Feeling left out whilst every Tom, Dick and Harry travel abroad this year? Why not try a staycation, and holiday like a boss in your very own city. A staycation (a combination of the words “stay” and “vacation”) is a holiday spent in your home country rather than internationally, and includes trips to local attractions. The idea is to become a tourist in your own hometown; breaking the usual daily routine, and engaging in local activities, without breaking the bank.
Weekend staycations are becoming increasingly popular with travellers, and it’s hardly surprising given the mountain of benefits that vacationing in your country can bring. Here are 6 of the best reasons to discover the beauty that’s in your own backyard.
Read also: 10 Signs You Need a Vacation, Like Right Now
#1 Save Dosh
You don’t need to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars to enjoy the benefits that a vacation offers. If money is tight and time is limited, then a little stay-cay may be just what the travelling doctor ordered. The most obvious financial savings to be made are on flights, visas and transfers. And if you’re savvy, you can snag some amazing last minute villa deals too.
#2 Goodbye Jet Lag
It’s official, jet lag sucks. And most of us have come to accept it as the cruel price we pay for the benefit of travel. But with a staycation, face planting into your lunch and 3 am energy spurts are no longer. Your destination will most likely be only a few hours away, so you can stay well within the same time zone. And if the thought of melting Arctic ice and displaced wildlife is on your conscience, then a stay-cay is for you. Driving, taking the bus or walking to your holiday destination, as opposed to flying, will greatly reduce your carbon footprint.
#3 Discover Your Own City
It’s human nature to want to explore, that’s a fact. But the myth lies in believing that you need to venture to the other side of the world to experience another culture, given that unique discoveries can be made in your very own backyard. Think like a tourist by browsing guidebooks and visiting websites to discover things to do in your area. Our top tips? Enjoy your local museums and art galleries, look out for festivals and free events, go hiking in your national park, hit the beach, check out that new restaurant, or take a spa day.
#4 As Simple as Vacations Come
After the packing, flights, transfers, jetlag, unpacking and time generally spent getting settled, it can easily feel as though your week-long holiday (which you’ve been planning for months) has been cut severely short. A staycation is comparatively much easier; you can plan it on short notice, and not much packing is required. Wake up on a Saturday morning, drive a couple of hours to your favourite stay-cay destination, and enjoy a week of fun and adventure without all the pre-holiday anxieties. Simples!
#5 Travel with Your Pets
Let’s face it, Fido suffers from FOMO as much as we do, and it can be tough leaving our pets behind. The beauty of a trip in your own city is that man’s best friend can join you on your travels. A simple Google search will deliver hundreds of hits for pet-friendly staycations, and local hotels that are more than willing to accommodate your fur-baby’s needs. Hotels and villas will usually provide dog beds, food and water bowls, with some offering pet toys and itty bitty pyjamas. Cute!
#6 Taking Care of Your Mental Health
Research claims that a whopping 80% of workers feel stressed on the job, and that a holiday is a quick and effective solution. And it’s no surprise since holidays give you the chance to catch up on some much-needed sleep, and to spend time doing the activities you enjoy. You’re more inspired when on holiday to try something new, and it’s often a great time for a bit of self-reflection. Holidays bring you closer to your loved ones, and help foster unique memories that can be recalled long after the vacation is over.
But what makes the traditional holiday so inferior to a staycation when it comes to matters of the mind? Think visa applications, security queues, missed flights, cranky travellers and unnecessary costs! A vacation can be refreshing, but it can also be pretty darn stressful too. A staycation affords you the best of both worlds, by offering the benefits of a holiday without all the fuss; just another reason to start exploring what’s right under your nose as part of your next adventure.