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Admin Pro Forum

Is a staycation ever really enough?

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Question: "I don't have a lot of money to travel, but I've found that whenever I have a 'staycation,' I feel a little sad in the last couple of days and when I return to work, because I have no stories to tell and no sense of breaking my routine. Has anyone found a way to make the staycation really enjoyable and refreshing?" - Maura, Graphic Designer

{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Gwendolyn Z. Green April 8, 2019 at 10:42 am

Explore your city. Try new restaurants, a museum or free outdoor event (weather permitting). Take a walk around a new or trendy neighborhood, window shop at a store or boutique you normally don’t go to. Invite a friend to go with you when you visit a tourist attraction in your city. In many ways staycations may be better than going out of town, it’s cheaper because your not paying for travel tickets or a hotel, and what’s better than sleeping in your own bed at the end of the day.

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Tina F. April 5, 2019 at 7:43 pm

What do you do when you’re out on vacation? You see new places, try new things, activities and flavors – right? You do the same when you’re in “staycation.” Drive and explore new places or cities that you’ve never been to and make a fun day-trip out of it.Try new restaurants on your way to these places or pack a picnic basket as you have more time to do things that you can’t usually when you have to work. Research nearby places like interesting parks, beaches, museums, pop-up museums (new thing now!) or special events/festivals/shows and go for those that tickle your fancy. Take a train ride to the next city/county where you can spend a few hours and return on the same day. At the end of your “staycation,” you’ll find yourself so exhausted that it’d feel like you’ve traveled hundreds of miles and at the same time refreshed because you’ve seen new places and scenery and gained new experiences–to tell!

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Kelli Busbey April 5, 2019 at 10:46 am

I am in the same boat, however I try to schedule something to do each day that I normally would not do during a regular week. New restaurant, a museum during the work day, shopping at a new store that I have been wanting to check out. I also try to set a goal for one at-home project which gives a sense of accomplishment. When you come back to work to share your stories, you might inspire some of your peers to try that restaurant that they have been hearing about, check out the museum over the weekend or head out to the new shop you checked out. Staycations can be just as rewarding and relaxing – enjoy!!!

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Susan April 5, 2019 at 10:44 am

I know too well that feeling of being unfulfilled during a staycation, and I think it’s because I haven’t made good use of my time and am too distracted by the stuff of everyday life which is always there when you’re home (laundry, emails, errands, etc.). I’ve learned to make a plan in advance for how I want to spend each day. I love a good list (!) so every time I find myself thinking “I wish I had more time so that I could … go to the museum, visit friends, learn to make a souffle, read a certain book, etc.”, I add it to my list of things I want to do, and then when I have an extra day off or a full staycation, I have a starting point and I can make a plan. It also helps to know what you need from a vacation – some people want to stay busy, and for others, some serious outdoor time is important or perhaps quiet time is essential. Whatever works for you, the key is to not get caught up with the stuff of everyday life. It will still be there when you come back from staycation!!

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Dianne Richards April 5, 2019 at 9:25 am

All of these are wonderful ideas! One I would suggest depends on what time of the month your ‘staycation’ covers. Bank of America offers ‘Museums on Us’ – museum entry free of charge on the first full weekend of every month – in a number of locations across the country.

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Karen April 4, 2019 at 5:05 pm

Some cities have walking tours – guided or self-guided. – which is a great way to get to know the history of the place where you live. I love to tour historic homes, churches and cemeteries. I also love the suggestion of seeing a show or binge watching favorite TV series or old movies.

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Karen April 4, 2019 at 4:59 pm

If you plan your staycation around the summer months almost every town in the entire country is having some kind of fair or festival. I order the state destination books each year of states I want to visit or cities I would like to visit. Those brochures are loaded with the dates and descriptions of fairs and events going on through out the year. I find a few events I want to go to and plan my day trip or I try to find a camp ground nearby so I can stay overnight and come home the next day. Camping is pretty easy on the pocketbook and if I have a little more to spend I might rent a cabin at the campground they are less expensive than a hotel and the bed is nice on my old bones. Many colleges have Continuing Education classes that are not very expensive so you can learn a new craft or hobby. I have taken classes to learn how to make jam, make soap, and do home repairs. My local library now has classes that are free or less than $10 – I learned the basics to watercolor painting, how to make felt hearts, and how to crochet. My town has tour bus rides that are inexpensive teaching the history of the area and several tourist stops that were fun. I used to call up my sisters and tell them pack the car and we would point the car in a certain direction and just go. We would stop at everything that looked interesting and met so many fun people just by being adventurous. I hope the next staycation you will find at least one day of adventure fun and maybe even a day learning something new. Good luck.

