How to Use a Staycation to Keep You Sane Between Trips
We’re all familiar with the never-ending cycle of an avid traveller:
1. Pick an adventure
2. Plan your trip
3. Take your trip
4. Share your adventures
If you’re like me, it’s that 5th step that can be the hardest!
No real planning goes into it. It always lasts longer than we’d like. We can get a little (a lot?) stir-crazy. Know what I mean?
One of the best ways to combat the rest-phase of the travel cycle is to take a staycation!
WAIT! Aren’t staycations for people who don’t have any money or don’t like to really travel? NO WAY!
Sometimes a perfectly-timed staycation is the only thing that keeps me sane between trips. Let me explain …
What The Heck Is a Staycation?
In case you’ve never heard of a staycation (or holistay), it’s a combination of the words “stay” and “vacation”. Essentially a vacation spent close to home.
It normally involves day-trips or activities within driving distance of home, so you can sleep in your own bed at night.
I’m willing to bend those rules a bit to include an overnight stay … who wants to drive home after a day of local winery or brewery tours? You’re welcome 🙂
I’m blessed to currently be living in Toronto, Canada. A world-class city where we have access to just about anything you could want to do on a staycation.
I know not everyone lives in cities. You may be feeling “there’s nothing to do where I live”. I grew up in the country, and I’m very familiar with that feeling. Fear not! These tips will help keep you sane between vacations too.
Take Advantage of Local Culture
No matter how big or small the place you live in, there’s always something unique about it. I can almost guarantee that most weekends in the summer there will be a festival or other event taking place nearby that you can attend.
In Toronto we have a great variety. We’ve got neighbourhood parties like The Night Market – a variation on your everyday farmer’s market. There are great city activities like Door’s Open Toronto. And we’ve got more than a few huge, world-renowned events like Caribana or the Toronto International Film Festival.
I grew up in a small town in Ontario. We’d normally have to “go into town” to participate in local activities, but that didn’t mean they didn’t exist. People in our town had lived there for generations, and were very proud of their family history and the history of the area. That may have been what sparked my interest in genealogy research, but more on that another time.
No matter where you live, there’s something culturally or historically significant about it. Seek it out and you’ll love what you find.
No matter where you live, it’s always nice to take some time to explore different surroundings. Enter the day trip.
Taking a day trip is a great way to feel like you’re “getting away” without actually going away.
So what can you accomplish in a day trip? That all depends on how far you’re comfortable driving in 1 day (and don’t forget to include the return trip).
I personally find that anything inside of a 2 hour drive is fair-game. Anything more than that and it starts turning into one of those staycations that you need a vacation from. For you it might be more, or less. It’s entirely your call.
Once you figure out your time constraints, pull out a map and see how far that can take you. Google Maps is great, and so is Waze as they’ll show you how long it takes to get to your destinations, not just how far away they are.
Now comes the fun part … finding activities along your day trip route!
From where I live I’m able to visit wine country, craft breweries, amazing antique markets, national parks, and even one of the Wonders of the World (Niagara Falls). All in under 2 hours. A few weeks ago we even found a Pumpkinferno event in a small town north of the city, and it was amazing!
Find Some Travel Buddies
Family and friends can help take your next staycation to another level.
My wife and I share our love of travel and adventure. We’re always up for trying new things, and experiencing whatever comes our way. We’ve even developed a saying of “you don’t know what will happen” because sometimes going with the flow of what life throws at you is when you make the best discoveries.
Having said that, we definitely have some individual interests that we don’t share. How boring would that be!
A great staycation activity is to grab a partner, pick up your camera and go out shooting for the day. Try a new pocket of your city or neighbourhood that you’ve never explored before. Incorporate new (or new to you) restaurants, cafes or bars.
Take some time after your adventure to compare stories and pictures. It’s always interesting to see how different people can have completely unique experiences while engaging in the same activities.
Use Your Perks
As travellers we have lots of perks and rewards we can use both at home and abroad.
Services like Groupon are a great way to treat yourself in your hometown, and save while doing so. You can find deals on everything from shopping to activities to food.
If you belong to a travel club, be sure to utilize those perks too! I belong to a couple and am always surprised to learn about new offerings I can use on places I’d be visiting or things I’d be doing anyway. Best of all, by using these perks I earn discounts off my next travel adventure!
Using your existing perks can be a great way to explore places that are off the beaten path. Who knows, you may discover your new favourite place!
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Be sure to comment below and let me know what you’ll be doing on your next staycation!
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Here is a list of the resources mentioned in this post:
Groupon – Service offering discounts on activities, products and services worldwide. Available online and by app.
Travel Clubs – Providing VIP benefits to travellers both at home and abroad
Blogger’s Jumpstart Guide – Download my FREE guide outlining how to successfully start your own blog
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