited right now, and staying close to home is required to keep everyone as healthy as possible. Taking advantage of activities you can do outdoors in a safe environment is a great thing to do now.
- No need to pack bags, catch a flight, or fight traffic. Put packing and extended trips in the rearview mirror. Home is the sweet spot for one or two days, it’s all up to you and your family to plan.
- Great way to enjoy time with family. Send boredom packing with a well-planned Staycation where the whole family helps create a day of fun near or at home.
- Breakaway from the office. Staycations are not about getting work done at home. Put away the computer and answer emails on another day. Staycations can be one or two days with a focus on having fun with family indoors, outdoors, or around the city.
- Relax without a budget buster vacation. One of the challenges when putting together a family getaway is, “how much will it cost?” Budgeting for family vacations is one of the drawbacks and, in some cases, will delay the opportunity for traveling. Small budget needs are what make Staycations a great option at any time. You control what you do and how much you will spend. Budgets are much easier to balance close to home.
Most of all, a Staycation creates an easy to do, fun way to generate hometown memories with love ones.
How do you plan a Staycation?
- Make a schedule just as you would an away vacation. If you don’t schedule your activities, they may get lost in regular day-to-day activities. This is not the time to check-off your list of chores. Take a few days to schedule family fun.
- Get in vacation mode. Taking the attitude of “It’s just at home” is not the way to look at a Staycation. Plan something fun, connect with family & friends, do something you have always wanted to do. And, plan, schedule, and budget, just as you would an away vacation.
- Take advantage of no flight or transportation schedules. One of my favorite parts of a Staycation is tossing away the plans you can’t control. A Staycation is all about choosing the time you want to make things happen.
- Research local activities, festivals, attractions. Local event calendars are filled with things to do. Self-isolation is not the time to go out and about. However, once our communities are healthy again, a Staycation with visits to location attractions is the best way to see your city as a tourist. And many museums are free!
- Ask friends and family to suggest things to do and see, especially friends who work with your local convention and visitors bureau, chamber of commerce, and regional attractions.
- This isn’t a time to catch up on chores – have fun, or hire someone to do tasks, prepare a special meal.
- Whatever you do, make sure it’s something you wouldn’t have the time for usually (or can’t afford regularly), but you’d be up for trying once.
- Don’t forget to budget – just as you would a getaway.
What should I budget?
- Meals – during a staycation will take the most significant chunk out of your budget. Will you eat out, prepare a special home meal, prepare a picnic meal? Determine the type of cuisine and budget accordingly and within what you want to spend.
- Plan and budget for activities around your home or if you can go out and about in the city. Call ahead to ask about admission fees.
- Budget for unexpected expenses just as you would on an away vacation. The good news is you’re close to home, and you do not need to put aside too much.
- Stay within budget and resist the “I’m not spending big money on airfare, so I can splurge here!”
- Keep in mind – Staycations mean you can be thrifty and still have a sensible splurge!
What should I do on a staycation?
- Go camping in your own backyard, literally. Pitch a tent in your yard and bring the family fun outside.
- Bring out the board games and have a family tournament or create your own games. Monopoly has an option for creating your own game. Opoly lets you create your own version of the popular game. A personalize family game is sure to mean fun for everyone.
- Virtually – Go around the world, creating a travel guide to your favorite city. Each family member can take a turn presenting a virtual trip to their beloved country or one that is top of their list. Share ideas of things to do, see, and eat. Make a video with photos and have a family travel night. You are ready to go with all your plans made once travel limitations are lifted.
- Prepare an ethnic or national meal – pull out the stops and do a little research to learn more about why that food is a specialty in that culture. Study how it is served in the home country and if there are any ceremonies around the meal. The best way to experience a country virtually and in real life is through the culture, and food is a true expression of local culture.
- When travel restrictions are released, take a food tour in an ethnic area of your city. Ask questions about preparations, rituals around special meals, and how the food is celebrated in their native home.
- Plan a home spa day – Invite your best girlfriend over for a pampering spa of manicures, facials, champagne, and fun. An at-home resort is a perfect option for couples, too, and a great way to introduce the youngest in your home to self-care and pampering with their own version of a spa day. Set up a special spot for your spa day, include healthy meals & treats, purchase a favorite scent to create a relaxing experience, pull out your extra fluffy, robe and towels,
- Turn your bedroom into a luxury retreat. Apply some of the same special treats you would for your spa day. A fluffy robe, favorite scents, flowers, and time to relax read a book or watch a marathon of your favorite movies and TV shows.
- Have an international wine tasting with some of the wines you have been waiting to open. And, don’t forget to include international cheeses to top of your indoor picnic. Make a tasty charcuterie of delicious treats to balance and complement your wines.
- Celebrate a national or international holiday. Our digital calendars allow us to select international holidays, include them, and maybe there is one you can celebrate during your Staycation. Research how it is celebrated in the national country and how we celebrate those holidays in the United States.
- Plan a fun event with your pet – don’t leave your fur babies behind. There are many ways to include them, everything from a walk to your own pet show with photos of your pet from their arrival to your forever home until today.
- Travel movies are my personal favorite for a way to travel virtually during a Staycation. Many films take you to a destination through spectacular cinematography, evoking emotions, bringing us front and center in the lives and culture of the people featured in each scene. Add a special buffet of various international foods to make your virtual trip as real as possible.
My top movies are-
Out of Africa– This award-winning movie brought home many Oscars in 1985. Meryl Streep plays a baroness, and Robert Redford plays a big game hunter, shares a challenging love affair during her time in Eastern Africa. The movie is based on the autobiographical novel by Isak Dinesen. It is not surprising the film won Best Cinematography for scenes on location in Kenya, including the Shaba National Game Reserve. Out of Africa takes you on a virtual safari and inspires a burning desire to have your very own adventure.
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty – For all the tentative travelers wanting to make a jump to start traveling, this movie inspires taking a leap, either for an adventure or seeking to reach other personal goals. Walter Mitty lives an adventurous life in his head but doesn’t dare create it in real life. That is until he must find a photographer who has taken a photo needed for the final cover of Life magazine. He challenges his fears and travels to Greenland and Iceland, finding the photographer and his courage to take risks. Ben Stiller plays the role of Walter Mitty in the 2013 movie.