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What is a Staycation?

By Devon Pryor
Updated May 23, 2024
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A staycation is a unique kind of vacation in which vacationers, or staycationers in this case, stay at home instead of going away. One might ask how a staycation can be a vacation if it is spent at home. The idea behind a staycation is that one take time away from their everyday life, without actually having to travel away.

Staycations are a great solution for those who desire a vacation, but are short on cash, time, or simply hate the idea of travel delays. Staycationers might decide to stay at home, or may even check into a local hotel. Either way, they save on the cost of airline tickets and gasoline. These can be major expenses, perhaps costing vacationers hundreds of dollars just to arrive in their vacation destination. The staycationer, on the other hand, avoids not only the cost and time of traveling to a destination, but also the hassle of packing luggage.

As mentioned, one major reason people decide to take a staycation is a shortage of time. Staycationers who are short on time, or simply don’t want to spend time traveling, can check into a local hotel or resort. Between ordering room service, to taking advantage of hotel spa treatments, to lounging by the pool, local hotels or resorts can be a great way to get away with out going very far.

Another reason people might decide to take a staycation is a shortage of money. Vacations can be extremely expensive, whereas staycations can be no less affordable than everyday life. Spending a staycation at home, however, requires a little more creativity on the part of the staycationer. What makes a vacation so fun is the difference in activities and daily schedules, time alone with loved ones, and a general feeling that one has been extracted from their everyday routine. These are aspects that can be reinterpreted and applied to a staycation. Below are some ideas to make a staycation feel like a real break from quotidian life.

First and foremost, specific times and dates should be allotted for the staycation just as though the staycation were being spent away. To prevent neighbors and friends from interrupting the staycation, phones can be turned to mute, and the welcome mat can be replaced with a “we’re on vacation” sign.

Generally, it’s a great idea to avoid the activities that are typical to ones everyday life, and replace them with the activities usually done on vacations. Activities usually done on vacation can be done on a staycation. These include board games, reading books, taking staycation photos, and watching movies with fellow staycationers.

Alarms can be turned off, unless they are being set so that the staycationers can wake up in time for something fun. Chores should be avoided at all costs. It may be tempting to revert to the activities performed in everyday life. Making a list can help keep staycationers focused on fun. Rather than a “to do” list, staycationers can think up a “could do” list filled with ideas for fun activities.

In addition, it might be helpful to make a “don’t do” list of all the activities that staycationers should avoid in order to make their staycation feel more authentic. A “don’t do” list might include tasks that cannot be done on a away vacation, such as responding to emails, catching up on paper filing, organizing the linen closet, and other tasks that just don’t say “staycation.”

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Discussion Comments
By anon343588 — On Jul 31, 2013

My wife and I have taken staycations in the past, and we really enjoyed them. We live fairly close to a large city, but we usually only visit it for specific reasons, like shopping or eating at restaurants. It's almost always a single day trip.

We found a nice hotel in a planned upscale community and booked a room there one weekend. Besides all of the restaurants and stores nearby, it was great to see the city as a tourist rather than a local. We could go to the museums or theaters or other attractions we usually pass by any other time.

Staying in a hotel room gave the illusion of being in some other city in some other state. If we needed to go home for some reason, however, it was only a half-hour drive.

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