This article is a travel topic
A staycation is a type of vacation that involves staying at home rather than traveling somewhere. Those taking a staycation can either enjoy relaxation and entertainment at their own home, take day trips in their area, or a combination of these.
Staycations can be taken for a variety of reasons, including the inability to afford a vacation away from home, personal obligations in one's hometown, the medical inability to travel, or other reasons.
A staycation can be enjoyed in many ways. Your area may have many hidden treasures that in all the years you have lived in your town you did not know existed. You may find new ways to enjoy things you already knew about but have neglected. Or perhaps you can spend more time with other relatives or friends you don't get to see often. Maybe you can coordinate your staycation with others so you can have a good time with them.
Things to do during a staycation
- Enjoy the pool - Swimming can be a fun activity. If you have a pool in your yard, and the weather is nice, you can hang around the pool. If you do not have your own pool, look into a local swim club.
- Home movies - Do you own an entertainment system? If you normally do not get to watch movies, this may be a good time. To resemble the theater experience, make some buttered popcorn to go along with it.
- Play games These could be indoor or outdoor games. If the weather is nice, you could play games like volleyball, badminton, or hopscotch, just to name a few. If you are remaining indoor, you could play board games. Or if you have a large room in your home with no fragile objects, you may be able to play ball games in that room.
- Invite friends - They can join your fun and games. Of course you do not want to do this if you want your staycation to be a quality family time.
- Cook an interesting meal - You may not be able to visit some exotic culture. But perhaps you can have their food. You can study some of their recipes in a cookbook or online, and then spend some time preparing it. Purchase the ingredients at your local supermarket or wherever you can. This will cost less than going to a restaurant with this nation's cuisine. It can be fun to prepare it. And then you can decorate your dinner table to reflect the style of the country, play their music in the background, and pretend you're there.
In your area
- Parks - Most areas have at least some parks. There are many different types of parks. Some parks have fields for playing ball games. Others have trails for walking or hiking. Picnic areas are common. Parks may include swimming beaches, fishing, horse trails, historic sites, and more.
- Attractions in your area - Vacationers typically visit attractions in the places where they travel. But there may be one or more attractions in your area visited by tourists who come to your town. There is no reason you can't visit them either. Read the WikiTravel article and other guides on your own city/town and other nearby cities and towns to find some attractions. There may be some hidden secrets you never knew about that could be hiding a treasure.
- Nature centers - In many places, one or more nature centers can be found within a short drive. These can be entertaining while at the same time educational, as they have some live animals, parts from dead animals, plants, pictures, and much more. Nature centers are usually free.
- The beach - It may not be like the islands of the Caribbean. But there is a good chance that there is a beach within a drive of your house. Either on a lake, the banks of a river, or possibly an ocean if you live near the coast. Even if you are not in the tropics, you can have just as much fun. Some beaches have admission fees that are per person or per car; know before you go.
- Plays - Is there a theater in your area? If so, you may be able to see live entertainment. Plays, concerts, operas, and other similar performances exist in many cities and towns. Prices vary, but they could sure be less than traveling somewhere far from home, paying for a hotel, and seeing attractions there. Even if your local professional theater is not within your budget, you may be able to consider a school play or performance; these run for a lot less.
- Attend a sports game - Are there any sports teams in your area? Maybe you could attend one of their games. Even if it is not a professional level team, you still get to see a game being played. Minor league teams can be just as entertaining as the majors. Ticket prices may vary, depending on how close you are to the playing field, but even if you select the lower priced ticket, you still get a view.
Things to avoid
- Cleaning, yardwork, and home remodeling - unless you have made that the purpose of your time off. These are not fun, unless you really can enjoy the outcome. They can be hard, tedious work.
- Mall/Shopping area - For many, the purpose of a staycation is to save money, and many staycationers lack money to spend. The purpose of a mall or shopping area is to spend money. If you have trouble controlling your spending, and you visit such a place, you may end up spending as much money as you would have going on a vacation away from home. An exception is when you enter such a center to visit a specific attraction found there, such as a movie theater.
- Restaurants - unless you normally stay away from them and want to make dinner out a special treat. Typically, restaurant food costs 3-4 times as much as comparable food that you buy from the store and prepare at home. And a good job of cooking can save you quite some money. For example, you can buy a box of pasta for $1 and spend a few more bucks on some other ingredients and prepare a nice Italian dinner that costs $20 per plate at a fancy restaurant.
- The casino - The perfect place to waste money. Unless you fail to leave town for other reasons, and money is not an issue.
- Your home computer - Whether you intend to use the internet or play video games, this is probably something you do a lot anyway. The purpose of the staycation is for a change from your normal routine. So it is important that you avoid excessive time on your computer. Of course, you may need to go on-line to get information about things you plan to do during your staycation, read maps, etc.
Other things to keep in mind
- Make a budget - It may be far less than what you would normally allocate for a vacation away from home. But what you do could still cost some money. And if you don't make a budget, before you know, you could be in trouble when it comes to money. Keep in mind that every bit you spend is money. If you use a vehicle to drive to the neighborhood supermarket, you are still using gas. And there is a cost to that. No matter how little it is, when you put the little things together, they all add up to be a lot.
- Relax, but not too much - Do you want to get a lot of nice things done during the day? It'll never happen unless you keep yourself from wasting time. For example, if you normally sleep until 07:00 every morning, maybe you can allow yourself to get up at 09:00 for a change and get a little more sleep. But if you sleep until 11:00, you may not be out the door until 13:00, and by then, half the day is gone.
Things you can do to help others
If you are looking at the WikiTravel site now, you may be able to help others in your area with their staycations and even others traveling to your area on their out-of-town vacations.
Check out the article on your city/town. Are there any great attractions that you know about that are missing? Look at the suburbs and other nearby cities too. Many suburbs are worthy of their own articles, but don't have them yet. And many attractions are found in the suburbs of cities. The local park or nature center can be the perfect place for the staycationer, and you can let others know that it is there.