I’m a traveller, a dedicated globe trotter and wanderluster, but something weird has happened lately. I’m loving just being at home. It’s hard to fathom but it’s almost like, most options have been removed so I’m not constantly pondering where to go next. I know I’m stuck here, as most of us will be this year and next, so instead, my mind is on possibilities at home. I’m having fun without travelling. Some staycation tips, ideas and thoughts on what is a staycation, below.
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We normally travel because we crave the unknown, we want to learn about cultures, countries and cuisines, but actually, we’re getting our fix within our own house. I never thought I’d say that.
Our post on why people travel is immensely popular and in it I ramble on why travel is better than just about everything. But is it? I’m happy not travelling. For now.
The Great Staycation
When we travel, go on holiday or vacation, we normally do what we enjoy. For me, I like learning about cultures and experiencing destinations. I also like to climb mountains, Everest Base Camp was a recent highlight.
Clearly I’m not somebody who travels to relax or pamper, my indulgences are different. But whatever your indulgences are, you can actually get a dose of them from home on your staycation or holistay.
Think about what you enjoy when you travel or go on holiday? What’s your jam? Do you take lots of photos? Do you enjoy fine dining or local cuisine? Do you take classes or courses? Do you exercise or love a physical challenge? Do you find time to read that book? Most of these things and more can be done from home.
Staycation Vs Vacation
A staycation can be the ultimate budget holiday. Take out flight costs and you just saved yourself a whole bunch of money.
A staycation can also be the ultimate in eco-friendly travel if you make it that way. My son goes off camping and volunteering for weeks on end. It’s a local, useful, staycation for him. Is there anything like that near you? Lockdown has cancelled this recently, but it will return.
By taking a staycation you also just bought yourself time. A staycation doesn’t necessitate two days of waiting at airports, layovers and flight time.
I love flying, I love the meal service, movies and glass of red wine. You could easily recreate that enforced downtime in front of a movie at home. You could be a lot more comfortable too. Put headphones on and make a tiny serve of nuts last as long as possible to make your in-flight movie more authentic!
What is a Staycation?
I had to look it up. A staycation, according to the dictionary, is a holiday or vacation spent in one’s home country rather than abroad or overseas. Or it can be one spent at home and involving day trips to local attractions. I’d like to add something to the meaning of staycation. It can be doing all the things you want to do and enjoy, at home, that you never have time to do otherwise.
A lot of us are unable to even leave the house right now and will be holidaying at home or domestically for quite some time yet. So below you’ll find some lockdown and staycation tips to help you stay happy and fulfilled at home. We’ll aim to get staycation ideas posted for every part of the world we know well, just give us time.
Domestic travel will undoubtedly return first and, frustrating as that is, we’re just going to have to make the most of it.
Think about “self-care,” “me-time”, “us-time”, stretching yourself, trying new things and doing more of the things you love. Most importantly, be present and fully engaged.
- Do you. Think what you most enjoy and do it. Don’t do what other people enjoy, authentically do you. Let everyone in your family do what they love most.
- Don’t focus on chores and jobs that need doing. Take time out to rest, enjoy and rejuvenate. Unless, of course, you enjoy those things to do and will feel deep satisfaction on completing them.
- When we travel we experience new things. There are new things all around you, you just need to look. New things could be in a book, on YouTube, in your garden or within you. There must be a museum, historic site or countryside area nearby that you’ve never been? Plan to visit it as soon as you’re allowed.
- Allow others in your family to do the same. Take all pressure off. Yes, I’m talking about your kids and online schooling. They don’t have to be achieving and studying constantly. Let them be kids. Everything can wait.
- Stay present and in the moment. Fully enjoy and experience every second. My current favourite human Tich Nhat Hanh, teaches us how to enjoy and be happy in every breath we take. If you can enjoy simply breathing, the sky is the limit in staycation enjoyment. Read his book, it helps me do life.
- Think about what you would have spent on flights, hotels, taxis, visas and other tedious travel expenses and spend that money freely on you and yours, at home.
- Don’t do laundry. When we travel most of us go a week or two without doing laundry. Do the same at home. Laundry can wait.
- Planning and anticipation are big parts of the joy of travel. If you can’t travel, plan something else. Plan tomorrow. Plan all of next week. Plan to have a freaking amazing time and then execute that plan. Plan your domestic staycation for when local travel is re-introduced. It will be.
- Look at your huge expanse of free time as the massive luxury it is.
- Go about your staycation intentionally.
- Shop online. Amazon are still sending us little parcels of joy. Shop for the things you need for a new hobby or interest. Spend freely on the things you need, tools to enjoy your life and staycation more. This is what I bought this week. Something to play around with and learn to use for business and pleasure.
- Feel free to ignore phone calls. Connect with people when you want to, not when they want to. Put an autoresponder on your business e-mail and ignore it.
- Know that worrying never helped anything.
- Sleep as long, as much or as little as you like. A comfortable bed and the luxury to sleep as you need is pure gold. Break out the sleep mask, best linen and lavender oil. Make sleep an enjoyable event.
- Eat well. Cook or order in. It depends what you enjoy most. Reecreat favourite dishes from your travels or order in DIY restaurant dishes. Cook some real comfort food. If you enjoy eating healthily, do that. You could start a diet plan that comes delivered. There are so many options online now beyond just ordering the usual takeaway.
