Staycation: An Economical Travel Idea for Seniors

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Is a staycation for you? If you a senior who loves to travel but hates the hassle of airports, hotels, and long-distance trips? Do you want to explore new places and enjoy new experiences without breaking the bank or risking your health? If so, a staycation could be just the ticket for you.

What is a staycation exactly? It’s a vacation on your home turf. You stay close to home and discover the hidden gems in your own backyard. No need to book a hotel (although you could).

A staycation is not just a cheap alternative to a traditional vacation. It can also be a fun, relaxing, and rewarding way to spend your time and money. Here are some of the benefits of choosing a staycation over a regular vacation:

  • Save money on transportation, accommodation, and other travel expenses.
  • Reduce your environmental impact by avoiding air travel and car rentals.
  • Support your local economy by spending money at local businesses and attractions.
  • Avoid the stress and hassle of packing, planning, and traveling.
  • Have more flexibility and freedom to customize your itinerary and pace.
  • Enjoy the comfort and convenience of your own home and neighborhood.
  • Invite your friends and family to join you or visit you during your staycation.

How to Plan a Successful Staycation

A staycation can be as simple or as elaborate as you want it to be. You can choose to stay at home and enjoy your hobbies, watch movies, read books, or do nothing at all.

Or you can venture out and explore the nearby attractions, such as parks, museums, restaurants, theaters, or historical sites.

The key is to make your staycation feel like a real vacation by doing things that you normally don’t do or haven’t done in a long time.

Here are some tips on how to plan a successful staycation:

Choose something a bit out of the ordinary

Try something you haven’t done for a long time to make your staycation special. For example, treat yourself to a special night out on the town. Perhaps a trip to the symphony, taking in some theatre, or an interesting lecture.

Woman giving an interesting lecture to a theatre audience
Woman giving an interesting lecture to a theatre audience-By Egizu-https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/legalcode; https://live.staticflickr.com/7863/47432449762_8c17f3a2f9_b.jpg

Or maybe there’s a local art gallery or museum you haven’t been to in years.  The money you save by not traveling could allow you to do all three! Culture awaits!

Woman looking at a colorful painting in an art gallery
Photo by Matheus Viana from Pexels: https://www.pexels.com/photo/woman-looking-at-paintings-2372979/

Set a budget and stick to it

Decide how much you want to spend on your staycation and allocate it accordingly. You can save money by using coupons, discounts, or deals for local attractions and services. You can also use apps or websites that offer suggestions for free or low-cost activities in your area.

Do some research and make a list of things you want to do or see

You might be surprised by how many interesting and exciting things there are to do in your own city or town. Use online resources, such as TripAdvisor, Yelp, or Google Maps, to find reviews, ratings, and directions for local attractions.

You can also ask your friends, neighbors, or relatives for recommendations or join a local group or club that organizes outings and events.

Schedule your activities and book them in advance

To avoid disappointment or frustration, check the availability, hours, prices, and policies of the places you want to visit. You can also reserve tickets, tables, or spots online or by phone if they require booking. This way, you can avoid long lines, crowds, or sold-out situations.

If your budget allows, book a hotel or BnB for a nearby weekend getaway. Sometimes just being in a different environment where people serve you is a refreshing change. Make it one near the activity you want to book. That way, if there is alcohol involved, you don’t have to worry about driving home. Always nice to have that second drink! Especially since you are on a Staycation!

Pack a bag with essentials and treats

Even though not traveling far, you might still need some items to make your Staycation more enjoyable and comfortable. Some ideas of what to bring with you:a camera, water bottle, hat, sunscreen, snacks, books, games, or music.

A nd why not treat yourself to some special items that you don’t usually buy or use at home? A little indulgence makes your staycation more fun!

Woman treating herself to chocolate and a glass of wine
Woman treating herself to chocolate and a glass of wine – Photo by cottonbro studio from Pexels: https://www.pexels.com/photo/a-person-eating-chocolates-and-drinking-wine-while-in-their-pajamas-6717407/

For example, a box of fancy chocolates, wine, candles, or bath products.

And sometimes it’s nice to have a smal cozy blanket of your own. I love the one below because it’s just the right size to snuggle up in and soooo soft! It also doubles as a pillow which is great for longer trips involving air travel.

Soft & Warm Travel Blanket for Airplane & Car
$20.99

Soft & Plush Blanket

Doubles as a Compact Pillow

Great for Travel - just 1.28 lbs.

Has a Luggage Sleeve to attach to your suitcase

Or a Backpack Clip to take on hikes

100% polyester

High quality - won't shed

Available in Pink, Black, Navy and Gray


Buy Now
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
05/16/2024 07:16 am GMT

Invite your friends and family to join you or visit you during your staycation.

Love to entertain in your own backyard? Extend the season of your backyard patio with the added warmth of a deluxe outdoor heater. The money you save on travel expenses will easily pay for it.

