4. Save to Splurge
You saved hundreds of dollars on transportation costs, so why not splurge a little during your staycation? Though your home makes a fine base, staying in a landmark hotel, perhaps in an unfamiliar but intriguing neighborhood, will make this experience feel like a true break from the norm. Plus, as a local, you can visit hotels before booking, touring rooms and choosing your ideal retreat. Make reservations for an evening out at a splashy new restaurant, or snag the best seats in the house for a music or theater performance. And splurging doesn't mean you have to entirely break the bank. Sign up for local discounts at sites such as LivingSocial.com or Groupon.com, which are stuffed with coupons on everything from museum admissions and meals at award-winning restaurants to spa treatments and helicopter tours.
5. Bring the Family Along
To really tap into your own sense of childlike curiosity, consider involving your kids or grandkids in your staycation. Look into the children's programs at local museums, research parks and outdoor activities, and find out about the creatures living at your local zoo or aquarium. For ideas on family-friendly travel pursuits, check out WeJustGotBack.com, a site with family guides for several major U.S. cities as well as tips on kid-approved activities. Balance is key here: a traditional vacation can provide a welcome break from the pressures of family life. Your staycation should serve the same purpose.
6. Allow for Down Time
A vacation with a tight sightseeing itinerary can be more stressful than everyday life. Since you live in the city where you're vacationing, you save lots of time otherwise spent in transit, allowing for a leisurely approach. Consider how you would spend down time on a traditional vacation — perhaps devouring a good beach read, taking long strolls, or simply sleeping in — and let yourself indulge in those same pleasures. You're lucky: as a local, you can easily return to your new favorite sights over and over again. The pressure is off to see everything in one go, so the relaxation can begin the moment you wake up that very first day. Your staycation might not offer once-in-a-lifetime experiences, but it does offer the chance to make the leisurely vacation experience more a part of your everyday life.
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