Staycations: The Benefits Of Local Travel
What is a staycation? There’s a common misconception that the term only applies to staying at home as you take time off. However, a staycation can extend from your home to a local destination that’s within driving distance, such as a cottage or cabin. While vacations are great, staycations can be as equally rewarding and less stressful to plan! Check out all the benefits that go along with a staycation:
1. More Budget Friendly
When it comes to planning a vacation, the costs associated can quickly add up. Upfront costs, such as accommodations and plane tickets, can often be costly – depending on your destination. Even if you nab a great deal, it’s the “hidden” costs that can be shocking as you review post-vacation bills. Another upfront cost that often isn’t accounted for is the cost of converting currency for spending money. From the cost of meals to souvenirs to those pre-purchased outfits for your vacation, every little expense piles up.
With staycations, you have more control on costs and are less likely to face unexpected expenses along the way. If you plan to drive, you can estimate the cost to get to your destination, based on average gas prices. Online tools like Gasbuddy.com will find real-time prices in various cities and towns. So, you can see how much gas will cost along the way. If your staycation involves a larger group, consider carpooling to share the cost of gas. And, of course, it’s more eco-friendly.
For great staycation ideas, consider booking a rental that comes with a kitchen. Cooking is the perfect opportunity to bond with the people you’re with. Planning meals ahead of time and utilizing the kitchen means you’ll save on the cost of dining out. Making a list of groceries to purchase ahead of time or along the way will help you stay on budget. If you rent a cottage or cabin with a fire pit, enjoy some s’mores as an inexpensive, yet fun dessert to end the day.
2. Easier To Plan For Larger Groups
There’s nothing better than going on vacation with your closest friends and family! It gives you the time to reconnect and catch up with people you don’t get to see often. With that being said, planning for a larger group of people can definitely be stressful. Trying to coordinate dates of availability, different budgets, and activities can be a major headache. This is especially true if you’re dealing with people in different time zones, or they’re just unresponsive. When you’re faced with these challenges, it can definitely put a damper on the vacation.
With all that being said, don’t let that discourage you from planning a getaway with your loved ones! Instead, consider staycations in one central location, such as a cottage, cabin or chalet. Many rentals can accommodate bigger groups and come with amenities like a fire pit or fireplace, hot tub, or games room. Not to mention, it often comes with a fully equipped kitchen, so you can easily prepare meals as a group.
If you’re planning with local family and friends, a staycation is great for a bigger group. For starters, it’s more budget friendly, so everyone can join in on the fun. Secondly, you can find a rental that is centrally located, so travelling to the destination doesn’t have to be painful for some people. Even if you do have loved ones joining from abroad, the local folks can help lead the planning process.
3. Overpacking Is Not An Issue
For some of us, packing is one of the most stressful parts of preparing for a vacation. From the weight limit to the additional costs of checking in a bag, it can be a pain point. There’s often that worry that you haven’t packed the right type of clothing, so you will pack extras to compensate. Lugging it around an airport is no fun either!
This is one of the reasons why staycations are better. Staycations imply that you’re just a road trip or, even just a short drive, away from your home. As long as you have trunk space, you don’t have to worry about what you’re packing, or how much. If you’re renting a cottage or cabin, you can often find one with a washer and dryer as an amenity. That means, you can pack a little lighter and run a few loads of laundry while you’re there.
Another pain point of travelling is if you forget an essential item or toiletry. If you’re in an unfamiliar area, you may not know where to look to buy it. It’s also money that you probably want to be saving for your actual trip. For staycations, you’re more often than not familiar with the area, since you’re somewhere relatively local. If you forget something, it’s easy to find a place to replace that item. Or, if you’re super close to home still, you can just do a quick drive home to pick it up!
4. Fido Can Come Along!
While travelling can be relaxing once you’ve arrived at your destination, there are many factors leading up that can cause additional stress. One of these factors is leaving your beloved furry friend behind at home. We often see our pets as emotional support, and even as another member of our family. It’s natural to feel conflicted when it comes to planning a vacation without them.
Even if you do leave your pet with a trusted caretaker, the separation can be difficult not only for your pet, but also yourself. You may find yourself not fully enjoying your time away from home because you’re constantly thinking about your beloved pet. While, in some cases, you may be able to bring your pet along with you, the journey is often stressful on them. The unfamiliar environment and the constant movement through a crowded airport is definitely not ideal for pets.
Some of the best staycations are the ones where you can bring your furry pal along! Nowadays, you can find dog-friendly accommodations in many places. As long as you adhere and respect the house rules, you and your pet can enjoy a staycation together. If you rent a cottage or cabin, you’ll often find amazing trails nearby that are great for both you and your dog. It’s the perfect opportunity to bond with your pet and also alleviates any anxiety you may experience from leaving them behind.
5. Get Away More Often
While vacation is often encouraged as a way to “escape” from your day-to-day, it’s not always that easy to do. As mentioned, vacations aren’t always budget friendly. The cost of a flight alone can be a huge pain to your bank account. For the most part, the average person cannot afford multiple trips a year because of the costs associated with them. Plus, planning a vacation usually means taking time off from work and using those precious vacation days you’ve worked so hard for. In some cases, taking time off means not getting paid at all. It can weigh on a person whether or not taking a vacation is worth the cost and effort involved.
