Now, I fully appreciate how lucky I am to be able to take staycations where I live (San Diego). The weather’s nearly always perfect, and this is the city that people flock to for its awesomeness. But even if you don’t live in a city as fabulous as San Diego, I still encourage you to take a staycation sometime soon. Last weekend, I took my son to downtown San Diego where we enjoyed harbor views, sunshine, and some serious R&R.
Not convinced that staying near home is worth it? Check out the benefits:
1. It’s Cheaper Than Going Somewhere Else
All you need is a gallon or less of gas and you’re there! No airline tickets. No roadtrip gas fillups. And because you’re a savvy local, you can probably find great hotel deals and pay less for your stay (or better yet, use hotel points for a free stay like I did recently). For me, food is my #1 priority on a vacation, and because I spend so much less on a staycation, I can splurge on good meals.
In Real Life: On our trip, we stayed at The Westin San Diego. Now, normally rooms are around $200, which is a bit steep for me, but thanks to The Husband’s massive points accumulated there, we enjoyed the gorgeous hotel for absolutely nothing…and got free breakfast.
2. You’ll Discover New Things About Your City
When we first moved to San Diego, Max and I played tourist. We went to every attraction, and our friends who had lived here all their lives hadn’t even been to all of them. Most of us don’t explore our city unless family is visiting, but don’t wait for that excuse to do it.
In Real Life: While I’d eaten once at The Headquarters shopping center by Seaport Village, I’d never actually shopped there. We discovered one of our favorite local toy stores, Gepetto’s Toys, and had a good time browsing. Later, we stumbled upon this amazing statue called Unconditional Surrender (pictured above) that I had no idea was here!
3. It Won’t Disrupt Your Life
If you have pets like we do, you know that travel involves a whole planning process. Who will feed the cats? Did you make boarding reservations for the dog? But staying so close to home for a night, we were able to leave the animals without worrying about them.
In Real Life: We invested in an automatic pet feeder to take care of the cats, and it’s been a lifesaver!
4. You Can Enjoy the Perks of a Hotel without the Hassle of Travel
I love a good hotel. I love the aesthetics and the amenities. I love swimming (if the pool isn’t crowded) and occasionally treating myself to spa services. You don’t have to travel 8 hours from home to enjoy all this! There are so many gorgeous hotels in San Diego, and we want to try them all (and of course, boutique hotels are on the list).
In Real Life: The pool was filled with 20somethings who had posted up with their cooler, so I didn’t swim, but Max and I enjoyed their rather fully-equipped gym.
Tips for a Better Staycation
Before you drive to your hotel, check to see if they charge for parking. In downtown San Diego, parking is at a premium, so it was cheaper to take an Uber. We were also next to the train station, so public transportation was also an option.
Check Yelp for good restaurants in the area. I did this, but had the rare and unfortunate experience of having a not-so-pleasant meal despite positive reviews.
Look for a nearby drugstore or convenience store. It’s rare we can go on a trip without going to CVS or similar for something we forgot or snacks.
Start following local hotels and find out when they have good deals. That might be midweek. In San Diego, I’d never stay in a hotel between April and August, because it’s high season.