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Carol April 4, 2019 at 4:44 pm

I agree with everyone else who says go, explore a new place or do something you don’t normally do. Otherwise, you are just staying home. I love hiking, jumping on my motorcycle and exploring the county parks. I have even spent a day with someone who hauls logs to neighboring mills and learned a lot about forestry agriculture and the paper industry. While waiting for him to get his truck loaded, I grabbed my camera and hiked the trails his cutters use to snap pictures of unusual sites; like deer and bear tracks; different flowers, trees or plants; rock formations; mud impressions; etc., so I got a good dose of fresh air, sunshine and some exercise the same day.

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Diana April 4, 2019 at 4:36 pm

You might want to realize that everyone else at work would give their eye teeth for a “staycation”. Just time away from work. The best thing you can tell them to make their eyes turn green is “I binge watched the full series of … and slept 12 hours a night.” You will be pleasantly surprised how well that goes over.

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Julee Smucker April 4, 2019 at 4:31 pm

I know it can be disheartening, but some of the best things can be done for free. If you don’t live in a touristy town, see about taking a day trip to a nearby town you have never been to. If you have kiddoes, look for places that have fun playgrounds or neat libraries. We have ‘accidentally’ found a cool library where they also had a kids museum. We found a cool restaurant we liked when we used an online search tool of where we were headed. Sometimes if you ask a ‘local’ you can find some neat things or good places to eat that aren’t so touristy, but still fun! Sometimes my parents would just gas up the car and we would just go get ‘lost’ somewhere. If you are into the outdoors, you could go camping or on a canoe trip or just out for a nice hike. Look up the National or State Parks areas and you could find some very interesting things to do. Sometimes it just takes a little bit of creativity. Look up in Yelp or Pinterest!

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Linda April 4, 2019 at 4:29 pm

Everyone is spot on about ‘staycationing’. Exploring my community while I am on my staycation has given me the opportunity to see and do things I do not have time for when I work. I have discovered hiking trails, the art museum, and new restaurants on my starycations. And the added bonus is you get a comfy bed (your own) at the end of the day.

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Janet April 4, 2019 at 4:25 pm

I do day trips to places I have never been close to my town. Last year, I bought an adult size blow up pool and some play sand and created a little beach in my backyard. Its all about doing something you don’t normally do. It doesn’t have to cost a lot of money!

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Julee April 4, 2019 at 4:33 pm

I agree. I miss being near Lake Michigan and sometimes, I just need the beach! HAHA good one!

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Sandra Ferrell April 4, 2019 at 4:17 pm

It doesn’t really matter whether or not you have any interesting stories to tell co-workers when you get back. The main thing is finding fun and relaxing things to do that will make you feel like you’ve had a break from work. My husband and I rarely travel far from home these days, but we find it very enjoyable to take ‘day’ trips to try new restaurants, look for interesting historic sites, and just enjoy being together. Even spending a night at a quaint B&B can provide a much-needed reprieve from routine. Allowing yourself a day or two just to putter around your home is also great, and there is much to be said for relaxing with a good book out on your patio or by the pool. You could consider taking a Yoga class, going to a day-spa or visiting local wineries for some taste-testing, if that’s your thing. There are lots of ways to disconnect and have fun without traveling to exotic places! Again, the emphasis should be on doing what YOU enjoy.

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Pam B April 4, 2019 at 4:16 pm

Along the same vein as Claudia’s suggestion –> try being a tourist in your own town. Many cities have wonderful museums and parks you may not have visited. What are the “touristy” things in your area you haven’t done yet? Check out your local Chamber of Commerce or Visitors’ Bureau for some ideas. (If you have a AAA membership, they probably have discounts to some local attractions.)
Have fun!

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Vivian Beaulieu April 4, 2019 at 4:15 pm

Claudia Wright is so RIGHT. :-) Also, you will be amazed how many things there are to do in your own town that is taken for granted. We have a couple of long-term consultants and they have visited places that I never thought to check out. You’ll definitely be more relaxed and rested without the guilt of spending thousands of dollars on an exhausting whirlwind of a vacation where you need a vacation from your vacation.

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Claudia Wright April 4, 2019 at 4:08 pm

Just as if you were traveling, a ‘staycation’ needs some planning. Do something in town that you don’t normally do such as trying a new restaurant, or go to a show. One thing I enjoy is to visit neighboring towns (1-2 hour drive) that is far enough to be away, yet close enough not to require the additional expense of hotels. Then I feel like I’ve done something special for vacation.

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