Staycations are staking their place on the festive wall of fame as they are a fantastic way to celebrate and travel locally.
In these tough economic times, travelling overseas for a getaway may be pricey but considering a staycation saves you time and money.
It’s also an opportunity to take a Sho’t Left and get to know you local surroundings even better.
According to Jessica Redinger, GM at voco Johannesburg Rosebank, a staycation is a chance to see your home in a completely different light and do activities that you would never normally do, especially if you always go away for your holidays, all without having to travel for hours in a car or plane.
“Staycations have the added benefit of giving you a new appreciation of where you live long after your holiday is over and are also an eco-conscious option, saving on travel fuel costs,” said Redinger.
So if you’re looking to have an epic “local is lekker” festive season this December, here are some steps to follow to make your holiday memorable.
Decide what you want to do
There are plenty of things you can do to enjoy your local scene. For instance, you can book yourself a spa treatment or spoil yourself to a spa date with a loved one.
“Many spas allow you to use their facilities even if you have one treatment. Relax with a massage, unwind in the sauna and steam rooms, and pad around in a fluffy gown and slippers, drinking herbal tea.
“The best part? You can carry on relaxing when you get home,” highlighted Redinger.
She added that you can also visit local tourist attractions and go on a sightseeing bus tour of town.
As a local explorer you can eat at a restaurant you’ve never tried, go to the theatre, enjoy local festivals, listen to live jazz or stay at a local hotel, B&B or glamping site.
“Even if it’s just for one night, sleeping somewhere that isn’t home will get you in the holiday mood. We’ve all driven past a hotel in our city or town and thought: ‘Wow, what would it be like to stay there?’
“A staycation allows you to stay at these places. It’s amazing how wildly different the perspective can be, and it truly opens you up to experiencing your area as a destination, just as a tourist would,” said Redinger.
Consult an expert
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, you could pop into your local travel agent and ask for some advice as travel agents can advise on local attractions you don’t know about, fill you in on special deals, advise on itineraries, and plan and book it all for you.
Carina Damons, a travel expert from Flight Centre in Constantia, said that one of the benefit of a staycation is that you don’t have to follow a strict itinerary or schedule.
“You can be spontaneous and adventurous and try new things you wouldn’t normally do. You can also be flexible and adjust your plans according to the weather and traffic,” she said.
So you’ve found what your heart desires? Then waste no time and lock it down since it’s still the festive season and you don’t want to miss out, so booking is essential.
Marelise Stehlik, marketing executive at BON Hotels, said the great thing about staycations is that you can customise them to your interests and create a festive experience that suits your family and lifestyle, but it’s best to start planning well in advance to ensure availability and to sort out the logistics.
And finally, once the above steps have been followed, relish your holiday and claim bragging rights with loads of pics on Instagram, telling everyone about your newfound perspective and awesome staycation.
“Be a festive rebel and throw out the rule book that says you can only document your adventures when travelling far from home. Whip out your travel journal and take lots of photos,” said the travel experts.
Holidays are a mindset, not a location. Staycations are proof. And if you forget your toothbrush? You can pop back home and fetch it.