You may have had to cancel or put off a planned trip due to restrictions in place as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. And the near-term future of travel is very uncertain. But there is no reason you can’t enjoy a much-needed vacation. Have you considered taking a staycation? After weeks of parents working from home, with kids engaged in distance learning, a break would no doubt be welcome.
A staycation doesn’t mean you have to remain in your house. Rather, it’s a time when you can enjoy activities within driving distance of your home, with no overnight accommodations required. Think of it as an opportunity to play tourist in your own city or state.
Here are a few ideas for ways to make the most of a staycation:
Discover a new place – Even if you have lived in the same place your entire life, chances are you have not experienced everything it has to offer. Why not challenge yourself to find an activity you have not participated in, or a location you have never visited? If you are relatively new to your current place of residence, there is so much for you to discover. Apps like AroundMe, LikeALocal, and even Tripadvisor can help explore your area. Taking a day drive is also an excellent option to consider. From visiting a state park to enjoying a newly established drive-in theater, there are a growing number of safe opportunities to get out of the house and have some fun!
Support your local favorites – Many local businesses are opening back up and in desperate need of customers. Why not head to the zoo? Visit a museum? Eat at a favorite restaurant? Pick fruit at a local farm? All would be a great way to enjoy the places you love and have missed while helping to stimulate your local economy! Remember, there may be special guidelines and restrictions in place due to Covid-19. It’s a good idea to call or visit the websites of the businesses you want to patronize before heading their way, to find out how they are handling reopening. Make sure you are clear on the rules, and follow them once on site.
Tackle those home improvement projects – Some people do choose to spend a staycation at home, focusing on completing projects they have wanted to get to but haven’t found the time. Whether you are a, “do it yourselfer” or prefer to bring in the professionals, chances are your extended time at home has resulted in a list of things you noticed need attention, or projects you would like to begin. Perhaps you have some funds remaining from your stimulus check. Or have been considering a HELOC. Why not take an opportunity to make your living space more comfortable and enjoyable?
Focus on yourself – A staycation can also be an excellent time to explore a different hobby, work on developing a new skill, engage in an activity you enjoy, or strive to meet those fitness goals. You can take this opportunity to try your hand at gardening. Learn how to paint. Get back to tickling the ivories, no matter how rusty you are. Or work to become a stronger version of yourself. A staycation can be a time to spotlight your interests and needs. Perhaps you can even start learning a new language for that trip you had to delay.
Bring the fun home – If you would prefer to stay at home, you can still engage in your favorite activities as a family. Grab your gear and get ready for a camp out – in the back yard or the living room! Setting up your tent indoors can be a fun and unusual way to switch things up. Don’t have a pool? Why not buy one? There are many small, inexpensive, and easy-to-set-up varieties available. Cool off from the summer hear and get a healthy dose of Vitamin D. Just remember the sunscreen!
The time will come when you can hit the road again. To help you save for your grand adventure, a Vacation Club savings account is a great tool to put aside money for next year. But for now, you don’t have to allow travel restrictions to get you down. Plan for a staycation just as you would a traditional vacation. Create a countdown to build excitement, develop a plan for how you will spend your time off, let everyone in the family pick their top thing to do, and prepare to enjoy a much-needed break. You’ve earned it!