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Top Tips for Staycations

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Vacation or staycation?

Time off whether far away or close to home is essential for work-life-relationship balance. Families used to take summer vacations. Who can forget classic vacation-themed movies of the 80’s from National Lampoon, Chevy Chase, and John Candy?

Today the reality is many people hate to fly, are not inclined to drive long distances, or like one-third of Americans, can’t afford to use vacation time. Without a vacation recharge, research shows job burnout, decreased work efficiency, and relationship strain with bosses and coworkers are real. These problems impact family dynamics and personal relationships as well.

Negative emotions and chronic stress coupled with a constant focus on work produce downward spirals in mental wellness and physical health. Lethargic moods, aches and pains, and reduced resistance to illness are a tough price to pay.

A weekend or weeklong staycation can reset attitude, re-energize the body, and open our eyes to rejoice in life’s simple pleasures.

To be sure, a staycation is not about working from home. Nor is it for cramming errands and home improvement projects into a short window of opportunity. You want a staycation to be a well-thought-out and planned experience.

How do you have a successful staycation?

  • Plan with intention. Focus on your goals for the staycation. Explore things to do in advance and make a list. Consider the interests and passions of all participants. Involve kids (if you have youngsters) in the planning phase.
  • Don’t be stingy with budget or indulgences. Though you will be based at home, expect to eat some or most meals out. Explore your city like a tourist. Budget for splurges like art or cooking lessons, a spa day, tickets to a show or theme park, or fees to parks, museums, and special events. A longer staycation may involve an overnight hotel room or campground reservation.
  • Cash in on deals. Spend money wisely. Look for coupons, offers, and saved up reward points on credit cards and amenity programs to use for your staycation.
  • Assume your getaway mode. Untether from your phone. Disengage from constant interaction with social media, emails, and mindless scrolling and texting. Leave a work voicemail and electronic alert communicating availability -- what merits a text and what will be handled upon your return.
  • Let go. Change up your schedule. Sleep in or stay up late. Learn something new. Do something fun you miss because of your regular obligations. Refresh friendships and meet up to cook, eat, or play together.

Need activity ideas? The top-ranked staycation cities are Orlando, Honolulu, Chicago, Seattle, Portland, Tampa, Las Vegas, San Francisco, San Diego, and Charleston. Obviously, these are easy places to assume the role of tourist and sleep in your own bed at night.

What if you don’t feel like taking a day trip getaway? Check out day spas and wellness retreats, new restaurants, museums, historical sites, and places to hike, bike, and otherwise stimulate the brain in your own community.

Have a goal. What do you want to achieve? Embrace the opportunity to rest and recharge, do some solitary soul searching, tap into creative exploits, reconnect with loved ones, or even master the art of doing nothing if that is your guilty pleasure.

Intuitively, most people need a balance of productive activity and relaxing downtime to function optimally. A well-planned staycation can refresh you mentally, physically, and emotionally. Trust us, your family, friends, and colleagues will appreciate the newly refreshed you that emerges.

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