Local travel typically means there’s less cost and travel time involved. Staycations mean you can plan more frequent weekend getaways that are within your budget. You may even find a local destination that becomes your go-to place to unwind. Also, you don’t have to worry about taking any time off from work. Even if you do take a few days off for a staycation, there’s definitely more flexibility for your schedule.
It’s also a great way to reconnect with your loved ones. Quick getaways can help establish bonding time without the daily distractions that come with work and school during the weekdays.
6. Reduced Travel Time
Let’s be honest. There’s nothing worse than sitting on a plane for even just a few hours – especially if you’re already not a fan of flying. The constant kicking from the person sitting behind you, the minimal legroom and, not to mention, the pains of climbing over people to get to the washroom. Also, the time spent at layovers waiting for your connecting flight can add to the already tiring and stressful process. If you’re going somewhere with a time difference, the fatigue can really set in once you’ve arrived at your destination. Sometimes, you’ll spend your first few days just dealing with jet lag and adjusting to your new environment. The journey can be worth the arrival, but can still be taxing on the body.
One thing you definitely don’t have to worry about with staycations is jet lag! Sure, the drive to your destination may take a few hours, but at least your body doesn’t need time to adjust. With longer car rides, you can take some pit stops along the way to stretch your legs, use the washroom (without climbing over people!) and grab a bite to eat. And, yes, there’s usually more legroom available. Plus, travelling with kids can be a lot easier in a car versus in the air!
7. Road Trips Can Be Fun!
Some of the best memories are made while on the road with your friends and family. Staycations are a perfect opportunity to turn your drive to your destination into a road trip. With some great tunes playing in the background and the windows rolled down, there’s nothing better than a relaxing drive outside of the city.
Add some stops along the way to your staycation spot, or on the way back home, to extend your trip a bit. It’s a fun way to discover foodie hot spots, or great hiking trails with breathtaking views. Plus, it breaks up the drive a bit, which can get tiring for the person behind the wheel.
Tap into your adventurous side and go off the beaten path, or take some detours. You never know what you’ll discover!
8. Gives You A Well Deserved Break
Sometimes the daily ritual of going to work or school can become mundane and stressful. It’s easy to slip into a routine of doing the 9 to 5 and many of us are guilty of taking work home. As a result, you may end up not giving yourself the self-care you deserve once you get home and loved ones may end up being neglected because of it.
Staycations are the perfect option for fulfilling that need to get away to recharge your batteries and reconnect with the people you care about. What makes a staycation so great is that you don’t necessarily need to plan that far ahead of time. If you’re feeling a little bogged down from your work week and just need to get away, you can easily rent a nearby cottage with less than a week’s notice. Even just a weekend getaway outside of the city can really help you unwind and get you back into a better mental space.
Staycations can also bring you to more remote locations that force you to disconnect from your day-to-day. This means you can really focus on what matters – family, friends and, of course, your health. Even if you have internet connection, make an effort to put away devices. Enjoy the time with your surroundings and loved ones!
9. Home Is Never Too Far Away
For any parent or caretaker, it’s important to take time for yourself. However, one of the biggest challenges of going on vacation is leaving your loved ones behind that depend on you. Not only is separation anxiety a concern, but if something happens at home, it may be difficult to get back immediately. If you’re someone who suffers from homesickness, going on vacations can also be a challenge. As such, you may avoid taking much needed time off.
Don’t let those challenges deter you from taking the time you need for yourself! If you’re not keen on going abroad, consider planning a staycation instead. A staycation typically means you’re only a drive away should you need to get home quickly. You also don’t have to worry about dealing with time differences or face challenges of communicating from abroad.
It’s the best of both worlds: you get to take some time off, without stressing about loved ones back home.
10. Supports Local Businesses
It’s wonderful to discover new cultures and traditions while travelling abroad, but what about the history and culture that is right in your own backyard? We can get so busy with our daily lives that we often forget to appreciate and explore our own surroundings. Whether it’s a food crawl or checking out the local art scene, there can be many new things to discover in your own hometown or cities / towns close to home.
Staycations are a great opportunity to visit new towns or cities (or even re-discover your own hometown) and explore its local cultures. Support local and small businesses by becoming a local tourist. Not only are you contributing to and stimulating the local economy, but you’re also creating more opportunities for new jobs. You may even discover a new local spot with your favourite food, clothing, etc…
If you’re active on social media, sharing photos of your new favourite local spots can help organically advertise these small businesses who thrive on word of mouth. It’s these small and local businesses that can really add character and personality to a city or town, which makes it more enticing for people to visit. So supporting them through local travel definitely helps!
If you don’t know where to start, consider looking at local tourism sites. Many of them offer activities and a calendar of events. From food festivals to musical performances, you can find a variety of reasons to support local tourism!
When people think of “time off,” their minds often go directly to vacationing abroad. However, there are so many reasons why staycations are a great way to take time off from your daily life. While we know it can be difficult to shake the 9 to 5 grind, it’s important to take time for yourself and your loved ones. After reading the benefits of a staycation, start planning your own perfect local getaway!