5 Things To Do On Your “Staycation”

Dec 14, 2020

Elizabeth Houghton

Sutton Full Potential Founder

Lockdown, self-isolation, social distancing – with the pandemic overtaking all areas of normal life, these have become the ‘buzzwords’ in 2020. Self-isolation and social distancing can mean no travel, no holidays, no parties and no excitement at all, for most people.

The world is waiting eagerly for the post-COVID-19 era, where life will once again go back to the way it was before the onset of the pandemic. In the meantime, you don’t have to let self-isolation or lockdowns dampen your spirits. Even if it looks like you are going to be trapped inside your home indefinitely, you can make the most of this COVID era by taking a staycation.

A staycation, as the name suggests, is a stay-at-home holiday or a vacation you take at, or close to, your home. Many people opt to stay in their own homes overnight during a staycation. Others prefer to stay overnight at a nearby hotel that is within comfortable driving distance.

Why do you need a staycation?

Staycations are loved across the world for many reasons. While they typically involve going to a destination close to your home, it is possible to turn your own home into a holiday destination.

Apart from the cost savings associated with a staycation, here are some of the other benefits of holidaying at home:

  • Staycation eliminates the stress linked to organising a trip that involves finding suitable accommodation, elaborate packing to preparing a list of things to do and see in a packed schedule.
  • It allows you to do activities that may not have had the time for due to your busy schedule throughout the year – such as visiting the local museum, learning a skill, or practising a sport/activity.
  • Staycation helps promote the local economy. You can leverage the staycation to visit your local markets, farms, winery, or pick up gourmet meals from your local restaurant. Taking part in artistic courses or local events are other ways to boost the local economy.
  • Staycations are the perfect channels to rediscover or discover the beauty of your town, city, or region that you may have forgotten to notice or appreciate.
  • Staycation enables you to live in the present moment and make the most of your free time.
  • Staycations can be enjoyed at home or at a nearby location, which means they can be done over a weekend or in a day, with minimal travel. This ensures that you do not have to take time off from your work or miss important deadlines at work.
  • Since staycations involve visiting the local areas, most people are well-versed with the area where they live. It is also easier to find out which hotels or holiday homes are safe, clean, or reasonably priced. This makes planning a staycation easier and less stressful as compared to planning for a far-away destination.

When did the concept of staycation originate?

Although ‘staycations’ were considered to be a concept that has emerged in recent times, research indicates the term or concept can be traced back to 1944. The earliest written use of the word ‘staycation’ can be found in a daily newspaper called Cincinnati Enquirer where an ad proclaims “Take a Stay-cation instead of a Va-cation, this year.” It may have been an effort to save up on gasoline during the war. In 2005, the term made an appearance in the Alabama Times where it is described as a vacation where people stay at home.

According to other researchers, the term was first used in an episode of a Canadian TV comedy show broadcast in 2005. The Washington Post in August of 2005 carried an article where the writer says its “The perfect time for a ‘staycation,’ as the city empties and commuting becomes bearable.”

Staycation is also believed to have probably originated from the older term for a one-day vacation – the ‘daycation.’

From 2008 onward, the concept gained popularity as fuel prices increased and the economy weakened along with a growing “desire for family time.” In the UK, staycation refers to a vacation taken in the home country while the person taking such a vacation is called a staycationer.

Now that we are well-informed about the history of the staycation, we can move on to more important things – what can you do on a staycation?

Five things to do on your staycation

#1: Create a luxury suite and a spa

One of the easiest ways to enjoy a staycation at your own home is to convert your bedroom into a spa or a luxurious hotel room. Small changes are all it takes to turn your bedroom into a relaxing spa or a luxury suite. Light a few scented candles, place a few of your favourite chocolates at your bedside and add some moody lighting to bring on the staycation vibes. You can also spruce up your bed by adorning it with your best sheets and covers.

Plenty of potential exists for your bathroom to be converted to a makeshift, delightful spa. All you need are some aromatherapy body oils, hot stones, scented candles and perhaps some rose petals to get into the holiday mood. Go a step further and ask your housemate or a family member to give you a massage for the ultimate rejuvenation.