Amazon Basics 46,000 BTU Outdoor Propane Patio Heater with Wheels Amazon Basics 46,000 BTU Outdoor Propane Patio Heater with Wheels
$164.99
  • SOOTHING WARMTH: Outdoor gas heater for cozy warmth when sitting outside; ideal for cafes, restaurants, and home patios
  • EASY TO USE AND MOVE: One-touch ignition button for quick start ups; wheels for maneuvering into place
  • POWERFUL HEAT: 46,000 BTUs for heating up to a 9 foot radius; adjustable temperature knob for controlling the output
  • SAFETY FEATURES: Tilt safety auto-shut off valve; water box for weighing down the base and wheel kit; chain included to secure the tank
  • DURABLE EXTERIOR & REQUIRES: Powder-coated finish in Slate Gray for lasting strength; 20 pound liquid propane gas tank to operate (not included)
  • PRODUCT DIMENSIONS: 7.6 ft High; In inches: 32.1 x 32.1 x 91.3 inches (LxWxH)
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
05/15/2024 07:01 pm GMT

Play Games!

Play is something we adults don’t usually get enough of. But mental health experts praise its benefits for reducing stress and anxiety. It’s also good for keeping our minds sharp. The most important thing, however, it’s fun!

Board Games

One of my favorite games as a child was Clue. I loved that it involved strategy and was different from the typical board games of the time. There are updated versions but this is one that stays close to the original, plus adds a card-revealing mirror for extra fun.

For more options, and perhaps a trip down memory lane, check out this list of The Top Ten Board Games Of All Time.

Pickleball

One game that has been catching on like wildfire in the last few years is pickleball.

I got my first taste of the game when I was on vacation at a resort that gave free lessons. It was a lot of fun. But this is also a great activity for your staycation. If this idea appeals to you and you could use some more social connection and exercise, there is probably a pickleball court in your area. Often they are just tennis courts that have the pickleball boundaries added. (They are shorter so less frantic running!) It could be a great past-time for your stayvacation – or all year round!

I love the set below because they look so pretty. But they are also lightweight, are USAPA Approved and highly recommended by players.

We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

One of the things I was never was great at in tennis was the overhand serve. My opponent would win the game just on the basis of her wicked serves. Not so in pickleball. All serves are of the underhand variety. Makes for a lot more fun volleying back and forth! If you’re a beginner, here’s a nice concise video that gives you the basics:

Definitely disconnect from work and routine! 

One of the main goals of a staycation is to relax and recharge. To do that, you need to disconnect from your work and routine as much as possible. That means turning off your phone, email, and social media notifications; avoiding chores and errands; and delegating tasks to others if necessary.

You can also set an out-of-office message or inform your colleagues that you are on vacation and will not be available until a certain date.

Staycation Ideas for Seniors

If you need some inspiration for your staycation activities, here are some ideas that are suitable for seniors:

  • Take a walking tour of your city or town. You can join a guided tour or create your own using maps or apps. You can learn about the history, culture, architecture, or art of your area while getting some exercise and fresh air.
  • Visit a museum or art gallery. You can choose one that matches your interests or try something new. You can admire the exhibits, join a workshop or lecture, or buy souvenirs at the gift shop.
  • Go to a park or botanical garden. You can enjoy the beauty of nature, have a picnic, feed the birds or squirrels, or join a yoga or meditation class.
Woman enjoying a lush botanical garden
Photo by Mark Neal from Pexels: https://www.pexels.com/photo/woman-walking-near-plants-2009974/
  • Try a new cuisine or restaurant. You can expand your palate by trying dishes from different countries or regions. You can also splurge on a fine dining experience or order takeout from your favorite place.
  • Watch a movie or show at a theater or cinema. You can catch up on the latest releases or classics that you missed. You can also watch a live performance of a play, musical, comedy, or concert.
  • Pamper yourself at a spa or salon. You can treat yourself to a massage, facial, manicure, pedicure, or haircut. You can also relax in a sauna, hot tub, or pool.

Woman adding design to her pottery plate
Woman adding design to her pottery plate-Photo by Anastasia Shuraeva from Pexels: https://www.pexels.com/photo/person-painting-on-wet-clay-plate-5566959/

Summary

A staycation is a vacation is an opportunity to discover the hidden gems in your own backyard. It can be a fun, relaxing, and rewarding way to spend your time and money. Especially as a senior who loves to travel but hates the hassle of airports, hotels, and long-distance trips.

To plan a successful staycation, you need to set a budget, do some research, and make a list of things you want to do or see. And if possible, schedule your activities and book them in advance. Lastly, remember to pack a bag with essentials and treats, and disconnect from work and routine.

Some staycation ideas for seniors are taking a walking tour of your city or town, visiting a museum or art gallery, going to a park or botanical garden, trying a new cuisine or restaurant, watching a movie or show at a theater or cinema, pampering yourself at a spa or salon, and learning something new at a class or workshop.

A staycation is not just a cheap alternative to a traditional vacation. It can also be a way to explore new places and enjoy new experiences without breaking the bank or risking your health.

So what are you waiting for? Start planning your next staycation today! 🌞

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Susan Cooper

I'm a "woman of a certain age" who loves to travel, preferably in style! There's something exciting about exploring new places, meeting fellow travelers, and experiencing local cuisine. But I also really enjoy relaxing at a cafe. And it's always fun to absorb a little culture and history along the way!


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