Travel the World with Trip
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Quarantine got you down? Feeling like you need to break free? Worried about taking a long trip and having to deal with airport security, crowded flights, and no physical distancing? Well you’ve come to the right place. We’re going to let you in on a little industry secret and bugaboo. Everything you need for a darn good vacation is at your fingertips. No, we’re not talking about VR goggles and faux tropical scents. Rather we mean spicing up the normal with a staycation. A what? A staycation! A chance to take the mundane things you do every day and turn them into something Instagram-worthy. The morning beauty routine? Make it a spa extravaganza. Dinner for two? How about a locally-sourced, sustainable dining experience? Come along as we look at ways to bring some much-needed enjoyment to 2020. These are our suggestions for creating the perfect staycation.
The first step in staycation planning is to take note your surroundings. What do you have to work with? Do you live in or near a big city? Do you have lots of space on your property where you can spread out? Jot dot down several places in your locality you’ve always been meaning to visit. That new art gallery on Main Street. A new restaurant. A park you’ve never been. All of these things are potential staycation goldmines. Once you have a list of assets, you can start to develop a plan.
Ideal for: People in or near large metropolitan areas
Large cities and metro areas offer plenty of scope to explore hidden gems. Consider booking a few nights in a local hotel to give yourself the illusion of travel. With bookings down sharply, major brands have responded by slashing prices, offering upgraded rooms, or complementary services. Now’s a great time to book that Jacuzzi suite or come in for a fancy spa service, workout, or massage. Call around and see if there are any deals to be had. With many hotels also making sure to highlight their contactless check-in and deep-cleaning room service, now is a great time to book a crosstown stay.
Ideal for: Suburban or rural locations
Many of us fondly recall toasting marshmallows for s’mores around the campfire. With our ability to travel constricted, bring out the tent and organize a camping trip. In suburban and rural locations, it’s typically not hard to find a state or local park offering places to camp or grill. A night out under the stars can make you feel a world away, even if you’re practically still at home. Summer is ideal as nighttime temperatures in most places don’t dip much below jacket or hoodie weather. Make sure to observe local fire regulations and always make sure your campfire is well-contained and fully extinguished when you’re finished. Otherwise enjoy getting back to nature.
Ideal for: Anyone with a backyard
The backyard barbeque is a summertime rite of passage. Sizzling sausages and baby back ribs where the secret’s in the sauce. That’s the stuff! To add a bit of flair, turn your normal backyard barbeque into a cook-off. Invite a family member or take turns whipping up your best dishes and let the kids pick a winner. Loser gets to do the dishes or something nice for the victor. Capitalizing on the popularity of shows like Top Chef, you too can get in on the action. Think of your own plot twists like secret ingredients or limited cooking times. Remember the idea is to break out of the normal, so go wild.
Ideal for: Everyone
Who doesn’t like the idea of being pampered? If you can’t make it to the spa, why not bring the spa to you? Pull out the stops and let yourself have the full treatment. Facial, manicure, pedicure, exfoliation, aromatherapy, hair washing, steam room…you know, the deluxe package. This can be a great thing to do with the kids. Let them enjoy the chance to run the hot water a little in the bathroom for a good, quick steam. Then take turns doing each other’s nails or just spend time together while you do your own. Gossip about the latest things to happen in your Zoom meeting or find a way to just put on some music, draw the shades, and relax with a facemask as your worries float away.
Ideal for: Everyone
Streaming services have been a lifeline during these troubling times. Never before has it been so easy to consume new content. Take advantage of this by hosting your own staycation film festival. Invite family members or a few close friends to find and submit movies in different categories. These could be anything within a certain criteria. Consider letting someone or a few people be an honorary critic / judge and then vote collectively for a winner. You can have prizes for the person who selected the winning film and even an awards ceremony. With lots of way to get creative, don’t feel the need to hold back. Instead, take advantage of the time to explore some new genres or to revisit classic film favorites.
Ideal for: Everyone
Similar to a film festival, the staycation game tournament is a fun way to remain occupied and enjoy time with friends and family. Nearly anything multiplayer will work; doesn’t matter if they’re board games, e-games, card games, drinking games (for those of legal age of course), or a combination. Depending the number of people you have and the type of game, make a tournament-style bracket and have everyone fill one out beforehand like for March Madness. Give a prize to the person who ends up with the best bracket afterwards. If you feel so inclined, allow for small wagers or other ways to allow more opportunities for friendly competition. The staycation game tournament is great fun.
Ideal for: Everyone
How well would you say you know the place you live? How about the surrounding cities or towns? If you’re like most Americans, chances are the answer is not as well as you think. Sure we all know our street and the places we like to eat or go shopping, where the schools are if we have kids, and maybe a movie theatre or concert venue. That leaves a remarkable amount left to discover. Pull up Google Maps and take a look at your tow. Plan a tour route starting somewhere you know. Allow yourself to wander places you don’t normally go or into business you don’t tend to visit. See that new art gallery, street mural, restaurant, park, or just explore the various house decorations your neighbors sport. Make it real by writing up a review and feel like you’re seeing your hometown with new eyes.
Ideal for: Close Families or Friends with a Guest Room
With Airbnb basically out the question now that people aren’t exactly inviting total strangers into their homes, we’re proposing a close alternative. Think of this as a sort of reality show house swap, just without the redecorating. Find a close friend or family member and trade homes for a day or two. Get that Airbnb feeling of being in a new place coupled with the familiarity and peace of mind that comes from knowing you’re only staying with people you already know. If you can’t do the full swap, alternate sharing guest rooms and provide a sort of Bed & Breakfast service complete with a hearty meal. This is a good way to spice up your calendar.
Idea for: Anyone with a backyard
With major sports only now starting to return, those chafing under the lack of competitive games should consider staging their own Backyard Olympiad. Get creative in coming up with new sports, recreate Olympic favorites, or repurpose fun things like cornhole, washer toss, or horseshoes into an Olympic format. Go all out and stage parade of nations and lighting of the tiki torch. Add a decathlon-style event comprising competition in all the other events and crown the overall champion the greatest Backyard Olympiad athlete. This is a fun way to stay active, do things outdoors, and add a bit of excitement to the time under lockdown. The Staycation Backyard Olympiad, coming soon to your house!
Start with a map again. Find the major transportation corridor in your area like a large highway. Estimate how far you can get if you drive in one direction for say two hours. Now draw a circle centered at your home using the two-hour distance as a radius. Find a place or a few places within that circle that you’ve always wondered about but have never visited. Maybe it’s a neighboring town, a lake, a state or national park, a mall, anything really. Give yourself the chance to explore around for several hours and enjoy the local sites while still being able to make it back home at night.
With much of the country emerging from under coronavirus lockdown, we all want to proceed a bit cautiously at first before jumping back into the thick of travel. Taking advantage of some staycation ideas are a cost-effective way to enjoy the benefits of travel and vacation without the drawbacks and inconveniences. The near endless array of possibilities make this the perfect alternative for our current moment. Let your imagination run free and make the most of your local resources as you plan your ultimate staycation!