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What is a Staycation and How to Have One Close to Home?

BenQ
2020/08/12

For the first time in living memory, going on a vacation overseas or even domestically has become difficult to nearly impossible. The global health situation has created numerous barriers to travel in 2020, and instead of vacations a term we’ve nearly forgotten has re-emerged. Staycation! If you can’t go out to the world for whatever reason, bring the world to you. Have a vacation in your home town, locality, or even at home. It can still be a lot of fun, and if we’re honest, staycations tend to cost a lot less than traditional vacations. Plus they’re kind of safer. Now, we’re not encouraging anyone to become a long-term hermit. Eventually things will go back to normal and you’ll resume your globe-trotting vacationing. But for now, with the help of technology like portable projectors that create cinematic experiences at home, staycations more than fill the gap.

Shall we look at what a staycation is and why a staycation can relieve the 2020 blues and be a lot of fun while you’re close to home? 

 

a family enjoy staycation in a hotel with a portable projector

What is a Staycation?

So, what is a staycation holiday? Clearly a portmanteau of stay and vacation, staycation has several connotations. For some, it’s a vacation minus any long distance travel. Essentially having a vacation in your daily environs, the same area where you live and work. For others, and this may be growing in prominence these days, a staycation is literally staying put at home while going into vacation mode. That is to say, you’re home, but you’re not working from home or doing anything particularly constructive. You’re just relaxing and resting at home. You may even pamper yourself as you would in a resort or fancy hotel. While at home. Staycations don’t involve luggage, check-ins, passports, lengthy travel times, or delays. Unless you want to roleplay some of those, which you can, but we’d advise against it. 

Why Have Staycations Resurfaced from 2020?

Because proper travel-based vacations are nearly impossible right now. Domestic travel may be limited or just bothersome in many parts of the world, and international sojourns have become virtually untenable due to restrictions imposed by different governments. By late July 2020, international air travel was down roughly 80% compared to July 2019, and most of the 20% that remain were reserved for non-leisure travel. So staycations clearly have a role to play in a world where people still want to feel like they’re on vacation, but are compelled to stay close to home (or actually at home) due to factors beyond their control. We’re all in this together.

Cool and Totally Doable Staycation Ideas

Now that we have covered what is a staycation, what can you do while on a local or homey staycation? Let’s get you going in the right directions. And yes, that was plural, because there’s a lot you can do on a staycation. 

Local Museum Tour

Most people daydream about museums in far-flung places but forget that many places of knowledge remain open and available very close to home. Art, history, nature, technology (where you possibly could take in a display detailing the history of projectors!), and more. Museums cover a wide range of topics depending on where you are. And many offer a high degree of interactivity, which is especially great for kids. Staycations therefore can be educational. An edu-cation? No, that one’s already taken! 

Nearby Hotel

People have been doing this one for centuries. Hotels have a unique charm, and as soon as you step in the lobby, you’re already on vacation. Doesn’t matter where the hotel is, if it’s a remotely nice one, it could be across the street from your house, you’d still feel on holiday soon as you stepped foot through the door. So get a room, some room service, a spa, swim in the pool, enjoy the bar and restaurants. Who cares if the view from your hotel room is more or less the same as the one from your bedroom at home? You’re there to relax, unwind, and feel different. 

Backyard Dinner Party

A highlight of your staycation can be inviting family and friends to a nice meal right outside your home. Dine under the stars and enjoy good food with fine company. If you focus hard enough, it’s like having dinner at a resort, but infinitely more affordable! Plus, you control the menu and entertainment, which can be anything from music to movies. 

Outdoor Movie Night

Cinematic staycations call for excellent portable projectors designed for outdoor use. These light and durable fun enablers showcase big screen joy onto nearly any surface with bright projection. You could have a movie marathon thanks to long battery life and enjoy favorite films with your audience of choice. As for the “outdoor” part, it could be your backyard again or a local campsite, park, beach, and so on. At least going outside is still OK! 

Go Camping

Most places have relatively-untouched areas and campsites that make for a wonderful escape from the daily routine, even during these challenging times. Just because you’re only a few miles from home doesn’t mean you can’t feel lightyears away. Take a few days to set up camp, walk the woods, brush up on your outdoorsy skills, and maybe even enjoy some movies – again

Sightseeing Tour Bus

Wise people once said when you feel like a tourist in your home town, it’s time to leave. We don’t think those people had to live through a global health crisis with numerous restrictions on travel. In short, they were wrong. It’s perfectly fine to feel like a tourist at home once in a while, you may learn to appreciate your local area in a whole new light. Whether by yourself or with family and friends, going on one of those “touristy” sightseeing buses can be a lot of fun and very relaxing in a tense period for everybody. Hop on and start taking pics and videos – which you later can show off using your portable projector, naturally!

These are just some suggestions. We encourage you to come up with more staycation ideas, just be safe, courteous, and responsible while you’re at it! 

Preparation for a Staycation

Short and sweet, this tip is all about knowing that your upcoming staycation is indeed a trip. It may not involve much travel distance, but you’ll be going places you’ve never been before nonetheless. You’re not staying put, and you’re not doing the same old after-work ritual. This is something different. 

