Sometimes, a staycation is the best and most meaningful trip you can take. It’s a way to have fun and save money when budgets are too tight for a real trip—maybe even minimum budget travel isn’t an option for you. By being a “tourist” in your own town, you’re sure to discover interesting things you never noticed before, and get some of the benefits of expanding your horizons by seeing your home through fresh eyes. It is also a way to protect the environment by avoiding the emissions produced by transportation.

. . . Staycation . . .

The UK government during World War II at one point tried to persuade people to “Holiday at Home!”

Staycationing came into common parlance in the U.S. around mid-2008 as gasoline prices reached record highs, leading many people to cut back on family vacations.

Staycations are about having a tourist experience in your own town. If you need to stay at home after possibly being infected with a disease on a trip, see Self-isolation after travel.

This is the easy part physically but can be the hard part mentally. The key to a successful staycation is not how you get to the place you’re going but how you adjust your attitude to see the familiar with fresh eyes—unless you’re visiting neighborhoods that you don’t know well.

It’s likely that you’ve never done some of the touristy things in your city, except perhaps when you’re entertaining guests from out of town.

  • Visit your local tourism center (or your town’s equivalent) and see if there are any points of interest you were unaware existed. Ask the staff for recommendations.
  • Finding or inventing a theme can help give you purpose and new perspective. Is there a famous person from your town? What places relate to that person? What kinds of architecture can be found in your town? Any places connected to stories, legends, or history? It can require a little research and preparation to get the details and pinpoint specific locations, but themed travel can be a lot of fun and will likely help you develop a deeper appreciation towards your town.
  • Go to the observatory on top of that tall building.
  • Many museums have special exhibits, so even if you’ve visited a museum before, there will likely be something new to see, do, or learn.
  • If the place you call home is a big city, there are probably many worthwhile museums, houses of worship and other buildings you haven’t visited, and there may be neighborhoods you haven’t spent much time in. Seek them out.

Since you have the home field advantage, you can avoid the boring overhyped tourist traps and stick to things you know are fun.

  • Take a weekday trip to the amusement park, when it won’t be as crowded.
  • Go on a photo safari. Try to capture your town’s atmosphere in ways that are atypical but still representative. A creative photographer can find ways to take unique photos of even the most famous and most photographed attractions. Plan to see and photograph the best sunrise/sunset. Choose a color theme and find places and lighting that capture your chosen hue in a fun and interesting way, or find seasonal highlights.
  • Do something physical:
    • Go for a walk, hike, or bike ride
    • Rock climbing or bouldering
    • Rent a boat and paddle across a local lake or down a local stream or canal
    • Go ice skating
  • Have a beauty day for your body:
    • Spa day. You can go to a fancy spa, or you can set up a nice bath at home.
    • Manicure, pedicure, or facial
    • Massage
  • Have a picnic
  • Go to an event
    • Concerts, plays, comedy shows – Your town may have professional orchestras and playhouses, but there may also be traveling performances, and there are also likely amateur groups, including high school events during the end of the school semester/year. During the summer, orchestras and other groups often program pops music featuring well-known and widely-loved classical music and show tunes. Film music concerts have also been growing in popularity; at these a popular film (such as Star Wars) is shown while the orchestra plays the music live in sync with the film.
    • Festivals, fairs
    • Outdoor movie viewings – These have become a popular event during the summer, setting up a temporary screen in a park, the side of a building, or even in the middle of a street. If you’re lucky, you may have a year-round option if you live close to one of the few remaining drive-in theaters.
    • Sports game, whether you attend in person or watch from a sports bar

. . . Staycation . . .

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. . . Staycation . . .

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