No matter if you are fond of the hills or the beach, the rising cost of travel means that you might have to take fewer vacations. However, known for being thrifty and edgy, millennials have found a cure to this problem as well. They have devised a concept that offers all the benefits of a vacation, without having to spend a bomb. If you’ve never heard of a ‘staycation’ before, read on to find out what it means, how you can plan one and why you should definitely consider it.
A staycation is a regular vacation with the only difference being that you spend it by staying at home or within your city. Instead of spending money on expensive hotels and buying costly transit cards, you take a break to enjoy the attractions in your area that you haven’t really explored before. While vacations do help you relax and unwind, they do require you to plan in advance and can also cost you a sizeable portion of your savings, especially if plan to travel luxuriously. A staycation doesn’t really need advanced planning and can cost you a fraction of what you would spend on a vacation.
If you’re thinking that ‘staycations’ are another fad that will pass away in some time, you couldn’t be more wrong. Today, people from all walks of life are choosing staycations over expensive holidays to have a stress-free, relaxing and rejuvenating vacation experience. So, you get to relax, enjoy and have a good time, while saving some money – what’s not to like?
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Staycations, or stay-at-home vacations, do not require you to pack, book accommodation and figure out transit and public transport or scout for the cheapest travel deals online. Here are some unique and fun ideas for you to consider if you are planning a staycation:
- Plan a picnic – Perhaps the best part about a staycation is that there is no fixed itinerary to follow. So why not head over to a cool, quiet and green park near your place with a packed picnic basket? Pack a nice lunch or carry your grill to prepare fresh food, carry some lemonade or coffee and some snack. If you’re up for it, take a basketball or frisbee and have a good time with your pets – laze around, play and relish good food!
- Pursue a long-lost hobby – Did you enjoy strumming the guitar that is now gathering dust? Have you forgotten how to hold a paintbrush? When was the last time you went for a swim? Identify the things you enjoyed doing before your job took all of your time and go back to them; your inner child will thank you for it.
- Learn something new – How about using your staycation to learn all those cool DIY tricks and techniques that you’ve admired for so long? Check online for local classes that could help find pottery, carpentry, welding, painting, and other short-term courses. This way, you learn a new skill that you can use later in life as well.
- Pay a visit to your friends – We all have that one friend from our childhood, school or college with whom we’ve fallen out of touch with. Use this time to pay them a talk, catch up with how they are doing and spend some time together to rebuild your bond. If possible, stay over at their place or call them to your house. Make a rule about not discussing work and try to prepare things that you both enjoy doing – going for a hike, running, working out, getting a meal or going to a concert.
- Explore your city – No matter which city you live in, it is impossible to have visited each and every street or cafe. Look up places where you haven’t been before and pay them a visit. Try a new cuisine or go for a movie screening. If you happen to live near the hills or the forest, explore new trails; if you happen to live in an old city, explore new monuments and buildings. You’d be surprised how unrecognizable cities become just a few kilometers outside your daily commute.
These are just a few ideas to help you put your thinking cap on. Once you understand that you can take a vacation while staying in your own place and city, there is no end to the number of options you have. Additionally, unlike international vacations, these ideas won’t burn a hole in your pocket. But, that doesn’t mean that you can’t save money while taking a staycation. Let’s take a look at how` you can make your already affordable vacation even more cost-effective.
Tips to Save Money While Travelling Locally
A staycation can help you save a lot of money as it eliminates airfare, accommodation, and other travel expenses. However, even when you travel within your own city, there are several ways to save money. While knowing the roads and routes is a natural advantage that can help you plan better, there are several other ways in which you can do more in lesser cash. Here’s what to keep in mind to save money while planning your staycation:
- Make a budget – While taking a vacation in your home calls for splurging on food and other activities don’t get too carried away. Prepare a budget and allocate specific amounts to different categories like food, travel, entertainment, and leisure. Go online and look for coupons and sales for spas, hobby classes, nature walks and reservations that can help you save even more.
- Keep an eye out for free things – There are several things on a staycation that can be done without spending a penny – taking a bike ride in the park, visiting the museum, going on a nature trail, visiting a biodiversity park, volunteering at a pet shelter or attending the launch of new stores and galleries. Talk to your friends and ask them for suggestions on the best way to explore the city within a budget and you’ll be surprised as to how many recommendations you might receive.
- Plan off-season or mid-week adventures – Some people also check into local hotels and resorts as a part of their staycation. If you too are heading this lane, booking your hotel in the off-season or the middle of the week can make your wallet very happy. What’s more, this way, you can also avoid the tourist rush as well. Also, remember to ask the hotel manager to upgrade your room free of cost or provide a complimentary drink, meal or spa session to receive a pleasant surprised.
- Have a flexible schedule – Depending on what time of the year it is and what local holiday is around the corner, you might find that services in your city have become more costly than usual. Look up local events, festivals and celebrations to ensure that your staycation is not bogged down by unforeseen cancellations. In addition to helping you avoid crowded streets and areas, this will also help you save money. It would probably be best to take an entire week off from your job to plan so that you can enjoy your staycation better.
- Take a short road trip – If you have friends or family in a city that’s a short drive away, you can also plan your staycation as a short road trip. These mini-vacations can also be undertaken over the extended weekend and help you save as well. Alternatively, drive up to the nearest camping or trekking site for the weekend. Look for standalone homestays or residencies that offer cheaper accommodation options.
If none of these options appeal to you, take a full day road trip in and around your city, trying on local dishes and visiting famous eating joints. The bottom line is that traveling via the road is much cheaper than taking a flight.
Remember, a holiday does not necessarily have to be expensive and does not always require you to travel to far off places. If anything, the constant worry of spending too much will take away from the vacation experience. Plus, the hassle of booking the flight, hotels, transit, language barriers and finding the right meals can be too much for those who want a quiet and relaxing weekend away from their regular life.
It should then not come as a surprise that staycations have witnessed a spike in their popularity recently. The best part about staycations is that you can take them even if you are cash strapped. All you need to do is figure out what makes you happy. Take time off from work, social life, and your regular routine, make a list of places in your city that you haven’t visited in a while and a list of activities that you always wanted to do but have not done so far, and you are all set for a fantastic staycation. You’ll not only end up saving money but also have a great time.
Shivam is a passionate content writer with Masters in journalism. A mutiple-award-winning writer, he brings over a decade of experience as a BFSI writer. In fact, he himself is known in his circle for sound financial advice. A writer by day and a reader by night, Shivam enjoys researching and writing on various financial topics, including credit, stock market, crypto, taxes etc. When he is not spending his time penning down an informative article or opinion, he can be found playing with his kids or collecting stamps.
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