As we said, approach the staycation as you would a vacation. The first thing that entails is planning the budget. Whenever we budget for entertainment activities, we get in a leisurely mindset. Those old instincts will kick in and you’ll feel the vacation vibe coming on. Plan how much you’ll spend on food, lodging, shopping, and even travel (like taxis and buses). Write it down, create a spreadsheet…whatever works for you.

 

Similarly, create an itinerary. Don’t do anything vague, specify how long your staycation is going to be. If it’s one week, then plan activities for each day, for example the outdoors movie marathon for Thursday at 9pm. Having a schedule to keep is part of the thrill of a good vacation. Let’s all admit to this: one of the great things about vacations is that there’s never enough time to do everything we want to do. Which is what makes vacations so precious and memorable.

 

Equally important: pack. Yes, pack suitcases. This isn’t just role playing, it’s practical. It’ll help get you in the vacation sensation plus you will be away from home, even if it’s just a few miles down the road. For extra effect, pack things you’ve never taken on a vacation before. Since weight restrictions don’t really apply to staycations, why not take a mini drone, cool and durable portable projector, or Bluetooth speakers? Even your game console or streaming box can come along. Why not! 

Be a Tourist

We all have special tourist clothes we wear for vacations but not so much when at home. Wear those clothes. Additionally, behave like a tourist. We don’t mean be loud and ask the locals annoying questions. We mean don’t sleep at home and only go on familiar activities during the day. If hotels where you live are open, stay at the fanciest one you can afford. Drink coffee in the expensive lobby café, not your usual Starbucks or equivalent.

 

Eat at expensive restaurants you normally think of as tourist traps. It’s OK to fall into tourist traps when you’re a tourist, if we’re being honest. You’re not really on vacation if you’re saving money. You can save money by not going on vacation, but that’s kind of not the point of this article, and life’s really too short for all of that frugality.

 

Not all touristy activities have to cost a bundle. That park you pass every day on the way to work and never notice? Buy a sandwich and a drink and sit on a bench in that park for an hour, just soaking up the atmosphere. That street market you think of as cheesy and for out of towners? Go there. Become the out of towner. Buy souvenirs, silly souvenirs. They won’t seem so silly in a few years. You’ll appreciate them in a whole new light and have very fond memories of the moment you picked them up.

 

Embrace local traditions that seem cliched in normal times. Because in 2020 one can’t take anything for granted, local clichés may deserve to be cherished. So if your hometown specializes in cheesecakes and you haven’t had one because you scoff at them as gaudy tourist magnets, go to the most famous cheesecake place in town and indulge.

Be a tourist! 

Disconnect, Capture, and Reconnect

Even if you work from home these days, put all of that on hold for the duration of your staycation. Tell your coworkers you’ll be away, even if they walk past the window of that cheesecake place we just mentioned or see you eating that sandwich in the park. No matter. You’re on vacation. That means no emails, texts, messages, or calls. You’re not reachable. As far as work is concerned, you’re not five miles away, you’re on Mars. Disconnect from your daily life, and if you’re taking this staycation with other people, encourage them to do the same. After all, if a significant other or any person close to you keeps talking about work, you’ll soon find yourself drifting out of the vacation zone, and that’s not good.

 

Capture every beautiful moment, even if it’s places you’ve grown to take for granted over the years. Take lots of photos, stare up at tall buildings and pose next to statues. That’s what you do as a tourist and you’ll be surprised how much you overlook when you get used to a place.

 

Besides, taking lots of pictures means you can later share them with others on the big screen like the good old days when we had slides. It doesn’t get more touristy than that!

 

Reconnect to the places where you live and spend most of your life. When we have the option to travel overseas or far away from our homes, we gradually start to forget what makes our hometowns and home locales special. But there’s always something new to discover when you reconnect. There are plenty of streets you haven’t walked along. Restaurants, museums, galleries, shops…so many places you never even set foot in but always said you would. The staycation vacation is your opportunity to catch up with that backlog and make new connections with your home environment. You’d be surprised what new adventures await in your proverbial backyard. 

Share and Plan the Next One!

What do you do when you get back from a vacation? Why, of course share on social media. Do that. Don’t feel awkward just because you didn’t go to some “exotic” place. This isn’t a competition, and you don’t need to one-up your friends this time. Everyone’s in the same boat, few people can travel these days, and your social circle will be happy to share in your staycation action. And it’ll make the whole thing that much more memorable. There will be a record of what you did, which is an essential element of vacationing. People have always recorded their travels, yours is no exception.

 

Then, get in the habit of planning the next staycation/vacation. We’re not sure how long current conditions will persist, but in any case you know very well that one of the best parts of a vacation is already dreaming of the next one on the flight home. For your staycation, do the same. Begin planning a new one as soon as you’re back to your routine. Trust us, no matter where you live, you’ll be hard pressed to exhaust every vacation option in one go. There’s always plenty more to see, do, and experience.

 

In this life, the best part is looking forward to something good. 

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