Air travel has never been more expensive, and with airlines charging for everything from checked bags to stale onboard meals, it doesn’t look like that fact is going to change anytime soon. Fortunately, you don’t have to travel abroad to have a fun and relaxing vacation. Sometimes the best way to get some much needed R&R is to plan the ultimate staycation. Avoid the hassles of dealing with the TSA, booking hotels and reserving rental cars, and enjoy the bounties that your home state has to offer. Here’s how you can forget vacation and enjoy the ultimate staycation.
1) Become a Tourist—in your Home State
With all the stress that comes with planning a vacation, the part that is actually enjoyable is picking out what activities you will want to do when you reach your destination. The nice thing about staycations is that you are already at your destination. Just because you’re a local, doesn’t mean you can’t play tourist every once in awhile. After all there must be some reason tourists visit your home state, city or town.A staycation is the perfect opportunity to discover something new about where you live. Thinking like a tourist can help you break routine and try new things you would have otherwise skipped in favor of the familiar. Use apps like Yelp to discover highly rated hidden gems you may have ignored in the past. You’d be surprised how much you miss when you stick to a daily routine.
2) Give the Unplugged Life a Shot
One of the less appreciated perks of traveling abroad to exotic locales is the fact that you physically can’t check your work email or social networking apps. Lack of internet access forces you to remain in the present and appreciate the physical world around you. If you’re looking for a true escape from your daily routine, consider unplugging yourself from the internet. For some, the internet itself isn’t the problem, simply logging out from their work email account will suffice. But, there is something precious in truly separating yourself from the fast paced, high tech world of the internet. Instead of dealing with the constant pings on email and notifications on social media, you can spend quality time with your family, playing a board game, cooking a meal, engaging in arts and crafts, the list goes on.
3) Give your Menu a Vacation too
Maybe you know how to cook, but the daily grind at the office forces you to live off simple soups and sandwiches. Or perhaps you’ve always wanted to learn how to cook but could never find the time to learn how. One of the best parts of a regular vacation is all the exotic food and drink you get to try while you’re traveling abroad. From tropical mai tais to roasted kalua pork, just because you’re staying at home doesn’t mean you can’t bring exciting new dishes from around the world to the comfort of your dining room table. Plan a menu, source the freshest ingredients from the local health food stores and whip yourself up an exotic three course meal fit for an all-inclusive resort. If you love to cook or have always wanted to develop the skill, a staycation is the perfect excuse to do so.
4) Catch Up on Sleep Debt by Sleeping In
How many hours of sleep do you get in a night? If you answered 6-8, you’re well within the average amount of sleep American’s get each day. Unfortunately the recommended amount is closer to 7-9 hours, with 10 being the ideal. Before electric lights were invented in 1869, Americans were sleeping 10 hours each night. Many of the health problems we see in society today can be traced to a lack of sleep. Benefits of sleep include improved long term memory, learning and organization. Sleeping has also been linked to better mood and fewer anxiety and depression issues. From building more muscle to healthier skin, sleeping in during your staycation can help you overcome a sleep deficit and recharge your mind and body.
5) Go on an Adventure
For those of us who go on vacation to seek thrills rather than chill, the ultimate staycation might look a little different. Take inventory of all the adventures to be had in your local neighborhood. You might consider skiing at the local lodge one day. Or hiking a snowshoe trail the next and ice fishing at the local lake another day. It all depends on what’s available in your area and how loose you want to stretch the term of staycation. If you expand it to your state there are sure to be landmarks and points of interest within your region that you can visit in a day. Remember, the goal of a staycation is to experience the pleasures of a vacation. All without the hassle or cost of traveling to distant lands. How you interpret that is up to you.