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What are staycations

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If you are unable to take time off work or if you wish to celebrate a special occasion, then a staycation is a wonderful option. These are mini-breaks and can be either an overnight or weekend getaway. If you're in the city, you can book your stay during the off-season when rates are cheaper.

A staycation does not have to be close to your house but can be in another part of the locality that you do not have the chance to visit as frequently. The purpose of a staycation is to take a break from routine life or to celebrate a special event, so they are usually taken at hotels or Airbnb rentals. But a staycation can also be camping or glamping in the city.

Staycations are a good way to recharge without breaking the bank or waiting for your annual leave to be approved. Individuals can use the staycation to play tourist in their city or revisit some of their favorite haunts.

The rising trend of staycations

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While people have been taking staycations for years, it was always viewed as a luxury. However, since the pandemic, staycations have witnessed a strong surge in popularity because they offer all the benefits of a traditional vacation without having to board crowded flights or trains.

They have also gained popularity because they are easier to plan and execute. Since the emergence of work-from-home, staycations are the perfect excuse to disconnect and recharge. Although guests check in to a hotel or an Airbnb rental, staycations are less stressful due to the familiar surroundings of the locality.

Difference between staycations and vacations

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Mini-break in your city.

A holiday visit or travel to a new city or country.

Minimal travel time. You only need to cover the distance from home to the hotel.

Requires a flight, train, or road trip to cover the distance. It could take anywhere from a couple of hours to 24 hours to reach your destination.

Cheaper since no flight bookings are involved.

More expensive when taking flights and other means of transportation.

No vacation days are needed since it can be planned for a public holiday or a long weekend.

Need to use annual leaves since vacations are longer.

Can be an overnight or weekend stay.

Usually lasts anywhere between 7 and 14 days.

No travel fatigue.

The body takes time to adjust to a new time zone and some jet lag is experienced if traveling internationally. Driving for long hours can also be tiring.

Benefits of a staycation

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  • Short break

Instead of waiting for summer to take your annual holiday, a staycation allows people to quickly plan a short break. It can be an excellent way to disconnect and feel recharged in a new setting without worrying about daily chores and routines.

  • Less planning

Since a staycation takes place in your locality, it requires close to no planning other than booking a hotel or a rental. You would also already be aware of the places you plan to visit and the well-rated restaurants you would like to revisit.

  • Pocket friendly

A staycation is much more economical than a regular vacation even after splurging on luxurious accommodations. Being a local means you will not be purchasing tickets to all the popular sightseeing attractions in the city. Rather, you can visit your favorite spots, relax by the pool, or treat yourself to a spa.

  • Less travel

Since you are staying in your locality, you almost eliminate traveling other than the time taken to reach your hotel. It also means that you do not have to leave the house hours in advance to avoid traffic on the way to the airport.

  • Sustainable

Travelers who opt for a staycation do not board gas-guzzling airplanes, thus lowering their carbon footprint while enjoying some time off from their regular lives. When you visit your favorite places, you also help support local businesses.

  • Minimal packing

A staycation is a short trip, so it does not involve detailed planning or keeping in mind the weather conditions of a new destination. Even if your partner is surprising you with a staycation, it should take no longer than 30 minutes to pack a bag to impress. Or better still, make staycations a norm and keep a bag packed for when the mood strikes for a mini break.

  • No language barriers

There is no need to buy a language book to learn basic phrases or download an app to effectively be able to communicate with the hotel staff or the locals.

  • Good for mental health and well-being

Small breaks are good for your mental well-being and help you feel rejuvenated to tackle work after the getaway. They can also be a way to spend quality time with your partner or family and enjoy activities together.

  • Re-explore the beauty of the locality/neighborhood

Oftentimes, people forget the beauty and joy in their locality. A staycation allows one to reevaluate their perspective and observe the area from the eyes of a tourist. It is also a wonderful way of visiting your favorite places or trying new restaurants that you have not had a chance to visit due to busy schedules.

