A family doing gardening together

The staycation, or the art of spending your holidays at home

With the limitations caused by COVID-19, the staycation promises to be on trend this summer. You aren’t familiar with this form of enjoying your vacation? Here are my tips to organize a staycation that is both relaxing and entertaining.

What is a staycation?

The term staycation arises from the fusion of words stay and vacation.

The idea behind this phenomenon is to take advantage of a period of vacation near home. This allows you to better explore your neighborhood, city or area as well as to enjoy the entertainment and attractions that are offered since it is rarely possible to do when working.

What are the advantages of a staycation?

  • We optimize our time because we reduce our commute.
  • We encourage the local economy.
  • We reduce our ecological footprint by limiting our trips and meals on the go, which often involve single-use plastics.
  • We avoid the work associated with packing luggage or planning an itinerary.
  • We save because vacations close to home are generally much cheaper than stays overseas.
  • We rarely sleep better than in our own bed, so rest is guaranteed, since you can come home every evening.

How to have a successful vacation at home?

  • A staycation might seem easy to plan, but to make sure this rest period meets your needs, here are a few tips to help you:
  • Set a start and end date for your vacation.
  • Avoid doing ambitious household chores during this time so that you really feel on vacation.
  • Plan a few original activities to have new experiences and avoid being tempted by the television or hobbies that you already devote to everyday life.
  • Make reservations. The fact of having certain prepaid activities will certainly motivate you to leave the house!
  • Make sure you don’t have access to your work emails and turn off your notifications.
  • Prepare an out-of-office message for your voicemail and e-mailbox and allow yourself to be unreachable as if you were abroad. Trust your colleagues to take over.

10 suggestions for activities to do during a staycation

The concept of staycation is still abstract for you? Here are some ideas to make you want to plan a vacation close to home:

Explore new restaurants

A break from meal preparation is always welcome, especially when you are off. Why not take the opportunity to discover new restaurants in the area? You could take your meals to go and enjoy them in a park. Some restaurants even offer boxed lunches for picnics with friends!

Become a tourist in your own city

Get a tour guide and explore your own city or get inspired to find activities that interest you. For my part, I particularly like to follow the suggested routes to explore the downtown area. You can also visit the website of your region for suggestions of places to visit and activities to discover.

Try a new sport activity

Whether it’s cycling, paddle boarding, canoeing, hiking, etc., the practice of a sport will allow you to keep fit while motivating you to enjoy the good weather during your vacation. Now is a good time to discover new activities that you have not yet dared to try!

Sleep under the stars

For one or more overnight stays, get out of the comfort of your bed and treat yourself to an experience in nature. Whether in a tent or in another type of shelter (yurt, refuge, etc.), a night in the open air will break your routine and make you experience a little change of scenery.

Spend a night at the hotel

If you don’t feel ready to sleep in a tent, a night at the hotel can fill your need to get away from it all, while maintaining a level of comfort you are happy in.

Read a good book

Take the time to visit a local bookstore and seek advice for book suggestions that suit your current tastes and aspirations. Book in hand, find a peaceful corner and treat yourself to some reading and relaxation.

Start a personal project

Do you dream of writing a novel, organizing your old photos, getting into gardening, preparing a bucket list of your next travel destinations or redecorating your room? Whatever project you would like to carry out, now is a good time to act!

Pamper yourself

Whether it’s time for a massage, a hot bath or a visit to the hair salon, be sure to schedule moments entirely devoted to your wellness.

Go on an adventure

Go discover a park in your area that you have never been to and enjoy a day outdoors to explore the hiking or cycling trails. You could also use the services of a guide to learn more about the flora and fauna of the region.

Support a local business

You could:

  • Take a tour of the cafes in the city
  • Visit a nearby farm
  • Take a cooking, music or yoga class
  • Visit the museums in your city
  • Go fruit picking if the season permits
  • Go shopping

Staycation challenge

When I’m on vacation abroad, there is one thing that I always find unsettling and that is the lack of WIFI. If I’m in a place where there’s no cellular network, I tend to “disconnect” from everyday life more quickly and very easily, and that’s something I really appreciate.

For my vacation in Quebec, I therefore challenge myself to turn off my cell phone and take time off from social networks for a few days to take full advantage of this time. Will you be tempted to do the same?

Gabrielle Asselin