Why You Should Consider a Staycation for Your Next Week Off

We know that we need vacations from work to give our brains the occasional break and allow them to return refreshed. After all, we make better decisions when we’re not exhausted and overworked, and we’re healthier when we periodically take time to rest and recharge.

But what if you can’t afford a vacation? Or maybe the thought of traveling is stressful and overwhelming. Consider a staycation: time off from work, spent in the comfort of your own home.

Why Have a Staycation?

There are lots of great reasons to consider staycations, but here are my top two:

  • They can save you money. The cost of travel, hotels, meals out, and entertainment can make any traveling vacation a major expense. By spending your nights at home and grilling in your backyard, you can reap the benefits of relaxation and family time without having to restructure your annual budget.
  • They can be less stressful. How many times have you returned from a vacation and felt like you needed another one just to recover? Vacations provide amazing experiences, but they can also be overwhelming. Traveling, waiting in airports, and trying to keep overtired kids from coming unglued in public places can be exhausting.

Simply put, a staycation can give you many of the same benefits of a vacation while putting less strain on both your mind and your wallet.

How to Have the Best Staycation

It’s your staycation, so you get to make the rules based on your own priorities. Some people put relaxation above everything else. For others, family time is the most important element. Think about why you’re planning a staycation and what’s most important to you as you map out your week.

A little planning ahead can save you even more money. Make a plan for the activities and events you want to attend, and set a budget. Pack picnic lunches and bring along snacks to avoid the unexpected and spontaneous costs that can quickly add up to big expenses.

Here are a few other ideas for a great staycation:

  • Plan some activities in advance, but also allow unstructured time for everyone to do what they want.
  • Consider exploring your own town or neighborhood as if you were a tourist. Is there anything you can discover about your neighborhood that you never noticed before? What makes your town awesome?
  • Get out of your routine and set aside the chores. Meals will still need to be prepared, and laundry never ends, but unless cleaning out the gutters is fun for you, it might not be a staycation activity.
  • Do something special and different. Make a blanket fort in the living room. Have a scavenger hunt in the back yard. Blast some music and have a dance party with your kids.
  • Leave work at work. Put an away message on your phone, and stay off the work email. The whole point is that you get to have some downtime during your vacation.

A staycation is a great way to recharge and refresh, so when you return to work, you’re ready to get busy — not ready for another vacation.

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