Screen Shot 2014-02-02 at 12.28.57 PMStaycations (taking time off from work to stay at home or at least in your home city) can be awesome. Normally, people go the staycation route in order to save hassle and/or money.  Also, sometimes you just need a time-out and that time-out doesn’t have to be on some big fancy resort. You just need to breathe a little. To that end, here a few budget-friendly ideas for a staycation.

Local Hotels

You don’t have to go 2,000 miles away to enjoy the hospitality of a hotel. Chances are you’ve never stayed in a hotel in the city you live in or at least not in a long time. Now, if you live somewhere like New York City, staying in a nice hotel for two or three nights could mean spending the same amount of money you would have for a cheap Caribbean weekend get-away. That kind of defeats the purpose of a staycation. You want to spend less money, right? So, if you go the local hotel route, be sure to take advantage of lower rates at off-peak times. Perhaps that fancy schmancy hotel is practically half-off if you stay Tuesday throughThursday instead of spending the weekend. Or maybe you don’t need the ritziest hotel anyway and just sleeping in a plush bed without caring about your loud neighbors or cleaning the bathroom is enough for you.

No Work. Period.
You might be the kind of person who takes your laptop with you even when you go on a “real” vacation, just so you can keep up with work e-mails and get a jump-start on work once you get back home. Stop being that person. This staycation is a real staycation and that means NO WORK. Create a vacation message for your phone and work e-mail to let people know that you will be returning all messages on XX date. You will be tempted to do work because after all you’re at home and you have your regular wi-fi connection and all that good stuff, but no. Stay strong. No work.

Be a Tourist
Have you been to all of the museums in your city? Isn’t there that one exhibit you heard about and isn’t there that new restaurant you’ve been meaning to try? Do it. Do it. Do it. You staycation should be for relaxation and fun exploration. That means staying away from boring old chain stores that you can visit in any city in America. Explore the places that make your city unique.


If you don’t get to walk often, your staycation would be a good time to start. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in getting where we’re going, we don’t appreciate our surroundings. There’s the hustle from the door to the car to the job or from the door to the subway to the job. Do yourself a favor and look up and slow down. Don’t slow down too much though if you live in New York. Heaven forbid you become part of the herd of  tourists who seem to plod in molasses. If you are able to walk and it’s safe enough to do so, I guarantee you will see your city in a different way.

You’re not spending a ton of money plane tickets or over-priced tchotchkes, so be sure to use some of that staycation budget to indulge a bit. It doesn’t have to be anything huge. This might not be the time to get a new car, but do something small and nice for yourself. Get that shrimp and steak platter at the restaurant you’ve been meaning to try, go for the more expensive facial at the spa and definitely buy those pretty roses for your front room. Indulge within reason of course. You don’t want to feel guilty for over-spending, but be sure to treat yourself. This time is for you.

So there you have it, just a few ways to have a fun, relaxing staycation that won’t burn a hole in your wallet. Have you ever taken a staycation? What did you do?

Follow Demetria Irwin on Twitter at @Love_Is_Dope and connect with her on Facebook.

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