It's 2021, and people are getting vaccinated and visiting newly reopened places. After a year and a half of being cooped up, we can finally start traveling again! That being said, not everything is back to being at capacity, and the travel industry is reaching high demand.
So, what are we supposed to do for fun?
Maybe you still can go on vacation...by
staying in your home town! Staycations can be just as fun as a standard vacation. Pandemic aside, there are benefits and drawbacks to both a vacation and a staycation. It is up to you to decide what you are wanting to get out of the experience.
Listen. We're not saying vacations are bad. In fact, vacations are awesome! Here are some reasons why (like you need any):
Explore New Climates and Landforms
Oftentimes when we see something every day, it tends to lose its significance. If you don't live near one, then a trip to a hot spring might be exciting to you. Certain naturally occurring rarities are recommended to be experienced at least once, like the Grand Canyon. Obviously, if you don't live near it, you will have to travel to it. Sometimes you have to feed into your wanderlust side and go explore something new!
Leave Your World Behind
Be honest. How often do you sit at your job and daydream about being on a beach somewhere? Probably a lot, so sometimes it's good to just go indulge in that fantasy every once in a while. Day-to-day stress can really get you down, so it's nice to shake things up and forget about your worries for a bit with a getaway trip. Since a lot of people have had to work remotely, they are ready to seize the day!
Reconnect With Loved Ones
Unless all of your family and friends live nearby, you most-likely have a connection with someone outside of your area. While we have discovered the beauty of video chats, it is not the same as going to visit that person. For some people, it has been years since they have seen their loved ones. Now is the time to catch up and give those much-needed hugs. While you're visiting, it might be fun to explore the area and make memories with your loved ones!
Let's face it. Vacations can cause more stress than relaxation. There are a number of reasons as to why that is. For example:
Yeah, this is the most obvious one. Not everyone has the budget to travel somewhere new and pay for travel, lodging, excursions, food, cars/transportation, and anything else that pops up. The average American spends about $1200 on their vacation, making it difficult for just anyone to go on vacation. On top of that, it is difficult to get paid time off, meaning that it could cost you to not be at work.
If you manage to get time off work, then you have to be able to schedule your trip around the days you have off. There's usually a day at the beginning and end of the trip that is devoted to travel only. If you're flying, then you have to make sure that you get to the airport on time to make your flight. Connecting flights can sometimes cause delays in your trip if any leg of the trip is not on time. Having to hurry up and wait can turn a lot of people off to this form of traveling. It can make you feel more tired than before!
There is a lot of pressure to make your trip worthwhile. You have invested so much time and money into this vacation. Any tiny detail going wrong could throw off the whole trip. Maybe the airport lost your luggage, or you forgot to pack that really important thing that you needed, or you get sick and spend the entire vacation in the hotel. It's hard to not get upset when things aren't perfect after spending a ton of money to get there.
You may think you've seen it all, but there is a chance that adventure is waiting right outside your door! A staycation could either be in your own city, or just outside of it, but it is treated just like a regular vacation. You are off work, so enjoy your time off!
Yeah, this is just the inverse of the drawback from the vacation section, but this is why staycations are a thing! We need to enjoy the breaks we have even if we can't travel very far. Some people make their staycations super cost-effective by staying in their home, while some choose to stay in a hotel nearby. Either way, you are saving a ton of money by cutting out the travel aspect alone. Maybe you're able to go on cheap vacation, but you won't be able to do too much while you're at your destination. If that's the case, splurge on things at home like a limo to a winery, take that yoga class you've been putting off, or have someone clean your house while you're at work and come back to a beautiful oasis. These might never be something you would do for yourself, but it's a fun treat!
Once you're off work, your staycation has started! There isn't as much packing required because you're most-likely planning day trips or staying at a nearby hotel. You have more time to enjoy your morning without stress. Standard vacations pressure you to have fun every single second of the day. Staycations let you actually relax on your vacation and come back to your real life feeling refreshed.
Discover Your Surroundings
You'd be surprised at how much you can still discover in your area. A quick Google search of obscure or unique things to do in your city could come up with a multitude of adventures. Furthermore, apps like Geocaching, Pokémon GO, and Randonautica are great ways to explore what's nearby.
Yeah, whatever. So maybe staycations aren't perfect either. For instance:
If you're staying in your own home, then you have to clean up after yourself. Housekeeping won't come in to change your sheets or fold the towels into a swan (or whatever they do). Unfortunately, you have to go out and buy the mints to place on your own pillow. Complimentary breakfasts require someone to get out of bed and make it, which few people want to do on vacation. There are countless tips and lists on how to make sure you're getting the most out of your staycation, but ultimately, you still have to be responsible for things you probably wouldn't have to be if you had stayed at a hotel.
May Become TOO Relaxing
As nice as it is to have time to chill, you might end up going through your staycation without doing anything. Without having an itinerary to give you an idea of what you want to do, you might talk yourself out of leaving the house. Why would you get up and get dressed if you don't have to go to work? Staying at home can give you a bit of a weekend-feel, discouraging you from making the most of your day.
Confined To Your Surroundings
The whole point of a vacation is to escape. If you usually take a summer vacation to somewhere not too hot or too cold, you might feel as though a staycation isn't worth the time off. Staycations aren't for everyone. If you are itching to get away, then you might feel a bit ripped off.
It all comes down to a matter of preference and budget. Talk it over with your family and find out what everyone wants to do and what you can afford to do. The point of taking time off is to relax and spend time with loved ones. Whatever sounds the most relaxing to you is the best option. Don't put unnecessary stress on yourself in the name of taking a break.
Ultimately, this pandemic is still putting a damper on our vacations. Maybe you decide to take a staycation so you don't go stir-crazy. Or, maybe you find safe ways to travel to the airport (and follow CDC guidelines). Remember, above all, be safe and have fun!
St. Louis Travel Ideas
For those in St. Louis, we are starting to see some of our favorite attractions coming back! For most places, social distancing and masks are strongly encouraged--especially for people that are not yet vaccinated. Obviously, if you're not feeling well, it is not recommended that you go. If you'd like to see a complete list of the St. Louis' Covid-19 Standards & Guidelines.
Adventure & Sports
Do you have a lot of energy after being cooped up for a year and a half? You're in luck! There are so many adventures you can go on in the St. Louis area. Stadiums are opening up again at higher capacities, meaning we can finally watch the Cardinals in action!
Six Flags | Park Operating Schedule
St. Louis Cardinals | Schedule
Adventure Valley | Ziplines Zipline
Big Muddy Adventures Trips | Canoes & Kayaks
Sip & Sweat Free Yoga | Ballpark Village
Missouri is quite beautiful! For a while, parks were the only socially-distanced activity around. Okay, yeah, that's still super fun, but there is more variety now. Go wild at the zoo or maybe go shopping at a local farmer's market.
St. Louis City Parks | Browse Parks
St. Louis Zoo | Hours & Prices
Botanical Garden | Origami in the Garden
St. Louis Aquarium | Hours
Eckert's | Summer Concerts Calendar
Farmer's Markets | Farmers Market Guide
These are some year-round favorites for local St. Louisans! The pandemic definitely made it more difficult to visit these staples of the Lou. Now that things are opening back up, it's time to get back to our roots!