peron laying in hammock at sunset

How to make the most of your Staycation

How to make the most of your Staycation

When you hear the word vacation, what comes to mind? Perhaps it’s a white sandy beach with the waves gently lapping at the shore and palm trees swaying in the breeze, or sightseeing in a posh city you’ve never been to. Maybe it’s taking your whole family to an amusement park or heading to the mountains for a relaxing getaway. Whatever your ideal vacation is, you may be able to go on it without getting on a plane or driving a long distance.

There’s something to be said for exploring your own backyard, both literally and figuratively. That’s where a staycation comes in. It’s exactly what it sounds like – a vacation without actually traveling very far. There are many reasons why someone might start researching staycation ideas versus a traditional vacation, including limited time off work, being on a strict budget, or wanting to get away without the stress of actually, well, getting away. 

Regardless of the reason, exploring your area from the perspective of a tourist can be fun. Think about it, most of us generally stick to a routine of going to the same few places we know we enjoy. There’s nothing wrong with that by any means, but there’s a good chance we’re missing out on the very best of what the area has to offer.

This year, when you’re deciding what to do with those vacation days, consider planning a staycation.

couple eating pizza in bed

Take a semi-staycation

When you’re researching “staycation ideas near me,” expand your search outside your immediate area. Driving to a nearby town for a staycation can give you a more authentic getaway feeling. Plus, who doesn’t love a good road trip? It could be the town or region adjacent to yours or a place you’ve never heard of. Either way, don’t discount any place until you’ve done some research – even the tiniest towns often have rich histories and a lot to offer. Not only will it be fun and push you out of your comfort zone, but it can also help you feel more connected to your community.

Book a fabulous hotel

The best staycation is one where you feel like you truly got away. Since you’re saving on airfare and other costly travel expenses, put that money toward booking a hotel that would normally be outside of your budget. Look for onsite amenities such as a spa, restaurant, a pool with cabanas or luxury bedding

It’s worth calling and speaking to someone directly at the property you’re interested in, because they often offer locally-focused specials. A Coast Hotels staycation is ideal, as they have resident specials and “Show Your Ticket” deals where you get discounts for attending local attractions or events.

family walking with children downtown

Tap into local resources

When you’re thinking about how to plan a staycation, consider what you would recommend to someone who was visiting your city for the first time. What do they absolutely have to see? Where would you send them to eat or to shop?

Even – or perhaps especially – if you think there isn’t much to do in your town, take advantage of the many local resources available to you. Every city or region has an Office of Tourism or a visitor center that has insider knowledge of local events, newly-opened businesses, and other topics visitors would be interested in. As a bonus, these offices often have discounted (or even free!) passes to local attractions and events.

TripAdvisor and Reddit both have excellent city- and state-specific user forums. For unique family-friendly or romantic staycation ideas, as well as staycation ideas for singles, check out Groupon and LivingSocial. Activities such as self-guided walking tours, cooking classes or demonstrations, art walks, and farmer’s markets are all fantastic ways to see new sides of your city.

family cooking together

Give yourself permission to splurge

Think about something you’ve always wanted to do near your home but for whatever reason have never actually done. It could be a fancy spa treatment, reservations at a 5-star restaurant, a private off-roading tour, or shopping in a high-end boutique. Whatever it is, use your staycation as an excuse to experience new things and give yourself permission to splurge on it. Remember, you’re saving money by not traveling a long distance.

woman getting massage

Prioritize free time during your local staycation

Although you want to see some of your city’s best hidden gems, one of the major benefits of a staycation is not having to do anything on a set schedule. Instead of planning a packed itinerary, stroll the streets without an agenda in a new-to-you part of town, leisurely popping into shops and restaurants.

Alternatively, if you choose a particularly luxurious hotel or you want your getaway to be primarily about recharging, skip an itinerary altogether. Sleep in, eat ice cream for dinner, take naps, get into pajamas while it’s still light out, or simply lounge by the pool (if you stay at a location with open pool access). It’s your staycation, and the idea is for it to feel like a vacation.

Be a savvy staycationer

Whether you’re staycationing in your own backyard or looking for ways to get the most out of your hotel stay, these tips will help you enhance your experience.

family having a tea party

Bring the spa to you. At home or at a hotel, fancy spa treatments simply may not be within budget. Stock up on indulgent bath products like bath bombs, bubble bath, face masks, candles, oil diffusers, and even a bottle of champagne, then have a DIY in-room or at-home spa day.

Turn your hotel room – or bedroom – into a luxurious retreat. Treat yourself to a nice robe or pair of pajamas, as well as a set of high-end sheets or a throw blanket. You’ll enjoy it long after the staycation, plus you’ll always associate the items with your blissful “getaway.”

Hire help. Whether you’re staying home or heading to a hotel, consider hiring an outside resource so you can take a break from household chores. When your staycation is over and it’s back to reality, at least your house will be in good order.

Stay in. Head to the grocery store and buy the pricier items you usually stay away from. Put together a multiple-course meal or pair a great bottle of wine with an assortment of gourmet cheese and chocolate. You have the makings for a lovely evening in, either at home or at a hotel.

Ready to commit to a staycation and just need to decide on a hotel? Consider a Coast Hotels staycation! With nearly 40 destinations to choose from and a wide range of amenities, there’s a Coast Hotel property to suit every type of staycationer and budget.