The buzz word for summer 2008 was definitely the “staycation” – where folks who normally would have taken their customary week off and gone to visit family or Mickey Mouse instead stayed in their hometown and made their vacation a combination of economic thrift and show of support for local tourism.
The solo traveler can have a FANTASTIC staycation... if one doesn’t get wrapped up in the thought of "staying." I don’t know about you, but it’s easy for me to get sucked into everything that needs fixing around the house when I have a few days off and nothing planned, so it’s just as important to plan your staycation as you would any vacation.
1. Make a plan – Even if that plan starts out with “sleep as late as I want to every day,” it’s important to plot out your day. Stay local but do get out of your comfort zone and try new things in your hometown. If you live and work in the same part of town, do a little research and find out what’s out beyond your 8 mile radius. Is there a kitschy coffee shop that just opened up? A restaurant that you’ve always heard about but have never gone to? A museum that you need to darken the door of? Make a plan and go! My staycations usually start with making my favorite crème brulee coffee and an Egg Tasty for breakfast (egg over medium on an English muffin with cheddar cheese and a bit of mayo - to DIE for, to be sure!) and hitting a bookstore or a library truly just for the pleasure of browsing amid all the books. It's a great retreat!
2. Be a tourist in your own hometown - Most every city – and definitely every state – has a travel bureau. Log on. Call. Request information. Find out what the non-locals do when they come to your town. You may be surprised at what captures your attention when you’re not worried about your cell phone going off.
3. Learn something new – Always fascinated by crochet and never had the time? Want to learn to analyze handwriting? Interested in taking up yoga? Take a look at the local paper for a community calendar, or call local shops who may offer classes or know of folks who offer them. Staycations are fantastic times to develop aspects of your life that you always wish you just had a little bit of time to do.
When the economy crunches – as it has recently – and going all out on a vacation isn’t in your budget, consider how staying at home can be just as rewarding and energizing!