How to holiday at home

Staycation: a vacation that doesn't require you to travel out of your home city.

A regular travel contributor to YourLifeChoices, SJ has been to five of the seven continents and has lived in two.

You've probably heard of the concept of a staycation before. Essentially it is like a vacation but when you choose not to travel anywhere and instead stay at home. As an avid traveller I've often struggled with the idea, reasoning that you stay at home each night and isn't a staycation just like a weekend?

The answer is no. Not if you do it well. For those who work, holiday days are precious and not to be squandered. But all too often it's hard to get a decent chunk of time off and when you do you usually run around frantically in the lead up, going into the trip exhausted and, unless it's a beach holiday, coming back in a similar state.

older couple enjoying a holiday at home

This doesn't happen on a staycation. Remove all the organisation, travel time, and running around so that you actually get to relax and return to work rejuvenated. Here are five tips on how to have a successful staycation:

1. Plan ahead
Structure is key here. The only difference between a staycation and a weekend is what you do. Think about how you would like to use this time – make a list of all the things you've always wanted to do but haven’t been able to because life gets in the way. Have you wanted to learn a language? Try a new fitness class? Read books? Write it all down and work out which ones you're going to focus during your staycation.


2. Book in activities
Look at what's going on in your city and what events you may like to attend. Same goes for movies, exhibitions or even new restaurants, or places you've been meaning to check out. Buy tickets or book in to classes you'd like to take to avoid disappointment when your staycation rolls around.

3. Get ready the week before
Don't waste your precious staycation time running around buying the books you want to read or doing errands. Make sure you're up to date on all your life admin tasks and have everything you need for your time off.

4. Treat yourself
Some of the best things about hotels are the clean crisp sheets and fluffy towels, not too mention the option of a bath or massage. Start your staycation with clean bed linen, stock your fridge and pantry with food you love and consider booking in a beauty treatment or massage – just think of all the money you're saving by not actually going anywhere.

One final tip, don’t let chores get in your way, or fall into the trap of overcommitting and ending your time off feeling exhausted. Make sure you maximise the opportunity by getting some proper R & R and scheduling enough down time too.

Have you ever taken a staycation? We’d love to hear about your experience in the comments section.



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    7th Jan 2017
    I probably wouldn't call this a staycation exactly, but - I live in a major city. Having no car is limiting. So when a familiar member makes regular trips here, we plan to do some special things - exhibitions, movies, restaurants, venues. We don't spend money on birthday or Christmas gifts to each other. Instead we plan our outings and say that is the gift. The bonus is that we gather experiences, not things.
    7th Jan 2017
    Amazing! "clean crisp sheets and fluffy towels"? Is that what a holiday is all about? Darn....I thought it was about seeing places of extraordinary beauty different from where you live and doing things which were fun as well as meeting people from different culture. Got that one wrong.
    7th Jan 2017
    Yes I often have these nowadays read / watch pre-recorded interesting stuff on TV get takeaways HIBERNATE (the best part) go out or stay at home, turn off the phones.
    7th Jan 2017
    Isn't Staycation just being Retired?
    7th Jan 2017
    Maybe Hobbit -- but even retired you are always so darn busy -- good to take a bit of time off now and again and just let it all go to pot
    ; ))
    7th Jan 2017
    Let's not call end of life poverty anything other than it is. So sad that some of us are ill prepared either by bad luck or refusing to do the hard yards when they should have been. Life's a bugger!
    7th Jan 2017
    I've only ever had one of those go away holidays. In 1974 I chucked the job, sold the house car, & everything else that I couldn't carry on a 40 Ft yacht, & went for a sail, up to the great barrier reef. When I got to Cairns I could not see much point in turning around, so went on to New Guinea, Solomon, Carlines, Gilbert, Ellis & some others, working my way around the Pacific. I ran tourist boats & facilities among other activities.

    Didn't get back to the big smoke, well Brisbane, until 92, an 18 year holiday. Found that a bit crowded so bought a hobby farm. Holidays ever since, apart from taking the kids to the beach for a day, have always been to build a stable/shed/fence, or fix something.

    This is so different to life in an office, it is a great holiday, & you get something to show for your time, other than a few photos or memories.
    7th Jan 2017
    THAT would have been my dream Hasbeen --- I did a navigation course in 1980 -- as my Husband and I had intentions of sailing but unfortunately after buying our dream home in our dream place he got ill and died.

    I always loved sailing, what type of Yacht did you have ?
    7th Jan 2017
    That sounds like a working holiday Hasbeen. Certainly the cheap alternative but lacks the ability to get around a country to check it out.
    Hobby farms? Been there, done that. More like money pits where you never stop working. We sold ours. Despite the love we have of the bush it was the best thing we ever did as we now get to go away every year (so far) and will continue to do so until the AUD drops below a certain level.
    7th Jan 2017
    I reckon you would have a push bike or a motor bike or such on the yacht -- thats what Friends of mine had -- and they were able to get around very well -- but they were travelling around Aussie and NZ etc
    8th Jan 2017
    I live on a small acreage - 3.5 hectare, not a lot of work really, hubby does grass and occasionally whipper snips and winter is much less work. I love my home and often think that instead of holidays o/see could put the $ towards things for home, ie private courtyard, enclosing and heating pool etc. hasn't happened and I suppose it's good that I have seen a bit of the world on several o/s holidays. Holidaying within auz much cheaper, free camp heaps in our van - I truly love Australia but I certainly can see merit in Hasbeen's philosophy.
    Oldman Roo
    7th Jan 2017
    With the savage cuts to our Pensions , I am amazed about people going on holidays . The wife and I will try and ride out the deficit to our income until sanity returns to Canberra . I know this is being over optimistic and believing in miracles - but maybe our only hope .
    Just as well Hockey is not around or he would soon use Pensioners going on holidays as another good reason for further cuts - not that the present crew may not have the same thoughts .
    7th Jan 2017
    I agree Roo -- this lot are heartless B**^%$#&
    7th Jan 2017
    Well my hubby and i worked all our lives so we could travel and have regular holidays when we retired. Am buggered if I'm going to sit at home instead. We explored our neck of the woods when the kids were at home. I want to explore and see new things now. I figure we deserve it. And not all retired people are on pensions.

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