Have you considered foregoing the stress of holiday travel and staying in town for your vacation this winter? If a winter staycation is a possibility but you’re wondering just what there is to do that’s just as much fun as going to a tropical island or resort, we have some suggestion of wintertime activities available right in your area that can be just as fun (and a lot less hassle) than traveling out of state or across the country.
- Check into a luxury hotel. Just because you stay in town doesn’t mean you can’t be spoiled. Is there a 5-star hotel in your town you’ve always wanted to check out? Why not take the money you would spend on airline tickets, car rentals, and activities and use it to stay in a hotel that would normally be out of your price range? Many hotels have post-holiday specials, whether on their websites or through discount sites like Groupon, offering reduced rates, package specials, and extra amenities to help keep their rooms booked in the slow season. Check with the hotel you’d like to stay in for any unadvertised manager’s specials they may be offering. Order a taxi, Uber, Lyft, or even splurge on a limousine ride to get you there and arrive in style. Luxuriate in a bed you don’t have to make every day, enjoy time in the hotel pool, jacuzzi, steam room, sauna, or gym, order room service, gift yourself with a professional massage, facial, or hair appointment in the hotel salon. Put on your fanciest dress and visit the dining room and bar, or spend time people watching in the lobby. You can live like a celebrity for a week right in your own city, and afterward be able to speak knowledgeably about the hotel to out of town friends who may be considering a visit.
- Get cultural. Most cities have local museums, art galleries, civic centers, and historical societies. Why not find out what your town has to offer in the way of culture? You can discover unknown treasures of talent that exist right in your own backyard. Visit the facility website or call the front desk to find out what exhibits they are currently hosting, any specials or discounts available, and if they are observing holiday hours. If you have children, take them along. This is a great way to expand their horizons beyond what they learn in school and can be a wonderful bonding activity. If you’d rather have the freedom to gaze at an art piece on your own until you’ve had your fill, one of the benefits of staying in town is having access to your regular babysitter!
- Take on a show, or several! Find out what’s playing at your local theater, dinner theater, concert hall, or civic center. Many of us don’t take the time to attend concerts, plays, or live music, yet these activities can be extremely fulfilling. If you are not spending money on travel, hotel accommodations, transportation, and out of town activities, you can spend that money on local entertainment. Check out your favorite band’s touring schedule to see when they’ll be in or near your city, and plan your staycation accordingly. Arrange sleepovers for the kids and enjoy a hard-earned night out on the town.
- Plan a couple’s weekend. Speaking of sleepovers, if you have friends, relatives, or grandparents who can take the kids for a weekend, why not include some couples’ time in your staycation? Tell everyone (except the babysitter) that you’re going to be “out of pocket” for a couple days, and plan some alone time with your spouse. Reserve a table at that restaurant you’ve been wanting to try, book a room at a hotel, take in some live music you both enjoy, go dancing, take a chauffeured drive around town, and focus on each other. Sleep in and enjoy some private snuggle time, undistracted by kids or daily chores. A weekend like this can help remind you why you chose to spend your life together.
- Take a class or seminar in an area of interest. Is there a subject you’ve been meaning to explore? Why not take a staycation and indulge yourself in learning a new skill or hobby? Take an art class, attend a seminar on interior design, take skiing lessons, or attend a DIY instructional session at your local home goods store. Choose something you have an interest in, and pursue learning more about it. You may discover you have hidden artistic or musical talent, a flair for flower arranging, or a knack for building things.
The object of taking a vacation is to break from your normal routine and engage in activities that relax, inspire, and revitalize your mind, spirit, and body. You don’t have to spend thousands of dollars or travel thousands of miles to achieve those goals. This winter, why not plan a staycation and enjoy a break from it all right at home?