This current time we’re living in is unlike any other we have experienced. Though we’re enduring it together, I dare say this is probably the longest stretch of time we’ve spent doing such monotonous routines. Routine is definitely good, but everyone has an internal need to switch things up every now and again. Adding insult to injury, the pandemic caused many of us to put milestone birthdays, retirement celebrations, trips and vacations on ice. With furloughs and lost jobs also in the mix, getting a moment of reprieve from it all may seem all but lost. It isn’t. One small but significant option to get away could be with a local staycation. Here’s why.
There are so many benefits to planning a staycation. For me, those start with the financial advantages I’ve found. Many companies are changing focus which, consequently, impacts jobs and paychecks. That being the case, it’s been great to consider a low-cost option just minutes away from home. Shorter distance options mean I don’t have to consider purchasing expensive plane tickets for my family. (And it’s also nice to alleviate that “are we there yet?” question kids love to ask!)
Closer accommodations also help cut down on costs that would be spent on destination resorts and hotels. While you can still choose to enjoy 5-star options for your staycation, you don’t have to! Remember the “R” goals of a local getaway: resting, relaxing, re-centering and resetting! Use your finances to achieve those things and put your money wherever it counts for you. You can literally choose your own adventure for your own health and wellness at a fraction of the cost.
Lower weekday rates will help you maintain an even more cost-effective staycation. Many local hotels offer these rates because there’s less business during the week versus the weekend. For those parents who are still concerned about establishments maintaining COVID-19 protocols, weekday visits are great. There are fewer people at hotels generally speaking during this time of quarantine, but there are even fewer people during the week. If your schedule allows overnight stays on Tuesday or Wednesday, this may be a very useful and inexpensive perk!
Planning for big travel vacations can be extremely stressful. I know I deal with packing the right things for myself and my boys. That includes the right amount of outfits, making sure I don’t forget the favorite toys and tech gadgets, and securing that everything weighs the right amount for flight regulations. I have none of those issues when planning local staycations. I’m practically right up the street!
I know many people also feel the need to purchase new outfits and items of clothing before going on vacation. Many women and moms also have to plan for personal preparations like hair and nail salon visits. It can all wear you out before you get going! With staycations, though, these to-do items are so not necessary. There’s no need to buy all the “right” things simply because you would be miles away from home without access. Honestly, you really need nothing more than what you already have to prepare for your local getaway. A staycation alleviates all of that mental stress.
Staycations also allow more do-what-you-can flexibility when it comes to your time. If your budget or schedule only allows a day away, that’s perfect! If you want to extend your staycation, no problem! Less money spent and closer proximity both allow great advantages for changing plans. You literally get to set the rules and amend them as needed.
The best staycation stress-alleviators? No cleaning or cooking! You get to leave those responsibilities to the hotel while you spend more time with family (or just yourself). I loved being able to curl up with my boys, watch movies and order in. I’ve been asking them to advocate more for themselves around the house during the pandemic, so this was a great perk for them and us as a family.
Incentives for Kids and Working Parents
Self-care is typically discussed from an adult perspective. However, our kids are going through these unprecedented times, also. Even those who are too young to properly analyze everything around them still absorb our energy as adults dealing with the pandemic. After an extended period of time of eating, breathing and living in the same space day after day, even children start to feel the impacts of the proverbial “Groundhog Day” we adults do. A local staycation, with its change of scenery, is good for kids. It’s a great way for them to hit the reset button in their little lives.
The summer is the only time my boys get to enjoy extended amounts of beach and pool time. This year was extremely important to me in that regard because I wanted them to learn to swim. I don’t have a pool at my home, and the local pool areas were closed. Our short staycation stints allowed me to have access to a small water playground for them to practice water safety and enhance their swimming skills. With the aforementioned weekday stays and fewer people, this was a great incentive to enjoy a local day or two away.
As a parent, I’ve also noticed my kids are happier to comply with my requests in the days and weeks leading up to a staycation. They’re even happier to follow rules unprompted while we’re on our staycation. As a working mom, I’ve also noticed that my kids don’t mind as much if I’m multitasking with business, taking a phone call or responding to an email while we’re away. They simply enjoy being in their new environment and don’t equate my working as “time away” from them as much as they do when we’re home.
Redemptive Time Away
If you’re like me, I know you’re hoping to get a “life” re-do in 2021. We’ve all given up so much this year, and so have our children. You don’t have to wait until next year to make concessions for the experiences you missed in 2020. Redeem some portions of your plans and time with an inexpensive staycation closer to home. It’s a great way to achieve a vacation feeling for a fraction of the cost with little to no preparation needed.