We love vacation because it’s relaxing: Drinking cocktails while watching the sunset, taking long walks, having meaningful conversations with good company, not a care in the world… Half the price and a quarter of the hassle, we’re learning to embrace the staycation. Sure it’s a little harder to get away from it all, but ignore the laundry for a few days and don’t even think about cracking open your computer before Monday morning. Swap your bike for your car or swap your sneaks for your bike. Let brunch spill into lunch, lunch spill into happy hour, happy hour into dinner with friends, and if you’ve got the energy hit the old late-night stomping grounds. Or skip the late night and get your beauty sleep. Whatever you want. It’s your staycation, so live it up.
Tips For a Great Staycation:
1. Take pictures of your town. Grab a camera (yes, a REAL camera) and join the tourists. If they can appreciate amazing architecture and local public art, you can too!
2. Go to the coffee shop you don’t usually frequent. It’s great people watching, and who knows, might be great coffee as well. Bring a book, do a crossword puzzle, catch up with an old friend. Just don’t check your email.
3. Bike to brunch. Mainly because you’ll need to bike home after a few Bloody Mary’s. Eat extra bacon to soak up the breakfast booze. Leave a good tip, you’re on staycation.
4. Head to the local botanic garden or arboretum. Pack some snacks and enjoy the garden you’ve never been to. Learn about the local flora and fauna and spend a few hours appreciating the simple things. Well, if you consider photosynthesis simple…
5. Do the local nature loop or urban hike. With all that lounging (it’s a vacation, you shouldn’t be lifting a finger), you may want to walk it off. If there isn’t a designated nature loop, find a local trail map and see which trails connect. For an urban hike, hop on google maps and plot places you want to hit up. Google will map a route for you.
6. Grab a drink at the oldest bar in town. Perhaps it’s the free shuffleboard, maybe it’s the legendary bartender, there’s a reason this place is the oldest joint in town. Pop in during your urban hike or make it the first stop of the night. Just remember to bring some quarters for the juke box.
7. Visit the local historical home or museum. Even the tiniest towns seem to have a robust historical society. Seek out your historical home or local history museum and spend some time talking to the docents and exploring the rooms. It’s generally pretty cheap (or donation based) and you’ll learn some gems about the town’s past. Spoiler Alert: It’s probably wilder than you think.
8. Sample beer at the local brewery. Maybe it’s your favorite haunt, even so, get the sampler and remind yourself why you love the local brew. Try whatever is seasonal and sit at the bar so you can ask the bartender all your touristy questions.
9. Pop into a few art galleries. New York has the Met, Los Angeles has the Getty, your town’s got something to write home about. Find it. And might we suggest doing this after the aforementioned local brewery. You’ll be nice and open minded!
10. Explore the next town over. It’s amazing how far we travel for new experiences. The next great experience is likely just down the road. Pull out a map and find the next town over, about 30 miles away. Hop in the car (or take the train!) and spend an afternoon exploring. Check to see what they’re known for (Do they have a local dish you can’t miss? Do they have a free summer concert series?) and spend the day exploring. Repeat tips 1-9.
11. Treat yourself to some R&R. You saved a whole bunch on hotel and travel costs, so indulge in a mani/pedi or a full body massage. Rejuvenation is key to a successful vacation, so don’t forsake it. You’re only cheating yourself.
12. Cap it off with a Sunday night BBQ with friends. You’ve got pictures, souvenirs and a boatload of new info about your town. Invite your friends over for a sunday night cookout and regale them with your staycation stories. No shoes required – you’re on holiday, remember?