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How to Plan a Great Staycation

 The idea of a staycation was once fresh and new, but these days, it might feel a little bit stale. All the same, it's undeniable that you can save both money and stress by vacationing at home. In fact, one of the advantages of the staycation is that if you've had a bad week at work, you can get away from it all even if you're broke or every desirable place within a few hours' drive is booked solid. Of course, the drawback is that it can be hard to genuinely get away from it all. To ensure that your weekend-not-away feels special instead of punitive, follow the tips below.

Defer the Dream Trip

First of all, you deserve a reward for your discipline. Think of this not as denying yourself a nice weekend at the beach but as holding off on small getaways so you can take that big dream trip. Whether that's a photo safari in Africa, a trip to Yosemite or a tour through Tuscany, make that your goal and put the money that you save toward it. This gives you a sense of purpose. You can also look at ways to reduce your overall spending as well. Find out if you can save money by refinancing your student loan with a new lender and minimize the payoff time. Cycle to work instead of driving. Convince your friends to have potlucks instead of always meeting for dinner.


If you're going to do this, you need to commit. That means turning off the phone, ignoring work, and genuinely unplugging just as you would do if you were on a real vacation. Tell people you're actually going out of town if that's what it takes to get the down time that you need.

Create Experiences

If you're the kind of person who loves to be pampered on vacation, make sure you do it for yourself. Get some nice scented soaps and luxuriate in a bubble bath. Put clean sheets on your bed. If you're more of a roughing-it type, camping in the backyard isn't just for kids. In fact, this can be a great opportunity to try out some new equipment before you take it on the road. In addition, look for opportunities to do something different. The market in virtual experiences has exploded, and you could do everything from an online cooking class to an escape room with friends. If you want to avoid screens and immerse yourself in the real world, look for a walking tour in your city or visit a local park you've never been to before.


One problem with the staycation is that it can be all too easy to try to turn it into something productive. Resist the urge. If you truly find that you can't be happy unless you're doing a little DIY on your home, you'll find out, but give relaxing a genuine try first. Lie in a hammock all day and read a book. Watch every episode of your favorite TV show without guilt. Make your staycation all about you. You may be surprised at how refreshed you feel at the end of it all.

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