Pre pandemic I had scoffed at the idea of staycations. For me, vacation time or time off from work meant a flight, a hotel room, and a bucket list of things to see, which was my idea of an vacation lived to the fullest. As the world recovers from the effects of the pandemic, we are forced to rethink our time off. Do we use this time to reflect and just take a breather? Do we take an extended vacation to make up for lost time? With remote work now part of our professional options, how can we possibly not think about work if we now work in the place that we call home? On a positive note, the lack of travel has hopefully resulted in an abundance of savings (you’re welcome Mr. Retirement Account).
I’m lucky enough to reside in B.C Canada where our province did pretty well handling the public health crisis. Hotels and activities are back to full time availability, and travel restrictions are removed while still practicing social distancing. A staycation in Vancouver could involve a hotel stay, or a boat tour. But not everyone is lucky, some places still have restrictions in place. Planning for a staycation will mean something different depending on where you live.
Think about the last time you traveled. What did you anticipate? What did you like about it? What would you have changed? Now let’s try to take these questions and apply them to the concept of planning a staycation. Here are some practical questions to get started:
What is your budget?
While we’ve saved quite a bit from lack of travel in the past few years, we recognize it would be foolish to blow it all on frivolous expenditures. We opted to try to spend 50% less than what we would have usually spent on a week away. This can be used to try a night at a new hotel in town that we have been curious about, or a restaurant with different cuisine that was raved about.
What do you like to do? Try something unique right under your nose!
I enjoy a few free activities, like hiking and walking around town. But these are also activities that I can accomplish on a weekend at home. While on vacations I try to think about unique activities that result in a once in a lifetime memory. In the same vein of adventure for a staycation, what’s in your area that’s unique that you haven’t’ tried yet? My area has whale watching tours, and wineries so I might try to plan something along those lines.
Who do you want to be with?
Depending on where you are in the world, or who your partner is, you might want to use this to question how you want to spend your staycation and who you want to spend it with. I’ve used some of my free time to catch up online with old friends having zoom happy hours and even virtual wine tastings. If I’m limited to my local friends, I might try a boat trip with a small group, or a walking tour from Airbnb experiences that I overlooked previously.
The pandemic taught us in the one rare moment (hopefully) in history where everyone in the world experienced the same news event simultaneously. This situation caused some to become introverts, some to become workoholics, and some to lash out at mandates. However you were able to cope, a staycation is away to vacation from the stress while working within restrictions. We all need our time away, and a staycation can be an opportunity to see the practice of “vacation” in your local community in a different light. Take your brain on a vacation in a new way!