With the world in various stages of recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, vacation plans need to be adjusted. We are currently faced with what to do on a staycation or a mini vacation.
Either option is a fantastic choice and we will likely do both several times this summer.
We are planning at least one staycation idea with our daughter and her family as well as a mini-vacation with the grandkids.
There will also be several of both for just the two of us.
We are definitely looking forward to both staycations and mini-vacations, after all, summer was meant to be enjoyed right?
First, we need to clarify the difference between the two options for this summer.
What is a staycation
Wikipedia states that a staycation is a period in which a family or individual participates in leisure activities within driving distance of home and does not require overnight accommodation.
Based on that definition we have been taking staycations frequently without realizing it.
Every time we hop on the motorcycle and just go for a ride we are having a staycation.
It feels great to get out and explore our local area.
One time my husband had bought a new desk off Kijiji and we needed to go pick it up. It was about a 2-hour drive to go get it. Once there we drove around a bit and discovered a really great beach we would visit in the summer and likely take the motorcycle for a great day trip.
Remember when planning your staycation to unplug for the day and just relax.
When we plan a staycation, I might take a few pics to save the memories and they can always be used in future articles too, which is a bonus.
Other than the photos no work on staycation days and try to keep it to a minimum.
I find just getting out and about is so rejuvenating, I really feel refreshed and ready to get back at it afterwards.
What To Do on Staycation
There are literally tons of things to do on a staycation.
We live in New Brunswick, Canada and my husband’s mother lives in St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada and we ‘staycationed’ with her when she visited.
We visited several local tourist attractions and we all enjoyed them. We have learned so much about our local area’s history that we may not have learned otherwise.
We went to a local art gallery and tried new restaurants.
We drove a short distance and went to a historic park/museum where the staff dressed up in period costume and literally showed us how things were done in the days of the early settlers to the region. The women were spinning wool then knitting socks or cooking over a fire in the house fireplace. The men were making barrels by hand. Cutting lumber with a mill powered by a water wheel. There was even an early printing press and so much more. It was truly educational and we all want to go back again.
This year with our daughter’s family we plan on going ‘tubing’ down a local river.
Other staycation activities could include:
- spa day – either visit a local spa and pamper yourself or invite friends over and have a DIY spa day.
- try new recipes – invite friends over and together cook new recipes. Pick a theme and make several courses and drinks to follow the theme (Italian, Mexican, Moroccan)
- Movie time – Binge watch a series (Star Wars, Harry Potter) Make popcorn, stay in your PJ’s and enjoy with friends, family or spouse.
- backyard camping – pitch a tent and tell spooky stories by flashlight if your area does not allow campfires. You can even make smores in the microwave.
- rent a canoe or kayak and head out on a local river or lake.
- go on a picnic – pack up some food and head out to a local park
- check out the amusement parks that are fairly close to home
I only gave you a few suggestions but there really are countless things to do while on staycation and you are truly only limited by your imagination.
Whatever you decide to do remember to unplug and don’t check emails or think about anything work-related.
I realize that as a blogger it seems redundant to say no work when we know full well that the photos I take will likely be used in some future article but really I would likely be taking the photos anyways to savour the memories.
This is your time to have fun and relax and taking a few photos is fun but don’t get carried away.
What is a mini vacation
A mini-vacation is very similar to a staycation in that you do leisure activities within driving distance of home the difference is that you will require overnight accommodation.
A mini-vacation is usually 3 or 4 days in length and it really does give you the feeling of being on vacation.
Last weekend we took a little mini-vacation ourselves.
We are fortunate to have a 26′ McGregor sailboat, we headed out on the St. John River and spent 3 days sailing the local waters.
We slept on the boat quite comfortably and meal prep was a breeze as she has an alcohol stove and BBQ on board.
We enjoyed ourselves so much that we plan on taking the grandkids for an overnight adventure and even a longer trip for ourselves.
It was so peaceful and relaxing out on the water.
