As the days get longer and the weather settles into summer, a holiday without leaving home becomes more appealing. The holiday-at-home concept, or staycation, is a great way to get a relaxing break without the pressure of check-in counters, baggage allowances, pet-sitters and Google Maps glitches.
Staycations are also an excellent way to save money, especially if you’re saving for a special goal. The staycation you take this summer could mean you have the funds for an overseas trip next summer.
The key to a successful staycation is all in the planning. Here are our top three tips to help you organise a successful home-based vacation:
1. Bounce between the city and the sticks
Rather than saying your staycation should involve getting lost in the alleyways of your city centre or adventuring in the local great outdoors, we recommend both.
Combining New Zealand’s spectacular landscapes and urban attractions will allow you to have both wet weather and fine weather activities covered. On the fine days, get out and explore the forests, beaches and countryside. On the days when the weather lets you down, take shelter in art galleries, cafés and indoor adventure lands.
2. Plan your activity mix
One way to curate a staycation involving both the city and the serene is to make a list of the places nearby that you’ve always wanted to get to but haven’t yet ticked off.
- Is there a museum that intrigues you?
- An art gallery that will open your mind?
- A waterfall you’ve always wanted to picnic beside?
- A cycleway you’ve never ridden?
Once you’ve chosen your mix of town and country, and selected some new places to discover, put together an itinerary. Just like a holiday abroad, an itinerary helps you make the most out of each day, simplifies travel arrangements and gets your family engaged.
Share your itinerary with the whole family (the fridge is a good place to get their attention) then prepare to open your family’s eyes to the joys of their own backyard.
Spontaneity can be fun too, but it often comes on the back of well-made plans. Leave room for spur-of-the-moment decisions by planning main events, then leaving restaurant and bar choices to chance.
3. Get your foodie fix
Just like you would when you’re on vacation, we recommend eating out…a lot.
Put down the pots and pans, pause the food bag delivery and explore the culinary delights of your home town. You might opt to fill a craving at one of your local favourites or you could try a new eatery or cuisine. Just be sure you get a break from the kitchen.
If you need some inspiration, Cuisine has a great Top 100 list of restaurants. If your budget’s tight, daily deal sites like GrabOne can help you find a deal.
Your dose of fancy doesn’t have to be food. You might prefer a different form of pampering – like a massage or some treatments at a spa day. If you decide to go this way, you’ll need to find some activities to keep the rest of the troops entertained while you’re in the zone, and explain the red pillow lines on your face afterwards.
Other ways to get your kicks
The true beauty of a staycation is that the decisions you make about activities and food are all yours.
You don’t need to consult a travel agent, you don’t need to follow a tour group and you don’t feel guilty about sleeping late or staying in if you feel like it. One word of warning though; don’t be tempted to cut the break short and go back to work early. Having time off is important for work-life balance, so make sure you take your full allocation of annual leave.
To get some help with funding your staycation, try our Financial Fitness Checks. It’s free and only takes five minutes. The budgeting check even includes a worksheet that you can use to record your spending and allocate savings.
Looking to learn about better money management?
Why not take a quick financial fitness check. It’s free and only takes five minutes.