Woah! What a plot twist we have had to 2020! I know my life definitely turned upside down in the last few weeks. Furloughed from my job, cancelled my Europe trip in May, following the stay at home order, but still refusing to Netflix binge. Now I realize there are many who have it a lot worse than me and I sincerely pray for their best.
Once all of this is said and done, life will be back to normal and I truly hope these tough times have taught us some valuable lessons in life. So far, I have been able to survive over 3 weeks without having placed a single order on Amazon, not go to the gym and have yet binge on a single show! ( I am not a fan of tv or shows, probably watch it for 15-20 mins per week).
When life does return to normal, I plan on taking a fun staycation. Now some of you may wonder what in the world is a staycation? A staycation is basically taking a vacation in your own city, it’s like doing touristy things in your own town/city/state. Before you say that there’s nothing to do in your city, let me show you how to find those hidden gems so you can plan an amazing staycation!
Why Take a Staycation?
Pero why not? Have you ever wondered why does your city see all those tourists every year? Why do people from all over the world end up in your city but you can’t find a single thing to do? There is obviously something to do otherwise it wouldn’t attract people from out of town. We just need to get creative and search with an open mind.
Now why am I asking you to take a staycation? Isn’t it better to escape and go somewhere else? Yes, it surely is and I would love to do that soon. However, things happen and not everyone is always able to do travel. We can’t all just “book that flight” or “get up and go”. Sometimes we don’t have the budget, sometimes we don’t have enough or no days off, sometimes we don’t want to go through the hassle of planning a trip or the stress that comes with it and sometimes a global pandemic happens and no one can travel really! All these situations can change and will change eventually but in the meantime, you still deserve a break. I am going to show you how you can plan an amazing staycation and come back feeling relaxed and ready to take on the world. The best part, no one needs to know that you didn’t spend tons of money or feel the stress of missing a flight or go through those ridiculous security lines at the airport!
Benefits of a Staycation
Several! I know a lot of us LOVE traveling to new destinations and honestly look forward to it, however, exploring your own town is not a bad thing either. Remember those countless painful moments you have spent at the airports? Either before your flights in the long security lines, or after your flight at immigration or waiting for your luggage after a 15 hours flight. Oh and let’s not forget the part where you luggage was sent to Barcelona while you are in the Bahamas. I think you get the idea, a staycation will help avoid all these painful moments since you don’t even have to step foot in an airport!
“To me, a staycation should have at least one full day of activities and preferably one night away from home.“
Now, have you ever calculated how much time and energy it takes to plan a single trip? Probably thousands of hours, okay, maybe hundreds but it is surely a lot for many of us. My trip planning can begin anywhere from a year to 2 years before the trip! If I calculate all the time I spend researching my next destination, finding a cheap flight, a hotel, then things to do and where to eat, it takes a lot of planning and gets stressful! I personally always struggled with finding the best hotel/Airbnb and then picking the best places to eat.
Anyways, another advantage of a staycation, it requires very little planning aka less stress! Firstly, we don’t have to worry about finding the best flight deals. Secondly, you don’t even have to stay a hotel if you prefer, you can always come back and sleep in your own bed. All you really need is a plan of things to do/see and where to eat. You end up saving a lot of money, energy and time.
How to Plan a Staycation
Everyone has a different version of a staycation, however, to me, a staycation should have at least one full day of activities and preferably one night away from home. I’ll take at least one morning not having to make my bed! The key is to look for a unique hotel that can transform your stay to a magical place. If you are a Orlando/Central Florida resident, consider staying at one of the Disney hotels. Even better if you are planning to attend the theme parks. My staycation would like this, a full day/weekend of sightseeing, trying out at least one new cuisine, and a trying out a new experience, just like I would on a vacation elsewhere.
There are several ways you can plan one for yourself. Below I have a few ideas which you can incorporate while planning your next staycation.
- Find the best view of your town, city or countryside, think highest point such as lighthouses in Florida, beaches, or open fields even. Appreciate your immediate surroundings.
- Try a new cuisine, a favorite for many. Try a different cuisine but at a non-franchise restaurant, take a food tour in your city or check out a local cafe. I found a mom-pop Puerto Rican 45 mins outside Orlando on my way back from Tampa. The food was amazing food and I loved the ambiance.
- Try a new adventure. Check out sites like viator.com or airbnb experiences, see what type of experiences are available in your town, then replicate them.
- Go on a boat or cycle ride. I know not everyone can just go on a boat ride but bicycles are a lot more common in most places.
- Book a hotel room for a night or two, get a massage, look for unique hotels/boutique hotels.
- Take a day trip. What’s the next best town around? A day trip shouldn’t be more than 2 hours drive, close enough to home yet still far enough for a change of scenery. So tell me which city you have yet to explore? Orlando peeps, have you been to St. Augustine? Tampa? Naples? The list goes on and on. Check out how to have an amazing time in St. Augustine, FL, click here.
- Go to a fancy restaurant. You don’t have to always wait for a special occasion to go to that Michelin star restaurant. Treat yourself!
- Hit a body of water. Whether it is a beach or a lake, rivers, and even just pools. Rent a kayak at a river, fish at a lake, fish at a lake, take a dip in the ocean. Pack a picnic, grab a book, towels, chairs, and sunscreen and you are all set. Find your closest body of water and just go.
- Explore a different culture or more than one! Orlando is a great place for this type of staycation, and many other cities are too. Check out a museum or museum exhibit about another culture. Find restaurants from different cultures., see a foreign film, explore a neighborhood that is primarily a different culture- China Town, Little Italy, etc. Washington, D.C, San Francisco, New York city can offer amazing experiences.
- A day in the arts. Spend a day exploring the fine arts your city has to offer, see a play, tour a museum, take a painting, pottery, or dance class. Attend a concert or symphony. This would be a great girls weekend staycation idea!
- Rent your dream car and take a road trip. Whether you are a convertible lover or a SUV, rent that car and take a long drive!
- Hire a pro photographer for photoshoot, they know hidden areas.
- Visit a nearby national park. Explore your local National Park. Pack a picnic lunch and your bike or rollerblades. Take some time to explore the nooks and crannies of the park that you may not have seen before. Another option is to take a hike and challenge yourself with some nature photography. The photography is a bonus because it creates an opportunity to shoot some new photos to share with your loved ones or use on your social media channels.
- Visit a brewery or vineyard. This is another great way to experience something new!
My best tip for you to plan your next staycation is to first check out some local hashtags on Instagram, they are a great resource to find all the cool places in your town. Next, decide what type of staycation you are looking to have. Whether you want to just take a day trip or spend the weekend away, pick and chose a couple of things you want to check out and go for it. There is always something new to explore, new restaurants, new experiences, have fun!