Vacations are great, right? Everyone will agree with me. We take them to relax, try new things, and sometimes have exciting adventures. But have you ever felt like vacations don’t always leave you feeling completely refreshed?
But, if your primary goal for a vacation is to relax and unwind, it might not always turn out that way. Just consider all the preparation and organising that goes into every trip. For example, here’s what most people have to do to plan a standard 7-day getaway:
It takes about a month to plan and prepare for the trip, and then there are two days of travel by car, bus, boat, train, or plane. Afterwards, you need a day to recover from jet lag caused by the journey, and there’s also time spent packing and unpacking during the trip. So, out of a 7-day vacation, you really get to enjoy about four days.
When you return home, you might spend several hours unpacking, and you’ll likely need another day to recover from jet lag. Then, a few days later (or sometimes right away), you’re back to work, often feeling more tired than before your vacation.
It’s quite obvious that all the planning and travel involved in vacations can be quite exhausting. Booking flights and hotels, packing and unpacking, and the actual travel time all take a toll on your mental and physical energy. While vacations are enjoyable, they can also drain your energy.
But here’s an alternative: staycations.
Staycations provide many of the same benefits as vacations, such as relaxation, rejuvenation, and the opportunity to try new things. The big advantage is that they don’t require extensive travel, so they are much more budget-friendly. It’s not just about saving money; you also eliminate the time and stress that usually come with vacation planning and preparations.
Nearly 100% Restful Time: Staycations give you the luxury of almost pure relaxation with minimal to no preparation.
Quality Over Quantity: It’s important to consider the ratio of quality relaxation time over the sheer number of vacation days. In reality, a weekend getaway that involves long travel isn’t the ideal recipe for relaxation.
This is precisely why staycations often beat vacations. They offer real opportunities to break free from work and life stresses. Rather than expending time and energy on vacation planning, a staycation gives you the gift of genuine, high-quality rest.
Just consider all the effort involved in a typical vacation—long travel, packing and unpacking, dealing with jet lag, and so on. As mentioned earlier, a vacation can sometimes leave you more exhausted than before you left! Thankfully, a staycation is nothing like that. It allows you to return to work feeling truly refreshed, relaxed and rejuvenated.
Vacations might offer around 50% relaxation time, but with staycations, you can expect nearly 100% rest and relaxation!
Staycations also check off some of the same boxes as vacations when it comes to experiencing new things. The catch is you only need to explore the nearby places you may have overlooked before.
We often underestimate the attractions close to home and opt to spend large sums on trips to foreign countries. However, if you take the time to explore your local area, you might be pleasantly surprised. There are likely cafés and restaurants you’ve never tried, historic buildings you’ve never seen, and nature parks you’ve never visited.
Notice the phrase “you’ve never” in the previous sentence. It’s easy to convince yourself that seeing new things requires travelling overseas. But with a little effort on your part, you can discover new and exciting experiences right in your own backyard.
You can make familiar places feel fresh and exciting, too. Even in spots you’ve visited countless times, adopting a new perspective can unlock new experiences. A simple change in what you do and how you do it can breathe new life into familiar surroundings.
For example, think about that park you typically drive past on your way to work without much thought. On your day off, why not take a drive to the park and go for a leisurely walk alongside it? You might be astonished by how the sunlight dances on the water’s surface in the pond inside that park, the vibrant colours of the flowers, and the abundance of beautiful wildlife that calls the park home. Instead of just walking past them, why not try to relax there for a bit? You can have a picnic there or just spend a relaxing afternoon.
If your village, town, or city has a central market, consider grabbing a coffee, finding a spot, and taking in the world around you. Different times, days, and seasons will offer their own unique atmospheres. For instance, Friday evenings might be a time for couples, while Saturday mornings may be all about families.
Whether you choose a park bench or a seat on a café’s veranda, the combination of fresh air and natural light can work wonders for your energy and well-being. You don’t have to spend your time people-watching either; you could read a book, listen to music, or simply close your eyes and savour the inner peace and tranquillity.
We tend to be creatures of habit, following the same routines day in and day out. We get out of bed on the same side, have the same breakfast, and leave the house at the same time. While routines help us accomplish tasks, they might not always help us break free from stress. That’s when it’s beneficial to change things up a bit.
One simple way to do this is by choosing a different seat or table the next time you visit your favourite café, restaurant, or bar. It provides you with a new perspective, a different view, and a unique experience to shake things up a bit.
Exploring your usual places at different times can also add a refreshing twist to your routine. For example, if you typically dine out only in the evening, why not try something new? Joining your colleagues for lunch or meeting friends for breakfast can provide a fresh perspective. If you’re feeling adventurous, organising a midnight feast could be an exciting and memorable experience! Changing up your dining times can introduce you to different atmospheres and menus you might not have experienced otherwise.
If you enjoy activities like hiking to hilltops and mountains but typically go solo, consider bringing along some friends next time. Having good company during your adventures not only gives you someone to share the experience with but also provides an opportunity to connect with your friends and enjoy the beauty of nature together. It’s a win-win situation where both you and your friends can benefit from the shared outdoor adventure.
Breaking out of your routine in familiar places can be quite refreshing. For instance, when you visit a restaurant you frequent, instead of ordering your usual coffee, why not switch it up and try an iced tea? Small changes like this can provide a pleasant change of pace and introduce you to new experiences, even in familiar settings.
Vacations to exotic destinations and experiencing new cultures are undoubtedly wonderful experiences. Activities like diving in clear blue seas or skiing down sunlit mountain slopes may not be easily replicated close to home.
However, when the demands of kids, work, and financial pressures leave you feeling stressed and exhausted, a staycation can be the perfect solution. You can leave behind weeks of preparation, bid farewell to airport security checks, and say hello to peace and tranquillity. Ultimately, staycations offer an ideal opportunity to rejuvenate your mind, body, and spirit. Give one a try and discover the benefits for yourself!