Vacations don't have to be hectic to be enjoyable. Ideally, a vacation serves as the ultimate de-stressor, a way to renew your spirit and re-energize your personal drive. And yet every year Americans leave countless PTO hours on the table. According to CNBC, the typical American only uses 54% of their vacation time which amounts to a staggering 768 million unused personal days nationwide.
Where does this disconnect come from? Is it because of the pandemic? Have vacations become too expensive? Is the modern American just that invested in their job? At its heart, it's a mix of all these factors plus many others, including a shift away from major travel towards something called a "staycation."
What is a Staycation?
The staycation is a new alternative to the traditional concept of the vacation. With a staycation there's no itinerary, no sightseeing, no tourist traps, and no hotels. It is time off for time off's sake.
Stay at home + vacation =staycation.
With a staycation, the goal is to relax, unplug, and de-stress free of the expectation and burden of travel. While some people may choose to stay in a local hotel, staycations are spent for the most part in the safety and sanctuary of your own home.
What Can You Do on a Staycation?
For some, the appeal of a traditional vacation is about novelty and a sense of adventure. What can you possibly do on a staycation that would rival the excitement of traveling cross-country? A lot, as it turns out.
If the idea of peace, quiet, and serenity aren't enough of a selling point for you, staycation provides the perfect opportunity to:
- Learn a new skill
- Spend time with friends and family
- Catch up on reading
- Explore your hometown
- Take a day trip
- Dine out at your favorite restaurant(s)
- Prepare a gourmet meal yourself and eat in
- Just stay in and veg!
There's really no right —or wrong— way to spend your vacation time. The magic of a staycation is that anything you do is expectation-free. You are on your own schedule without the worry and hassle of shuttling yourself and your family between sightseeing, hotel check ins, flights, or long car trips.
The Benefits of a Staycation
A staycation is a great way to relax, de-stress, and work on your own self-development. But there are other advantages to staying at home, especially for those who are thrifty in both time and finance.
A staycation helps you to:
- Save money
- De-stress, refocus, and recenter
- Gain an appreciation for your immediate surroundings
- Work on self-improvement
- Maintain a better work/life balance
Making your Staycation Your Own
The best part about indulging in a staycation is that you can make it whatever you want it to be. If you want to sleep until noon and stay in your pajamas all day, so be it. But for the more adventurous types, here are some ideas to make your staycation truly unique.
- Visit local historical sites and attractions
- Pamper yourself with an at-home spa day
- Don't cook—order in or dine out
- Binge-watch your favorite streaming service guilt free
- Try a new hobby
- Take a virtual class
- Meet new people and get to know your neighbors
With staycation you are freed from the time and monetary constraints that go along with a normal vacation. Don't be afraid to relocate those resources into new experiences right in your own hometown. You'll quickly find that you can achieve many of the same thrills by staying home as your would on your average cross-country trip. The bottom line is that you refill your cup, center yourself, and obtain a personal sense of rest and relaxation while making the most out of the community that surrounds you.