I was late in life to catch the travel bug. As a terrible flier, not going somewhere that involved me boarding a tin can in the sky was quite easy a decision to make. But then travel pretty much became a way of life for my generation and you weren’t anybody unless you were taking a big trip at least once a year as well as frequently escaping somewhere wonderful for a quick weekend. Millennials may not be buying houses, but most of them are well-established jet-setters.
After all the United Nations estimates that 20% of all international travelers are millennials (approximately 200 million people) and 75% of young professionals in the U.S. see business travel as a major work perk and 65% consider it to be a status symbol, according to a recent survey commissioned by Hilton Hotels & Resorts. And let’s face it, traveling is awesome. Experiencing new and exotic places, people and things is incredible and if you are lucky enough to do it, you should do it. However, at the same time, traveling is still a pain. It is annoying, inconvenient, exhausting and sometimes dangerous.
That is why I opted for a staycation one weekend this summer. I could have actually gone to a fun wedding in New Orleans that weekend but it would have been a quick, turn around trip and just the thought of it was too much. So, I decided to stay at a hotel, about 10 blocks from my house (though many people just stay in their own homes for staycations) and it was one of the best decisions I ever made. I had been feeling particularly stressed and this was the weekend of relaxation I needed.
Here are some of the major benefits of a staycation:
1. It’s cheaper
Unless you go on a shopping spree or stay at the world’s most expensive hotel, a staycation is definitely cheaper. Even if you order meals out, you will inevitably save money by not taking a car, train or plane. According to the Simplemost/Don’t Waste Your Money 2017 Travel Survey more than half (52%) of respondents cited money as a travel stressor.
2. It’s easier to get there
No waiting in lines, no airport security (and feeling violated after), no screaming children (unless they are your own) and no jet lag that will mess up your body and your clock. Being able to walk to my destination with only one small overnight bag was utterly delightful compared to the hell I put myself through when I overpack.
3. Less planning is involved
Traveling is great but let’s face it, the planning of a big trip becomes a second job that you don’t get paid for. With a staycation, you can totally plan it out but if you don’t have an itinerary, you will probably come up with something else to do. Winging things is not as easy when you travel especially if your party is bigger than just you. You also don’t have to worry about meals as much because you know where to get what you like and not every meal needs to be a three-hour production. According to the Simplemost survey, 19% of respondents say logistics is a major stressor.
4. You know people on your staycation
It’s great to pull a Reese Witherspoon in Wild and find yourself by doing the whole solo travel thing, but sometimes you just want to be surrounded by people you know. You can travel with friends but that can be tricky to coordinate with everyone’s crazy schedules but it is easy to grab a drink with a friend if you both live in the same place.
5. You make discoveries about your hometown or city
When you do a staycation you may discover some hidden gems in your own neighborhood. For my staycation, I stayed at the Arlo Soho and discovered all the perks this charming hotel has to offer. In addition to its super fun rooftop, I also discovered this hotel is a great place to just hang out during the day (super sweet staff, chill and inviting lounges, free Wifi, beautiful people walking around, Monday movie night and you can bring your dog!) in case I ever need a daycation. It has also has a glamping section set up right in its courtyard so technically I went camping on my staycation without even leaving the city.
6. You can actually disconnect
Of course, you can disconnect when you travel but you have to make a real effort and you often need your phone and a Wifi connection to navigate and communicate but on a staycation, you may truly be able to unplug, even if it is just for a bit. Travel is great but I find I don’t truly relax on trips but if I am in a familiar environment where I know I can let my guard down, there are a whole lot more possibilities.
Consider a staycation if you are getting stressed out about planning a trip.