When it comes to putting together a vacation, the temptation can be to go big: Do that month-long backpacking trip through Europe! Spend time as an au pair or a language tutor in Paris or Beijing! Visit your far-flung family and friends in Lima or Addis Ababa! But for most people, these kinds of blow-out celebrations can be a headache to actually follow through on, and that leaves the other option: go home, or rather, stay home.
But a staycation doesn’t have to mean that you actually just stay at home, getting acquainted with the nooks and crannies of your own building. In fact, this might be the perfect vacation time because all of the normal holiday visitors, and those folks who are off on their wild destination vacations? They’ll be gone, and your home will be accessible in ways you never thought possible.
I live in Los Angeles, so keep in mind that these results are particularly applicable toward already living in or near a big city. With that in mind:
You won’t have to fight long lines or crowds
In L.A. especially, there are certain brunch and dining places that are next to impossible to get into during the weekend or holidays. But with your schedule free, you can safely make the commitment to that elusive spot. And maybe it's time to just reacquaint yourself with your surroundings — take a leisurely stroll or hike, check out some of your favorite shops (or visit some new ones), or just get in the car and see where it takes you.
You can take advantage of the non-existent traffic
If you live in an urban area, you know one of the worst things to deal with is traffic or over-crowded public transportation. This means you can actually get on the subway to go somewhere without worrying about a seat, or you can make an expedition to that museum across town and be back home before the evening rush.
You can invite all of your friends to visit you — and actually mean it
Every now and then I’ll hear that a friend of mine is passing through town; we’ll make plans to meet up and then, nothing. It’s hard to host friends and/or family when you’re busy at work, and during those times, it might be easier to for them to meet you elsewhere. (Unless they’re staying with you, which is sometimes its own dilemma.) But if they come to you during your staycation? You can bring them all over town and to all the cool “native” spots, all without sacrificing too much of your own time because hey, these are the things you would’ve wanted to do anyway.
You can “curate” your individual staycation days
Again, this is something that’s only really possible in a larger city. But on that note, most people travel for three reasons: to relax on a beach somewhere with a drink in hand, to explore a city’s cultural monuments like museums or architectural wonders, or to escape into nature. With a staycation, you won’t have to worry about things like not speaking the language or location accessibility or tourist overcrowding. (Though, these shouldn’t be things that keep you from traveling at all!) Instead, you can do all of these things and still collapse in your own bed at the end of the night.
Want to do the beach thing? Grab a cooler and make your way to the nearest coast. Want to do the cultural thing? Look up all the museums in the area and hit up the smaller, more niche ones that you never have time for, or actually make that longer trip to a far-out installation further from civilization. Want to do the nature thing? Look up national and state parks in the area, and while camping could be cool, so could river rafting, fishing, and kayak explorations that don’t take up more than a day.