Staycationing is not a new phenomenon, though we've only recently slapped a name to it. Most simply, it's a vacation spent either at
your home. As opposed to far
from your home. For more on near versus far, consult Grover
. For more on staycationing, keep reading.
A staycation can take many forms, from a relaxing spa-type getaway in your very own (unplugged) home, to a day spent exploring the city like a tourist. One might visit museums, eat at the finest local establishments
, attend concerts
and festivals in the area, picnic in the public parks, photograph the landmarks, or simply never leave the house. For a week. Just don't do chores.
Why a Staycation?
1. Your Pocketbook - Becoming a tourist in your own city saves you money. Travel expenses are greatly diminished - no car rentals, plane rides, or multiple gas station stops. Hotels aren't necessary (though they can be a nice splurge), and you can spend less on food if you still have some meals at home (just remember, this is supposed to be a VACATION from work and chores!).
2. The Environment - In addition to saving money, you are also reducing your carbon footprint. Avoiding long trips - regardless of your mode of transportation - means that you are limiting your own damage to our planet.
3. Your Community -
All that money you save can be pumped into your own community! Just think, you can give back to the place you call home by doing something as simple as buying things! According to the folks at Keep Louisville Weird
, buying local is the way to go. It promotes diversity in available products, encourages support for community causes, and contributes to the local economy.
And just to be clear: by "local," I do NOT mean your local Starbucks. I mean your local Hobknobb Roasting Company
4. The Attractions - So many of us just go through our daily routine, monotonously sticking to what we know. Think of your ideal vacation destination. Chances are, there are people who actually live there. People live in Italy, the Alps, the mountains, near beaches, and in major cities like New York. Tourists come to these places, and often visit attractions the locals never even bother to see. Sad.
What wonders are in your own backyard, I ask?
We here in Southern Indiana and the Greater Louisville Area have so many wonderful touristy opportunities and venues to explore. Staycation to wine country? Check
. Is spelunking more up your alley? We have that too
. How about a relaxing retreat at a cozy, romantic, secluded cabin? Oh, yes.
Theme park with the world's largest water coaster? Indeed
You cannot do any work. None. Put that web-enabled device down. Treat this staycation like you would a regular vacation, and leave it all behind. Set your email to automatically generate an away message to anyone who tries to contact you. And then don't check it. This is sometimes easier said than done. Some people have those sorts of high-powered jobs that they just can't possibly leave behind for long stretches of time without the real danger of something imploding, or exploding, or just falling apart.
Others like to think they have those kinds of jobs. Just tell your boss and coworkers that you are on vacation. They don't need to know it's a staycation.
But keep in mind, putting work away for the week - or even the weekend - means more than putting away your paid labors. You need to avoid the chores, too. So if it's your job in the family to cook the meals, don't. Yes, it would be a nice vacation if you had a fancy breakfast in the morning, just like you would at a bed and breakfast. But it's not a vacation if you're also the help. Or the houskeeper. If your job is to wash the clothes, don't. Don't clean up after your family, either. In fact, perhaps you should spend some of that money you're saving by staying home to have a cleaning service come in and get your house all spic and span beforehand, so there's no distracting messes. Vacations are breaks from our everyday labors - whatever those labors might be, and however much we claim to enjoy them.
If you want some snazzy ideas for how to live it up right here in the Sunny Side of Louisville, then stay tuned. Every Wednesday in the month of May will feature a new staycation plan, ranging from romantic couple getaways, to single in the city, to fun for the whole family.
[photo taken at Charlestown State Park by Angie Andriot]