- Pamper yourself. In Asia I get pedicures, because it’s so cheap there and I have time to do that. You can do that at home. Allow yourself to use your favourite products and just take the time to fully enjoy and indulge in a facial scrub, nail polish or hair mask. Soak in the tub if you like, but allow yourself to fully enjoy it and not be rushed. This is the best nail polish I’ve ever used and yes it costs a bit more but heck, I’m worth it. It’s cheaper than a flight to Bali. Soak your feet first in water containing limes, lemongrass or whatever aromatics you have at hand. Get the nail brush out and scrub. You’ll love it!
- Do something nice for somebody else. I can’t tell you how happy it made us yesterday when our lovely neighbours left a little gift on our doorstep. Challenge yourself to make somebody else smile.
- Start a website and create a stay-home income stream. If you want my best tip, go into something sustainable like food, gardening or useful crafts and makes. Thank me later.
- Ditch the car and go everywhere by bike or on foot. It’s so much nicer to be outside and so much better for you. Don’t think all the good stuff is too far away, I bet you can find somewhere beautiful, interesting, fun or tranquil if you just go out of your front door.
- Exercise. Exercise boosts all those feel-good hormones and can be as simple as walking, running or cycling. We have a modest home gym because teenage boys and an athletic husband. Could you use something like that at home? Could you enjoy a treadmill or exercise bike? My husband scoffs but I much prefer running on a treadmill than outdoors, it’s easier and goal setting is more controllable. It’s way cheaper than gym membership or that flight to Bali I mentioned.
- Watch movies, play computer games, switch on the TV, but do those things because you love them, not just to while away time. Do what you truly enjoy.
- Learn something new. When you travel or go on holiday do you learn languages? Maybe you take a cooking class or learn about local history? Yes, it’s absolutely more fun to do these things at source but right now, if you want to, you could be doing any of those things online. My son is learning Welsh using free Open University courses and Duolingo. He’s doing it because he wants to and that is where true learning happens. Nobody learns much by being forced to learn. Maybe take our family travel trivia quiz, find out how much you know.
- Set the table, light candles, put up fairy lights in the garden, dine. Be present to fully enjoy eating.
- Put your favourite music on. Don’t just have it as background noise, intentionally enjoy it. Dance if you like.
- How about a sport or activity-based staycation or staycation activity? Did you ever ride a horse, go zip-lining or drive a quad bike? Maybe there are opportunities like these close to home that you never got to try.
- Has it been years since you visited a favorite local attraction or beauty spot? Go again.
- Play with the kids. Or play with the dog. Fully engage in play and don’t have a head full of important things you should be doing.
How To Find Things To Do Nearby
Even if you’ve lived somewhere forever and think you’ve done everything fun or of interest nearby, I bet you haven’t. Go to museums and galleries, exhibits change all the time and often museums are free. Another of our staycation tips, and we do this all the time wherever we are. Go to GetYourGuide and enter the name of your home town. I bet there’s some tour or activity, maybe even a class you didn’t know about. Look here. Everything is probably shut right now so try entering a future date.
How We Are Enjoying Our Staycation
We enjoy exercise, food, movies, wine, photography, online gaming, books, gardening, wildlife, learning and creating our websites. We love travel of course, we are a nomadic family, but we can’t do that right now. That’s OK. As soon as local travel returns we can get out and about more.
We stopped crying over travel bans a long time ago and honestly, our last trip to Malaysia was a stressful, traumatic ordeal, not a joy, so travel wasn’t in our minds anyway. We are just getting on with having a good time at home.
We have no money, our income is smashed but we’re not on the breadline and we know it will come back. If you’re doing it tough, I’m sorry. If you’re sick or have lost loved ones you have our deepest sympathy. Maybe you’re working on the front line and juggling kids? Thank you for your hard work.
For now and into coming months we can try to take lemons and make lemonade.
Admittedly, at times like these being introverts helps a lot. Sorry extroverts, we’re not like you. You might have to do facetime or such like. A friend of mine dressed up for a facetime and not just any old dress-up. She wore her wedding dress. I like her style!
I already posted that the hardest part of being a digital nomad family was in too many choices. Choices have been slashed and, surprisingly, brought greater happiness. Like so many, we suddenly have a lot less cash and we could well find ourselves in debt here, but still, we’re enjoying this at home staycation opportunity and are looking forward to better times for the world.
A few years ago when we first moved to Romania I published a post called winning the lifestyle lottery. Being thankful for what we had and have goes a long way towards that feeling. We found that simple life suited us well. We hope you’re doing likewise. Once we can get on a plane again we’ll be heading right back to the poorest countries where people will be desperate for tourist dollar. Just right now we can’t. Luckily, on this site, we cover over 50 countries, so it’s quite likely we have staycation tips and ideas for your area already. It’s about seeing with new eyes.
Alyson is the creator of World Travel Family travel blog and is a full-time traveller, blogger and travel writer. A lifetime of wanderlust and now over 7 years on the road, 50+ countries allowed the creation of this website, for you. She has a BSc and worked in pathology before entering the travel arena and creating this website. World Travel Family Travel Blog has been helping you travel more, better and further since 2012, when Alyson and James first had this life changing idea. On this site you can find endless travel information, tips and guides plus how to travel, how to fund travel and how to start your own travel blog.