In a regular year, you’ll find me heading the airport on more than one occasion. Travel has always been something that is important to me, pushing me out of my comfort zone, providing a much needed mental reset, and offering up the opportunity to bond with the friends or family members who have packed their bags to join me on the trip.
This year, travel plans have been put on hold, so I’ve been searching for some ways to experience all of the benefits of travel while protecting the health and safety of myself and those around me. Though it’s not completely possible to replicate the experience of finding yourself in an unfamiliar, yet inspiring, location, you can bet I’ve come up with a great framework for deciding how to plan your stellar staycation.
First, you’ll still need to take care of those pre-vacation responsibilities
To really get in the staycation mindset, you’ll want to adhere to your typical pre-vacation routine. Do you like to come home to a clean house? Before your self-imposed staycation begins, do a deep clean so that you don’t have to think about chores throughout your time off. Do you usually buy an outfit or two to pack for your time away? Do the same for your staycation, this time maybe with a few comfortable outfits - or go formal for date night in. Answer those last emails, pay outstanding bills, then log off. You’re officially OOO!
What does vacation mean to you?
Next, consider why you typically go on vacation. Do you look forward just to getting away from the nonstop world of social media and professional responsibilities? Your staycation should have the same goal, and include an “unplugged” rule.
If you usually book a vacation to spend dedicated quality time with your family, make sure that you’ve built in some structure to your staycation to keep everyone from holding up in a separate spot in the house. Bring out a puzzle, or learn a new card game together to create bonding moments and memories that will last a lifetime.
Does the local nature scene usually dictate where you’re headed? Look up new areas to explore in your hometown, including great hiking trails, ice skating rinks, lakes and beaches. I promise there is beauty to be found in every corner of the world.
What activities would you normally do on vacation?
One of the best parts of traveling is getting to know new and interesting places and people. Though you may be relegated to your familiar home this year, you can still seek out the kinds of experiences you may have abroad. Do you love to explore cultural hotspots when you get the chance to vacation? Choose a documentary about a place you’ve been meaning to go to and dig into its history and its traditions.
If you’re all about the cuisine, look for a local restaurant that serves the flavors of a country you want to visit, or find a recipe and try your hand at this new dish. With every must-do vacation activity, there is a corresponding staycation activity waiting to be discovered.
Who would normally be on vacation with you?
Finally, consider the friends or family who would normally be “leaving on a jet plane” with you. Though you may not be able to meet with them in person, make communicating with them a staple of your staycation. Set up a Zoom call over a meal to feel like you’re together, or send them a voice memo that you’re thinking of them. That person-to-person connection will make your staycation meaningful.
Staycations don’t have to be all lazy days and TV time. They can be just as impactful as a true vacation to a new destination if you’re willing to get a little creative and plan activities that surprise and delight you and your family. I can’t wait to see how you take these staycation ideas and run with them. Feel free to DM me at @grasshoppergoods with your “wish you were here” photos!