  • Allows you to bond with your loved ones

Leave the laptops at home and use the staycation to spend time with your family. It would be something as simple as a day at the pool or a day hike at a nearby state park.

  • Close to home in case of emergencies

In case anything goes wrong, you have the benefit of being in your locality with the number of your doctor and emergency contacts on hand. Staying within the area also lets you be close to the best hospitals and clinics you know.

Types of staycations

A staycation can be a solo break for an overwhelmed parent or a celebratory stay after a promotion or an engagement. Sometimes, the reason could simply be "just because." Let's take a look at some of the most popular reasons for a staycation

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  • Romantic

If your job involves late nights and frequent traveling, a staycation is a great way to spend quality time with your partner. Book a couples’ spa treatment, spend time by the pool, and order room service. Newly engaged couples can plan a staycation to celebrate the milestone privately before informing their friends and family.

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  • Family-friendly

Don’t wait for the summer holidays to take your annual vacation. Instead, plan a staycation for a break from a monotonous routine. If you live in Los Angeles, you could plan a trip to Disneyland with your family and stay in VRBO rentals close by.

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  • Relaxing

It could be your excuse to de-stress and spend some relaxing time. This could be soothing treatments in the hotel spa, a yoga retreat, or quiet hikes in the country. If you enjoy the tranquility of nature, a staycation could also be at a secluded cabin or a glamping spot.

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  • Nostalgic

If you have family visiting or friends who have moved away dropping by, a staycation can be a great way to spend time with them without worrying about meal prep and laundry loads. You can also take them to authentic local restaurants and have them experience some of your favorite parts of the locality. With repeat guests, it could be a chance to relive old memories.

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  • Active

Since most people now have sedentary jobs, with a large percentage working from home, physical activity has drastically dropped. A staycation could just be what you need to put on your walking shoes and re-discover your own city. Walk the night markets in Bangkok, hike to Arthur’s Seat in Edinburgh, or stroll along the Chicago Riverwalk.

Things to consider when selecting a hotel for your staycation

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  • Star rating and guest reviews

Since you are searching for a place to stay in your city, you already know the best areas. All you need to do is find the best property in the area. Star ratings and guest reviews are the best way to go about it. You can check reviews after filtering by luxury hotels, boutique hotels, or unique Airbnb rentals in your locality.

  • Amenities/services

Since staycations are meant to be mini breaks, the amenities at your hotel or Airbnb have to be top-notch. Therefore, make sure to check that the hotel you book includes all the amenities you are looking for. It could be an infinity pool, fine dining, or award-winning spa services. It is quite possible to spend the entire staycation without stepping food out of the property. Staycations should be relaxing and not stress you out further, so you can pick a place with an impeccable service record.

  • Dining/room service

Pick a property that offers room service or a place that offers 24-hour room service. You can wake up at a leisurely hour and enjoy breakfast in bed before deciding to head out for a stroll in a park, followed by a champagne lunch under the shade of a tree. A romantic rooftop bar or a cozy restaurant at the hotel also makes it easy to make romantic dinner plans.

  • Accessibility

If your partner or a family member is physically challenged, make sure to check accessibility features at the hotel. Also, check if accessibility services extend to amenities such as the pool and spa for a more inclusive experience.

A staycation might have seemed like a luxurious or frivolous concept a few years back, but as people around the world get busier, staycations have come as a saving grace. Not only are staycations easier to plan, but they are also cheaper than a vacation. The concept has gained popularity in all major cities around the world. Let's take a look at some of the top destinations for a staycation.

Staycation destinations in the US

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• Chicago, Illinois

Chicago is not just one of the largest cities in the country but also boasts one of the strongest economies with a significant contribution to the GDP. It is no surprise that staycations are a popular choice for a mini-break in the city. After all, in addition to being a major business hub, Chicago is also one of the top vacation destinations. Locals can pick from luxurious romantic staycations near the river and offer pools and decadent spa services. If cooking is your love language or if you are planning a staycation with family, then a luxury Airbnb rental might be better.