What To Do on a Mini vacation
Some ideas could include:
- stay in a local B&B and become a tourist in your area
- book a few nights in a luxury hotel
- swap homes with a friend for a weekend( be courteous and clean up after yourself)
- create a yoga retreat for you and your friends ( find videos on YouTube and set out your mats, have healthy refreshments and spa time afterwards)
Our daughter is planning a camping trip with her family. They will tent at a local campground for a few days and enjoy nature and each other. Their kids always look forward to camping.
Again the possibilities are endless and great imagination is all you really need to enjoy the perfect mini-vacation. Be sure to unplug and totally be present and enjoy this time for yourself and your family.
In these days of recovery after COVID-19, most people are struggling to get their finances back in order and we still have many necessary restrictions in place making travel difficult if not impossible.
There are many benefits to both ‘staycations’ and mini-vacations such as:
- Renews Energy – taking a mini-vacation or weekend getaway may be just what we need to boost our energy and improve our performance at work. We all are aware that simply going somewhere different or trying something new ads excitement to our lives. This excitement stays with us once we return home.
- Resets the mind – we are constantly bogged down with never-ending to-do lists, calendar reminders, and all sorts of distractions pulling us in every direction. We need to take time away from these stresses and reset our minds and get focused again on what is important to us.
- Rewards hard work – we tend to get caught up in spending hours after work, working to meet deadlines. This habit of taking work home with us eventually takes its toll. We need to take a break from work, cell phones, computers and any other devices we have running. Think of this deserved break as a reward for all the hard work you every day.
- Reconstructs goals – you can use some time during a mini-vacation to write our new or existing goals and the steps to achieve them. Be specific and ensure you make at least one goal for every area of your life: physically, financially, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally.
- Recaptures youth – we tend to get so focused on work on projects and meeting deadlines that we don’t take time for play. Mini-vacations give us a time and place to kick-back, relax, and just have fun for a change. Allowing our inner child the time it deserves for that bike ride, ice-cream, or days of exploration and wonder is such a fun way to relieve the stresses of our busy lives.
- Reduces stress – we all know that stress is a leading cause of obesity and many life-threatening diseases. Taking a min-vacation of staycation gives you plenty of time to relax with a massage, join a yoga class or meditation retreat. Plan these times to purposely reduce stress and take time to relax.
- Reconnects with loved ones – vacationing with friends and family gives you a chance to re-connect with each other. Min-vacations are the perfect time to encourage deep discussions, enjoy quiet moments of contemplation, and just enjoy being together.
- Saves money – a staycation or mini-vacation is a much more affordable vacation idea. Without having to pay for plane tickets or expensive resorts, you could have 2 or 3 staycations rather than 1 vacation.
By staying home or close to home we can get caught up in these common pitfalls, so beware.
- do not check work emails or do any form of work while on your staycation or mini-vacation
- just because you are home does mean get caught up on chores around the house and yard(that is not vacation activities)
- vacations take planning. Go to the local tourist information center and find new things to do or places to visit that you have never been to.
- decide ahead of time if you will be going overnight and if so book your accommodations
- will you have a picnic lunch or explore new restaurants (picnics require you pack some food)
- if outdoors be sure to have sunscreen and sunglasses with you
With the proper planning, your staycation or mini-vacation can be full of fun and adventure with minimal expenses.
What to do on staycation or mini-vacation really isn’t a problem if you exercise your imagination.
I have shared with you several fun and affordable options to choose from although I am sure you can easily come up with your own ideas.
When I was a kid I used to take a book and climb my grandmother’s pear tree. I would stay up there all day reading and would simply grab a pear if I got hungry. To me, it was fun that she never knew where I went and my grandfather would find me at the end of the day by the telltale pear cores on the ground below the tree. Even as a kid I found a way to have a fun staycation.
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What will you do for vacation this year?
Will you choose a staycation?
Or a mini-vacation?
What ideas do you have for fun activities?
I hope you enjoyed my article today…
I would love to hear your ideas, please share them below.
Stay safe and have fun.