Just because you’re close to home doesn’t mean you can’t have an incredible, luxurious and memorable staycation. Travel Expert Jennifer Weatherhead Harrington shares tips on how to take your local visit up a notch and add in little elements that feel extra special.
Splurge not just on the money front, but on your vacation days! A lot of people may have unused vacation days because of the pandemic, so why not use them on a great staycation that lasts a bit longer than just a day or two? And if you had money set aside for a vacation, think about using that for a staycation… you don’t have to worry about conversion, your US dollars stay local, and you’re saving on the costs of flights, so you can look at a splurge you like (upgraded room, spa visit, a night out at a fancy restaurant).
A lot of hotels are currently offering deals on stays/free extra nights, if you see a second night free on a hotel you have been waiting to stay at, now is the time to do it! Visit Indy is actually offering Indiana residents up to 50% off hotel stays in the city until October 31st, which is an amazing deal that you can still take advantage of and it includes many of the city’s top chain and boutique hotels, so there’s a stay fit for any travel style.
If you are looking to upgrade or book a staycation but want to be mindful of your cashflow. Check in on your credit card and rewards points! Don’t forget your hotel rewards points like Hilton Rewards for all those extra perks. Now is a great time to cash them in and make the most of them for an upgrade, a free night and more.
Treat it like a special occasion
Make your staycation feel like a real vacation… plan it out (because planning a vacation, even a staycation, brings as much joy as a trip itself!), pack your bags like you normally would, bring surprises for your friends or companion and make the most of it. It’s a great time to check out a local boutique hotel you have always wanted to stay at. A place like the Ironworks hotel on the north side is a great escape.
Set a theme
So, you can’t go to Europe right now, but you can pretend you’re there! Pick a destination theme and run with it for your staycation, making it part of every detail… order in a fancy French meal, do a wine tasting of Italian wines, or whiskey or beer tasting, visit a museum or a gallery that has a tie back to your destination theme, etc. You can also set themes that are about your interests instead of destinations… an arts & culture theme (booking a stay at the Alexander Hotel already puts you in an artsy theme), a movie hotspot theme (visiting movie filming locations), a food or drink theme, a sports theme… you get the idea!
Be a tourist
Most of us are quick to let visitors know what they should see and do in our own city, but often we haven’t done those things ourselves! Make a list of the most touristy attractions/things to do and do as many as you can in a weekend. It can be cheesy, but it can also be a lot of fun, even if you have visited those attractions before.
Bring comforts of home
One thing that makes a staycation great is you can kind of pack anything you want (no extra baggage fees or fear of losing a bag!). And with the pandemic, a lot of hotels may have limited amenities or limited extra comforts that you can bring with you — think your favorite robe, plush slippers, or bringing some of your favorite food or drink options.