While here, you can revisit Garfield Park Conservatory, Shedd Aquarium, and Lincoln Park Zoo. If you love the outdoors but do not get enough time to enjoy it, spend a day at the lakefront Burnham Park, where you can swim, kayak, and picnic.

If you are planning on playing tourist in your city, downtown Chicago offers many things to do, including the best pizza spots.

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• Los Angeles, California

Los Angeles or LA might be all about the big screen, but there are several behind-the-scenes PR agents and managers who keep things running smoothly. A staycation in Los Angeles provides the perfect break without traveling too far that you cannot stop a celebrity PR disaster. The top staycation spots here are luxurious properties where you can spend a weekend without worry and be pampered with the best service. It is also possible to book some of the best hotels in Los Angeles without breaking the bank.

When you are a local here, you have bumped into countless celebrities, so most attractions you visit will take you away from the tourist trail. Use the break to head out to the beach and finally take that surfing lesson.

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• Seattle, Washington

Seattle has a strong economy, and it boasts of stunning outdoors, making staycations in the city all the more tempting. Top staycation spots in the city include historic and contemporary properties where guests can enjoy spacious interiors and brilliant views. If you love the outdoors, choose a glamping spot for a complete reset. Summers are the perfect time to hike in the city parks or drive up to one of the many state parks nearby, such as Tiger Mountain State Park.

If you are planning a staycation in December, you can participate in the Christmas Ship Festival, a fun Christmas tradition in Seattle. Alternatively, you can book tickets to watch The Nutcracker by Pacific Northwest Ballet, which is one of the best things to do over Christmas.

Staycation destinations in Canada

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• Vancouver, British Columbia

Vancouver is one of the most sustainable cities in Canada and offers abundant green spaces for its residents to take a break during stressful work days. But, sometimes, you just need a longer break to recharge mentally and physically. The top spots for staycation in Vancouver include pet-friendly rooms and waterfront locations. Use your staycation to make the most of the city’s wondrous outdoor spots and plan a picnic at Stanley Park or do a family hike across Capilano Suspension Bridge. In case you experience an unexpected downpour during your staycation, there are several things to do that keep you dry including a laser show. Skiing on Grouse Mountain, sleighing, and participating in the Ugly Sweater Christmas Party are some of the top things to do during winter when staycationing in Vancouver.

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• Toronto, Ontario

Canada’s business and financial hub is also one of the largest cities in North America. Excellent staycation hotels in Toronto help relieve the stress and allow locals to enjoy some time off without having to travel too far from home. Families can catch their favorite team playing ice hockey at Scotiabank Arena or spend a day revisiting Toronto Zoo. When you get hungry, head to Kensington Market for delicious world cuisine. If you are into horror and all things spooky, a haunted tour of Toronto is a unique thing to do in the city that you call home.

Staycation destinations in the UK

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• London

When staying in one of the largest cities in the world, sometimes you need a break to regroup and work on yourself, even if just for a weekend. Staycations in London can be posh hotels where you can stroll and explore a new neighborhood. Or, if you are up for something extraordinary, it is possible to rent an Airbnb houseboat in London. These cute spaces are well-furnished and offer a different perspective of the city. Some even include a hot tub.

There is no shortage of things to do in London, and the staycation can be used to reexplore the city at night, dine at rooftop restaurants, and sample some decadent desserts. Locals could also visit some of their favorite museums and London markets.

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• Manchester

One of the largest British cities, Manchester is also one of the fastest-growing economies in the UK. Locals planning a staycation in the city can book a romantic countryside hotel or choose a more centrally located hotel. If you are looking to blow off some steam, Manchester also includes some excellent party hotels and hotels with rooftop pools and bars.

