Welcome to the 21st century, where everything you could possibly want is available on demand, and often with free delivery. When any luxury, from fine dining to high-definition cinema, can be enjoyed from the comfort of your home, we understand the urge stay in. This stay-at-home philosophy has trickled into some other peculiar aspects of life as well. But one thing we’re glad got the home-delivery treatment is vacations.
A Brief History of the Staycation
It all began in 2007. America was in the midst of its most severe economic crisis since The Great Depression. People were struggling to hold down jobs — they could barely afford fuel for their cars, let alone a fancy vacation out of town. This is when many Americans realised that their own cities offered a wealth of entertainment that they had overlooked in the midst of their hectic schedules. And theses experiences were often unique to their region, and cost-effective to boot. As the idea began to take off, more and more families hopped on the staycation station wagon.
In the movement’s infancy, families stayed in their own homes. Fun activities were rationed between daily duties such as summer homework and visiting relatives. The idea caught on, and families soon started treating staying in as a real vacation. They embraced the chance to be tourists in their own city — without the cost or stress of actual travel. The Staycation had evolved. Gone were its humble roots; instead it’s sole purpose was rest, relaxation, and family fun. Some fans of the movement even checked into local inns and hotels to really get into that vacation mood. Within a few years, the popularity of staycations had spread around the globe.
However, as the financial situation of the country improved, Americans could afford to travel again — and the future of the staycation seemed dismal. That’s when an old idea gained new popularity: short-term rentals.
Short-term rentals breathed new life into the staycation movement, combining the best parts of staying at home and travelling. The allure of these homestays can be traced back to the influence of staycations on the traveller’s psyche — after all, who doesn’t want to enjoy the comforts of home while exploring a new city? And for those who really want to feel like a native in these new locales, many of these rentals offer guidebooks containing the must-try experiences around town, or even offer themselves as tour guides. Through these immersive details, short-term rentals bring the staycation experience to any traveller, in any city.
Building the Perfect Staycation
For anyone looking to stay home for the holidays, there’s one element you absolutely can not compromise on: creating an itinerary. Like any vacation, a robust itinerary will allow you to account for free time while still incorporating everyone’s favourite activities — especially when stepping out of your home. This is your chance to experience a familiar place with new eyes. Budget time to try out all the kitschy attractions no local would set foot in or explore establishments that are famous in the neighbourhood. Once you start planning your adventure, you won’t be able to stop! But remember, this is a time for rest. Don’t forget to take some time out to relax — or the holiday defeats its purpose. Whether that means making an appointment at the local spa or staying in to read a book is up to you.
If you follow these tips, creating your dream staycation is simple — just make sure you have the right blend of entertainment and down-time. But if you’re still looking for a starting point, here are some great experiences that any first-time staycationer must try.
- Museums, art galleries, and historical structures: Understand the soul of your city by experiencing it first-hand
- National parks and botanical gardens: A breath of fresh air for anyone who enjoys the great outdoors
- Amusement parks, local fairs: An exhilarating option for young children and thrill-seekers
- Local tours: A window into the hidden nooks and crannies of any city
- Special classes: A great way to learn new and unique skills like pottery, acting, chocolate crafting, and more
And if you still need help finding the perfect experience, you can always consult the internet — services such as TripAdvisor list the best local experiences for you.
Whether you’re looking for a mini escape from your daily life, or just prefer to stay in rather than travel, the staycation movement opens up a world of possibilities right at your doorstep. So this holiday season, try something new and stay at home!