Have you ever heard the term “staycation” before? It’s what’s known as a portmanteau: a combination of two words in order to form a new one (interesting fact: the word “portmanteau” is itself a portmanteau!). In short, a staycation refers to when you “go on holiday” within your home city; you don’t travel outside the city’s borders, but instead try to find as much to do within your place of residence as you can.
The advantages to pursuing a staycation over a traditional holiday are numerous; you can reduce costs, learn more about the place you live, and reforge your connection with your home, and you won’t even have to worry about being homesick!
If you play your cards right, a staycation can be exactly as unforgettable and valuable a travel experience as regular holidays can be, and you’ll be spending a fraction of the money on them as well. Here is our guide on how to make the most of a staycation.
It won’t truly feel like a holiday until you’ve booked some accommodation. Sure, you’re staying within your home city, and if you really want to keep costs down, then you can use your own apartment or house as your base of operations. However, staying in external accommodation could give you a new perspective on what the city looks like from a different angle, or show you something about an area you’ve never visited before, so if you’ve got the money for accommodation, it’s definitely worth staying outside home.
Don’t do things you always do
The point of a staycation is to try and discover new things about your home city. With that in mind, you should make sure that you’re visiting locations you wouldn’t otherwise visit. Don’t just stick to your old haunts; that way, it’ll barely feel like you’ve left home at all. Check out some lists of the best things to do in your city online, and strike off the ones you’ve already done, or the ones you do on a regular basis; you can always do those once the staycation is over, after all!
Allocate a budget
Just because you’re not travelling and don’t necessarily need to hop on a plane or a ferry, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be allocating a budget. You may well still need to travel around the city using public transport, especially if you live somewhere large and labyrinthine like London or Paris. You’ll also still need to spend money on whatever activities you decide to try out, so make sure that you’ve got your budget ready and waiting when you set out.
Try your city’s cuisine
What kind of food is your city best-known for? Is it Indian food? Perhaps Chinese food? Maybe your city houses an incredible, underrated Thai restaurant? Whatever the case may be, a staycation is the perfect opportunity to try it out. If you’ve been meaning to head to the best restaurant in town to sample the goods but you haven’t found a good excuse, now’s the time; spend some of your budget on treating yourself to a fine dining experience you won’t forget in a hurry.
Take some friends
A staycation doesn’t have to be a lonely affair! Many of the best activities in your city will almost certainly be better if they’re done with someone else, so grab some friends who’ve always wanted to see more of the city and take it on together. Rent out rooms in the same accommodation so that you can coordinate your plans together, then hit the town and see what you can find. Holidays are better with friends, and that goes double for staycations.
Walk the streets
Have you ever just taken the time to stroll through the streets of your city’s centre? You never know what you might find! Online guides (like this very list) can only take you so far; we can list the things we loved doing in a city, and the things that we think you’ll love, but in the end, that one shop or that one weird out-of-the-way bar with the incredible cocktails are yours and yours alone, and you won’t find them unless you just start walking and see what you come across.
Make some time to chill
One of the key advantages of a staycation is that it doesn’t come with all the stresses of regular travel. You won’t need to worry about missing your flight or standing at the wrong train terminal, so it’s important to set aside some time to just relax and breathe during your staycation. Whether it’s sitting in a park and taking in the atmosphere or walking along the beachfront (if you’re lucky enough to live near the sea), a staycation can be the perfect time to re-centre yourself and find your zen.
Join classes or outdoor events
What makes a staycation feel special? Well, of course, that’s entirely up to you, but if you ask us, a big part of making a staycation feel like a real event is disrupting your regular routine. You can do that by finding a class or an outdoor event that’s accepting walk-ins and joining it on a whim. Even if it’s something you’ve never done before, you can still try it; in fact, it’s better if it’s something you’ve never done before, because that’s exactly how you make memories on your staycation!