Staycation Ideas: How to be a tourist in your own hometown
As the world is coming out of lockdown, the international as well as the state borders, are still expected to be closed for an unknown period. Different countries and states will open their borders to travellers at different point of times. We are often asked these days – ‘How safe will it be to travel across state or country borders?’. Well, we are still sceptical. In fact, we suggest everyone to start cautiously by travelling to nearby places close to their own hometown by opting for a staycation. If you are coming across this word for the first time, staycation means spending holiday in one's own hometown by visiting local attractions and doing fun activities. This could involve staying at your own home and doing day trips or opting to stay in a hotel in the same city for a change. Well, what better place to travel than your own hometown! You will have adequate safety information about your own hometown than any new destination and that could make your staycation safe and stress free. Exploring your own city again, through fresh eyes, can be as much fun as exploring a new place. Ask yourself this question - Have I seen everything that my hometown has to offer? We are sure you haven’t. You definitely need a staycation! In this article, we will give you some staycation tips and ideas and will offer you some ways to embrace your next holiday at home.
How to plan a Staycation?
It is important to plan a staycation just like you would plan a vacation. Start planning your staycation by -
Collect information about your home town -
Pick up a map of your hometown from any local tourism agency or open google maps and go through it in detail to get started. Advance towards a staycation in the same way as you would plan any vacation
Read other people’s blogs on your hometown and see what they recommend visiting. Read online reviews or TripAdvisor reviews for personal recommendations from people who have visited places in your hometown that you are interested in. Tourists often know more about a place than a local as they would have researched it in detail unlike a local
Buy a guidebook. Find out the best sites to visit. You could be surprised that you didn’t know many
Pick up that glossy brochure that the airport or tourism offices flaunt. It often comes along with a map that will guide you to undiscovered local attractions, nightlife offerings, adventure activities and quirky restaurants.
You can even check your city’s tourism website or the wiki page to see what’s new and interesting in your hometown
Go on a Staycation
Act like a tourist and take a tour of your hometown. Visit all the sightseeing places that interest you from your research. While people may ask you to skip going to places you normally do during a staycation, we believe it doesn’t matter if you have been to a place before. Go there again and try to see it differently! But don’t hesitate to explore new ones
Take time to discover new things. Travel slow. Talk to locals and see what they have to add to your already existing knowledge about your city
Walk through narrow lanes instead of driving/ riding a vehicle. Get lost in the streets. The whole idea of a staycation is to come across some parts of your city that you never knew existed
Include the lesser-known and less popular sites in your hometown sightseeing itinerary. These could be in outskirts or around your hometown as well
Go back in time by visiting museums, ancient monuments, and iconic buildings in your city. Dive into history and look for reasons behind the well-known facts
Visit water bodies like a lake or a beach and opt for a fun activity like boating or swimming.
Go for a trek. Climb a nearby hill or mountain. Carry a picnic basket and enjoy your favourite meal with a view
There might be several places in your city that you pass by each day and silently vow to visit someday. Make a plan to visit all those while planning your staycation
Change your perspective when you go on a Staycation
Join a guided tour. It could be a plain sightseeing tour, adventure tour, food tour or historic tour. This will help add to your knowledge about the history of your city, the new sightseeing places, the old and authentic restaurants to eat from, and good places to shop at
Try taking a different mode of transportation while on a staycation. Opt for a bus ride or a subway or a bicycle tour or get on the hop-on-hop-off buses even if you have your own car
Find the highest viewpoint in your city and get a panoramic view of the entire town from up there. Catch a sunrise or sunset from this new vantage point and you will fall in love with your city all over again
Join a meetup group where you could find people having similar interests in exploring your town. It’s a great way to meet new people and make new travel buddies
Attend local events happening in your city. It could be anything from theatre to art shows to exhibitions to concerts to sports events. Locals often miss out on attending the events happening in their own city. Volunteer for events that interest you like a beach cleaning drive
Show someone around as a part of your staycation. Couchsurf or catch up with people who are new in your area and either join them or offer to play their tour guide
Opt for a night tour and re-visit all the sightseeing places that you loved, to see how they lit up during night time
if there are experiences that you are craving for but they are not available in your hometown, try finding a virtual way of experiencing it. Since it would still be unique and something you don't do often, you would still have fun
Try out local restaurants
Look out for old and authentic eating joints and taste the locally produced delicacies. Try not to order the regular stuff that you generally eat while on a staycation
Make a list of all the popular restaurants and cafes that you would like to visit and tick them off as and when you get a chance to eat-out. You will be surprised by the long list of must-eat joints in your hometown
Try dishes that are special and unique to your place. Maybe you have missed out on eating the tastiest food offered by your hometown. Look out for family-owned small restaurants and eateries
Ask for food recommendations. Go restaurant-hopping. Meet the chef and ask him to prepare you his/her special local dish
Learn to cook a local delicacy that you love. Join a cooking class or ask a friend or relative if they can teach you how to prepare your favourites
Spend the night in a hotel
Check yourself into a hotel in your own hometown to feel like a tourist. This can give you an instant holiday feeling. After all, staycation is a perfect opportunity to spend some time on yourself
If you live on the outskirts, opt to stay somewhere in the middle of the city to get a different vibe. And if you live within the city, look for a stay someplace in the countryside where you could be one with nature
Make use of the travel desk at the hotel to find out about exciting places to visit and tips and hints on things to do around
Choose to stay at some unique property like a boutique hotel or a refurbished old house or a historic property or an eco-friendly homestay. This will provide you with the much-needed change that you were seeking for. One of the key elements of a staycation is to stay disconnected and away from work
Staying in a hotel is a great way to make friends with other travellers over a cup of coffee in the in-house café or simply while lounging around
Carry Your Camera
You will be surprised by how little photographs you have of your own city. Carrying a camera wherever you go during the staycation will make you feel like a tourist and eventually you will end up with a bunch of great photos
Revisit your photos whenever you want to see how wonderful your hometown is. Your clicked photos will act as special memories that you could store with you forever
Viewing your city through your camera lens will add to its beauty. Clicking selfies in front of your favourite places can actually be a lot of fun
Simple alterations in your everyday life can help you achieve your travel plans. Always remember travelling is not about the distance that you cover. It's about the experiences you have and the journey more than the destination. Discovering hidden gems in your own hometown can be a lot of fun.
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Are there any other tips that you would want to add to our staycation suggestions? Do share them with us in the comment section below.