Traveling is by far my favorite pastime and I’m fortunate that I’m able to jet off frequently to explore new cities. I live a pretty nomadic life and often don’t stay put longer than a week. But there are times when I have to stay grounded for a long stretch of time either to work or simply to recharge. When I’m in New York or my hometown of Indianapolis and start getting antsy to travel, I’ll treat myself to a little staycation by finding new ways to enjoy my city. Regardless of where you live, there are plenty of ways to feel like you’re on vacation without ever stepping foot on a plane. Below are some ways to enjoy a staycation and be a tourist in your own town.
1. PHOTOGRAPH YOUR CITY
To feel like you’re on vacation when you’re not, try channeling your inner tourist. Grab a camera, head outside and get creative. Photograph your city’s famous landmarks or lesser known areas. It’s a great way to connect with your surroundings; and I guarantee you’ll start to see beauty and details in your city that you never noticed before.
2. STAY AT A HOTEL
The best way to feel like you’re on vacation without venturing too far from home is to check into a hotel. Pack an overnight bag and spend a night away from home. Take a dip in the pool, order room service or enjoy a night on the town. This is a simple way to switch up your routine and feel like you’re out of town even if you’re only a few minutes from home!
3. ENJOY A PICNIC IN YOUR FAVORITE PARK
What better way to enjoy a staycation than with a picnic in the park! Grab a blanket, your favorite snacks, a bottle of wine and a good book and spend a lazy afternoon outdoors.
4. DINE AT A NEW RESTAURANT
You probably have a few go-to restaurants that you resort to on nights you dine out, but to enjoy a true staycation, try someplace new! Whether it’s a restaurant you’ve passed by many times or one you’ve never heard of on the opposite side of town, get out of your routine and give it a try. It might just become your new favorite!
5. TRY A NEW SPA TREATMENT
Vacations offer the opportunity to relax and indulge, but even if you can’t travel you can still enjoy some much needed pampering. I’m not just talking about your standard mani/pedi! Although they’re lovely, consider trying something different like float therapy, an infrared sauna session, salt cave treatments or reflexology!
6. VISIT YOUR CITY’S LANDMARKS
You’ve likely passed by the landmarks in your area many times, but how often have you stopped to actually visit them? Many of my friends who are native New Yorkers have admittedly never been to the top of the Empire State building, visited the Statue of Liberty, or walked across the Brooklyn Bridge. That may seem surprising, but it’s easy to overlook things that are readily available to you.
7. SPEND A DAY AT THE MUSEUM
Visiting museums shouldn’t just be on your itinerary when you’re abroad. There are many fabulous museums throughout the country and you’re sure to find one or more in your hometown. Check out what exhibitions and special events are taking place at museums in your area. It’s a great way to enjoy a staycation and support the arts!
8. EXPLORE A NEARBY TOWN
Regardless of where you reside, I would venture to guess there are parts of your state or even your city that you’ve never explored. In New York, start by visiting another borough or venturing to more rural towns in upstate New York. In Indiana, spend that day in the quaint town of Zionsville or Brown County. Wherever you live, taking a day trip to a nearby town is a great way to spend a staycation.
9. SEE A SHOW
Whether it’s a Broadway play or an open mic night at a comedy club, seeing live entertainment is a fun activity when you’re not able to travel. Find out what’s playing in your area and go check it out!
10. SIGN UP FOR A TOUR
To truly be a tourist in your own town, sign up for a local tour. No matter how well you think you know your city, there is always more to learn. If your town doesn’t offer organized tours, hop on a bike or take a walking tour. The GPSmycity app offers hundreds of self-guided city walks that you can download right to your smart phone!
11. ATTEND A LOCAL FESTIVAL
With the summer months fast approaching, there will be many festivals taking place. Art fairs as well as food, music and heritage festivals are a great way to experience other cultures without having to go much farther than your own backyard!
12. WATCH (OR TAKE PART IN) A SPORTING EVENT
Whether you’re a sports fan or not, there’s nothing quite like attending a sporting event live. Regardless of the size or caliber of your local teams, the excitement and energy is infectious. You could also lace up your sneakers and get in on the action by participating in a run or walk! This Saturday, the Colorful 5k Graffiti Run and Indy Ultimate are both taking place in Indianapolis. My Russian and I will be competing in the Indy Ultimate challenge, the first ever marathon/obstacle course through downtown Indianapolis. I’ll be snapchatting and live tweeting throughout the race, so be sure to follow along!
There are endless ways to enjoy a staycation, the key is to break from your normal routine. If you can’t travel, but need an escape and still don’t know what to do even after reading this post, Groupon is a great source for ideas. For those living in the tri-state area, I recommend downloading the Pulsd app, which offers deals on a variety of events and activities throughout the greater New York area.
Have you ever had a staycation? How did you spend it? What resources do you use to find out about events and activities taking place in your area? Share your comments below!