View Full Version : NEED A STAYCATION? (Good idea!)

06-08-2008, 10:33 PM

Cynthia Ross Cravit, 50PLUS.COM - Thu Jun 5, 1:30 PM

Destination: Home Sweet Home. Stay-at-home vacations are the new travel trend.

Feeling burnt-out, exhausted? Maybe what you need is a staycation.

Stay at home vacations -- or 'staycations' -- are the new travel trend. And it's not just higher gas costs, a volatile stock market or other economic worries that have some people rethinking their summer vacation plans.

It's also the hassle of modern travel. There's the airline and the hotel to book and the bags to pack, not to mention a host of other arrangements. And with long security lines, strict carry-on restrictions, new visa requirements and lost luggage woes, for many airline travel just isn't worth the stress.

If you've got vacation time coming, but decide to forego the expense and inconvenience of travel, here are some tips for discovering the delights of your own backyard.

Staycation strategies
No chores. First and foremost, remember this is a vacation, not the time to get around to cleaning out the garage or organizing the closet. Take a break from the usual drudgery of laundry and grocery shopping. Clean your house once or even better, treat yourself to a professional cleaner -- at the start of the week and then leave it alone. If you plan to cook, stock up on your favourite food items before starting your vacation.

Disconnect from the office. With so many of us reliant on cell phones, laptops and BlackBerries, it's easier than ever to keep in touch with the office even when you're jetting off to an exotic locale -- so think how much more tempting it will be at home. Try to stow away these gadgets, or if you must check in with work, keep it to a minimum. You won't give yourself the health advantages of down time if your holiday basically becomes a working vacation. (Read more.)

Tip: To give yourself more a vacation feel, you may even want to stop the mail just as you would if you were going away. Who needs to look at bills when you're on vacation?

Play tourist. Part of the thrill of travel is discovering new places. Apply this same sense of adventure to your own city. Visit the museums, amusement parks, zoos and other attractions that you've always recommended to friends who were visiting, but never got around to yourself. Buy a guidebook or check with your local visitor's bureau for new ideas or interesting tours. If you live in a metropolitan area, treat yourself to tickets for a ballgame or book a show or concert.

Try new restaurants. Branch out from your usual hang-outs and try a restaurant you've read about and been meaning to try. (If you're looking to save money, go for lunch instead; you can often get the same good food at less expensive prices.) Be adventurous and try an exotic cuisine or explore a new neighbourhood. Meet up with friends you never seem to have time to visit with.

Enjoy the great outdoors. Pack up a picnic and head to your local park -- or take in some exercise by exploring biking and hiking trails. In the evening, take advantage of any outdoor concerts or performances. Or light candles and enjoy a bottle of wine on your terrace or garden. Depending on where you live, you may want to schedule a side trip to a nearby attraction such as a wilderness preserve or a favourite beach or vineyard.

Pamper yourself. Whether it's a shopping excursion or a visit to the spa, treat yourself to a little bliss. If you're on a budget, try these luxurious beauty treatments you can make at home.

Try something new. Have some fun and book yourself into a session of ballroom dancing -- or how about belly dancing, the hot new exercising trend?

Be spontaneous. Resist the temptation to overbook yourself. Spontaneity, after all, is one of the greatest pleasures of being on vacation. Leave large blocks of unscheduled time where your only mantra is to live for the moment and allow your moods to dictate what you do.

Relax. Vacations are meant to relax and rejuvenate. Surround yourself with a stack of books you've been meaning to read, rent some DVDs and order in from your favourite take-away restaurant. Bliss!

Your home really can be your own bona fide retreat so long as you follow the most important tip of all: Do nothing unless it's fun

06-08-2008, 11:06 PM
Well, this is sorta what I did last year and will again this year. We are going to our condo in South Lake Tahoe for a week. Last year I got a pedicure, we toured Vikingsholm which we've never toured before and we've been going up there for YEARS. We rode around on the motorcycle. It was nice. :)
This year I might splurge and get a massage AND a pedi. :D