I had previously scoffed at the idea of staycations. For me vacation time or time off from work meant a flight, and a hotel room, which were my ideas of an adventurous vacation. As the world reels from the effects of a 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 weekend to complete some spring cleaning? How can we possibly not think about work if we now work in the place that we live, which is the same place we take staycations?! On a positive note, the lack of travel hopefully has resulted in an abundance of savings in which to donate to local causes or pad your investments (you’re welcome Mr. Retirement Account).
I’m lucky enough to reside in B.C Canada where our province has done pretty well handling the public health crisis. As of July 1st, some hotels and activities have started opening up 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 in the US are closing again after spiking covid cases. 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 our new reality of planning a staycation. Here are some practical planning questions to get the brain juices working for the next adventure:
What is your budget?
While we’ve saved quite a bit from lack of travel in the past few months, we recognize it would be foolish to blow it all at this time of uncertainty. 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 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, so for a staycation I like to try to keep it fresh in the same vein of adventure. 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 out of that.
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 and check in on how the pandemic is going on their end. Here in Vancouver, we are allowed to congregate in groups of 6 or less while still practicing social distancing. So I could choose to go on a whale watching tour with a friend, or have a barbeque in the park with up to 6 people. Or I could go, on a whale watching tour with 12 of my best skype buddies 😉
This is one rare moment in history where everyone in the world is experiencing the same news event at the same time. The pandemic is here and we’re living it, whether we like it or not. This situation is not a mandate to become workaholics, or introverts, but rather 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!