#2: Pick up from and support local restaurants

While in many cities, going out for dinner is not recommended given the social distancing restrictions in place, there are ways to support the local businesses – in this case, restaurants – without breaking the rules. Many restaurants are offering takeaways where you can pick up meals from a window or outside their premises by placing your orders over the phone. Walk over or drive in to pick up your gourmet meals.

Restaurants too have responded to the challenges posed by the pandemic by increasing sanitation, offering individual buffet items and creating single-use menus. If you do wish to dine out, you can check out restaurants with outdoor dining and wider space between tables. Australian restaurants are making the most of the situation by leveraging fresh produce and world-class ingredients to produce the best food offerings. The time has never been better to enjoy Australian delicacies ranging from fresh truffles to Abalone to marron.

#3: Practice yoga in your living room

Yoga’s popularity has skyrocketed in these COVID times and so have free and paid online yoga tutorials. Whether you are a beginner or a pro, there are plenty of options in terms of online yoga tutorials for all levels. From one-on-one tutoring, pre-recorded classes to paid live streaming sessions, the options are endless. You can also find some free online yoga classes and sessions on YouTube while special Yoga classes are also available for those self-isolating. Yoga not only will help you relax and unwind but keeps your joints flexible while giving your body and mind a holistic workout.

If you find searching YouTube tedious and boring, you can use free sites that catalogue an array of yoga videos that can be sorted by style, level and topic (“knee pain” or “detox”). Some of these sites allow you to save videos by adding to your list of favourites, which makes it easy for you to build a library of yoga videos.

Yoga can also be a great alternative for those not inclined to stick to their usual hardcore workouts. Calming deep breaths, gentle stretches and mindfulness that are central to yoga help relieve stress and anxiety you may be experiencing.

Of course, if you would like something more intense, you can download fitness apps or subscribe to online gyms where you can explore a range of workouts, such as strength training, Pilates and other workouts.

#4: Stay local

People in Australia are taking extreme measures to avoid crowds and stay isolated. Research shows more than half of Aussies prefer remote regional staycations that are not too far from their homes, outside of the regular hotspots. Staying local also has cost benefits attached to it and is an affordable option for many to get away without worrying about budgeting for transfers, overseas flights, visas and lengthy commutes.

With the advent of the Australian summer, there is also an unprecedented demand for holiday homes with a great number of Aussies looking to enjoy an extended staycation over summer. Recent trends show Aussies are booking larger houses to accommodate their extended family groups where groups of friends or generations of family seek to spend quality time.

While group travel in remote regional areas is trending, Aussies who are distrustful of shared public spaces and hotels are looking for private accommodations and holiday homes that offer one-on-one experiences, such as private yoga sessions and private dining experiences. Guests also are increasingly opting for pre-prepared meals and wellness packs, as well as less frequent housekeeping.

To optimise your staycation experience, it is important to plan ahead. A perfect way to ruin a holiday is to turn up at a hotel only to find it’s booked. Planning ahead will also help you get good deals in your favourite hotel. Use comparison sites to compare and find the best deals.

If you are wary of staying in a hotel, even if it offers intimate experiences, you can check out your own city or town and approach it with new eyes. Explore your city as a tourist and capture some interesting photographs for your collection.

#5: Take a road trip to a local winery

Most people are not comfortable with plane travel in the current times. It comes as no surprise that a majority of Aussies are hitting the road. Recent research shows that road trip destinations close to capital cities across Australia are trending. According to this survey, 70% of Aussies want to take a road trip to a nearby destination in the next twelve months.

Self-drive trips give you the freedom you need to get away from the hustle and bustle while self-catered apartments give travellers their own space and the flexibility of setting their own pace.

One of the most exciting things you can do on a staycation is to take a road trip to a local winery. There are more than 2500 wineries to explore in Australia, including the most popular ones in NSW, Hunter Valley, QLD,  Stanthorpe, and Margaret River, WA. The other places you can head out to for good food, great wine and a relaxing road trip are Orange, Dubbo, Kiama and Armidale in NSW,  Rockhampton, and Gladstone in QLD.

Make the most of your staycation

While the Australian summers are the best times during the year to plan your staycation, you can make the most out of it by turning off and unplugging from electronic devices, packing light and avoiding overwhelming yourself with a hectic itinerary.

Only pack the necessities, live in the moment and choose just one activity in a day – such as reading a book. Remember, a staycation is all about disconnecting from the usual stressors and reconnecting with your fun self.

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