When you're low on funds or time or both, vacationing in your own city starts to sound like a really sensible way to scratch the summer vacation itch. "Sensible," of course, is not the word most people want to use to describe their travel plans. So we're here with five tips to help you turn your sensible staycation into something that's also spontaneous, stimulating, relaxing and rejuvenating.
1. Switch it up
The number one goal for your staycation is to make the "trip" feel special and significant, not like any other weekend at home.
Get a Hotel
If you can swing it, plan for a few nights away from home in a hotel in a cool part of town. This way, you'll save on airfare and transportation costs, but you're still enjoying the biggest perk of vacationing: Housekeeping.
OR: Change Up Life at Home
If you can't budget for the hotel stay, change up the way you live at home while you're staycationing. Sleep in the guest room, or blow up an air mattress in the living room.
2. Go Off the Grid
You're on vacation, not "on vacation." Let everybody who tries to reach you know you're absent from real life for a few days (even though you might only be a few blocks away).
- Turn off your phone, or at least mute notifications.
- Put an out-of-office responder on your email.
- Don't check the mail.
3. Treat Yourself
With the cash you're saving on airfare, you can afford a couple of splurges. And if you're staying at home for your staycation, this step becomes even more important. Here are some ideas:
- Get the house professionally cleaned.
- Order in dinner every night (Zifty is practically room service).
- "Pack" some lush bath products.
- Make a spa appointment.
- Make reservations at your favorite restaurant.
- Order the most expensive cocktail on the menu wherever you go.
- Buy a fancy robe or sky-high thread count sheets for the occassion.
4. Try Something Brand New
If you want to be a tourist in your own city, you should seek out some new and novel things to do. Is there a museum you haven't been able to see yet? A new restaurant you want to try? The more new things (and fewer routine things) you can do, the more special and sacred this time is going to feel when you look back on it.
5. Plan for Downtime
Never forget: The most luxurious thing you can do on your staycation is absolutely nothing. In between the spa appointment and the museum visits, pencil in an afternoon or a few hours every morning to just lay in bed or soak in the tub and read a book.