Sometimes, people live in a city for several years without stepping foot in its famous cultural landmarks. If you are that person, a staycation is the perfect time to visit popular attractions such as Manchester Cathedral and John Rylands Research Institute and Library.

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• Cardiff, Wales

The bustling city of Cardiff is famous for its castles and is one of the most visited cities in the UK. Staycation hotels in Cardiff offer amenities such as heated pools, spas, and 24-hour room service. If you are looking for additional space, Airbnb rentals in the city might be better suited to your needs. Locals should pick from luxury hotels if they are celebrating a special occasion or hotels with a balcony if they want to appreciate the city they call home. If you manage to step out of the hotel, revisit your favorite castles and walking trails in Cardiff.

Staycation destinations in other parts of Europe

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• Berlin, Germany

A staycation in Berlin can be a chance to spend a romantic weekend with your partner at an adults-only hotel. If you live on the outskirts, an Airbnb rental in the city center is a great way to spend a few days. The city is packed with historical sights, and a staycation could make for an interesting lesson in history for children and expat families. Residents of Berlin also have an opportunity to stay in historic hotels. Moreover, a staycation could be your excuse for going off your diet for a couple of days and indulging in your favorite street foods.

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• Barcelona, Spain

The coastal city of Barcelona is famed for its art and architecture, but long-time residents can get so wrapped up in earning a living that they sometimes forget to appreciate the beauty around them. A staycation in Barcelona can be a magnificent stay for two at a hotel or a luxurious rental for a larger group. Use your staycation to act like a tourist and revisit the city’s famous landmarks, such as Sagrada Familia and Park Güel, during the day and sample its beach bars during the night.

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• Oslo, Norway

The Norwegian capital is one of the most sustainable cities in the world and is renowned for its green spaces. Nature lovers can pick from properties that guarantee scenic views from their windows. If you prefer a central location, it is best to choose from staycation hotels in Oslo. The city offers interesting things to do, including visiting your favorite sculptures at Vigeland Park, spending the day at Hovedøya Island, and catching a performance at the Oslo Opera House.

Staycation destinations in Asia

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• Jakarta, Indonesia

Jakarta is an amalgamation of cultures that reflect its past conquerors, but the city has emerged from its shadows as a powerhouse in its own right. But sometimes, locals might seek a quick escape from the vibrant metropolis to rejuvenate themselves. There are several luxurious staycation hotels in the capital, but since the capital region is so vast, residents might prefer to narrow down their search via West Jakarta or South Jakarta.

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• Manila, Philippines

The sheer size of Manila means that even locals do not get to travel to certain parts of the city. A staycation is the best way to experience the capital by choosing a hotel in a new and interesting location every time. This could be the best time to make a reservation at that fine dining spot you have been dying to go to or a themed cafe that has been the rage all over Instagram. A staycation can include visiting Intramuros, where residents can re-explore ancient landmarks with new perspectives.

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• Sentosa, Singapore

When Singaporeans and expat residents wish to take a break, they can leave the hectic streets of the main island and take the train to Sentosa. Guests booking a staycation in Sentosa are surrounded by countless entertainment options. Swimming, bungee jumping, and ziplining are just some of the options available on the island. If you are looking for something more laidback, grab a poolside lounger where the most strenuous activity is ordering cocktails.

Rediscover the love for your hometown with a staycation

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A staycation is not just an excellent way to take a refreshing break, but it can also be a way to refamiliarize yourself with your locality. Many times, locals forget to appreciate the attractions that others take flights to visit. So, why not indulge in a staycation? It's quick to plan and cheap on the pocket, perfect for relieving the stress and anxiety of modern living.

Staycations in the USA

Staycations in Canada

Staycations in the UK

Staycations in Other European Destinations

Staycations in India

Staycations in Other Asian Destinations

Staycations in Oceania

Staycations in Other Destinations

FAQ's about staycations

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