Staycations-11 Options for Now: With travel restrictions and a myriad of flight cancellations, distant vacation plans are largely being put on hold. Solo travelers, as well as couples and families, need to find a more creative approach. A staycation is the best current option and affordable for virtually every budget. Here are our ten tips (Please note that cleaning out the basement or garage is not allowed to be on the agenda for a staycation!):
Take a day off from telecommuting. Try to go “old school” for 24 hours.
- Create your own film festivals. Digital delivery has resulted in a real revolution with options from scheduled satellite and cable programming to DVR’s and live streaming.
The old repertory theaters are gone. With them, went double features with great prices. The good news is that you have many ways to create your own must-see lists. Even “guilty pleasures” can make the cut. Sometimes, personal selections may not be exactly blockbusters. (I am the only known film buff admitting to having sat through Ishtar twice. As a result, I have a rule of thumb. If I liked the film, you may want to make an alternate choice!)
- Find a film that takes you outside of your everyday world.
- Choose a children’s film, preferably one with animals, to remember what summer was like with no work Monday-Friday. (Another “guilty pleasure”: I not only saw “Beverly Hills Chihuahua” but also the sequel! Check out “The Secret Life of Pets”.)
- Watch something terrifying that in no way resembles your real life. Shark Week is an annual event that fills the bill. In the meantime, for a real fright, see classics from Psycho (You’ll never take a shower again without looking over your shoulder!) to “The Mummy”.
- Find a historic film where you will learn something new. (Did you know that Mary Queen of Scots’ three marriages had as much scandal as a modern day soap opera?)
- Enjoy “traveling abroad” in the comfort of your own home via videos on the “Travel Channel” or “National Geographic”. I have found even when I am on the road I am fascinated by the local travel channel. There is nothing like watching “diving with sharks” during an apres-ski evening in Norway! Think of all the extra airfare you are saving.
Staycations-11 Options for Now:
If you have a car, go joy riding out in the country or in-town. Get to know your home town at night by taking a twilight tour past local sights under the floodlights. Visit historic sites by day. While many, such as Mt. Vernon and the National Arboretum, are closed in the short-run, they can be part of a self-guided drive-by.
Go hiking/strolling through national parks. While amenities, such as on-site restaurants, are closed, national parks have been waiving entrance fees for now. (For state and national parks, do check out any new restrictions or closings before you head out.)
Join in some volunteer work: Take meals to the elderly or those who are at high risk of serious illness. Walk your neighbor’s dogs. Learn to shampoo a Pekingese? (Maybe not) Help out at a local animal shelter.
Plan for your next trip even if it will be delayed. Research new destinations and things to do when the time is right. I have started planning my next trip starting in Poland and traveling through the three Baltic nations. One surprise: How much of the Nordic feel is present in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. Using sites like “Rome2Rio“, you can plot your local surface transportation from trains to buses and ferries as well as for plane connections.
Staycations-11 Options for Now:
Download a tsunami of ebooks from the classics to your own guilty pleasures. This is also just the time to dust off any pot boilers that you normally would hide under a book cover for the classics.
If possible, book a hotel for the night, and let someone else take care of all the meals and laundry. Watching your budget? An alternative? Treat yourself to an at-home spa day. The only decisions you will have to make will be “bath bombs” or bubble bath!
Order a carry-out or home-delivery feast. Be sure to try an exotic dish you wouldn’t be able to make for yourself.
You prefer “home cooking”? Teach yourself to cook like the pros. Start with “How to Make Chicken Cordon Bleu” courtesy of YouTube.
Catch a free concert, streaming live from Keith Urban to Melissa Etheridge and John Legend.