Galvin and Associates

How to Make a Staycation Work for You



A staycation is a way of taking a vacation while remaining at home. Staycations are trending. The word was first used in print in 2003. It became popular after the financial crash of 2008. The word entered the dictionary in 2009, so I did not have to put quote marks around the word. So why are staycations suddenly so popular?

A traditional vacation is not always what it is cracked up to be. You often lose a day on each end to travel. People talk about the importance of a two-week break from work and then come back exhausted. They need two days to “recover” from vacation. If you choose to fly, airports can be a zoo during the summer months.

Staycations tend not to work for most people because they approach it like a long weekend. They typically have no plan. They have no goals. In their mind, they are staying home because they can’t afford a vacation right now.

Here is the secret to making a staycation work: Be intentional. What does that mean?

  1. 1. Approach your week like you are going somewhere you have never been before.

Block out the dates on your calendar like you would for a regular vacation. Get curious. What do you want to see? What do you want to do?

  1. 2. Research options for activities and sights to see.

Draw a circle on a map of what is within a comfortable driving distance for you. Make a list of tourist destinations you have never seen. What restaurants have you never been to? If you want to stay at home, create your own film festival. Visit different forest preserves every day.

  1. 3. Envision the vacation you want to experience.

What benefit do you want from your time away from work? What do you enjoy doing? Are you a beach person or would you like to binge read a new author? How would the ideal experience flow?

  1. 4. Plan your week like you would plan a trip.

Schedule each day. Eat out just like if you were traveling, if you like doing that. Get up early and get on the road. Research hours that sights are open and days they are closed.

  1. 5. Watch out for common traps.

Being at home, you may be tempted to work. Add an auto-responder to your email at work. You can make a rule of leaving the television off and not checking email for a week. Chores or errands will be calling your name, but you would not do them if you were gone. Make your staycation different than a typical weekend if you want the full benefit.

If you plan a staycation, you can get the benefits of a traditional vacation without the cost. Foregoing a hotel alone will save you about $1,000. Your staycation cannot be canceled or delayed by an airline. You will feel less drained because you will be doing less travel and sleeping in your own bed.

What activities and experiences would you include in the perfect staycation for you?

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