Recently, Sarah and I decided to take a little vacation right at home.
We have a daughter that is just over one-year old now. We were going to drop her off at her grandparents' house for a long weekend and head to some warm beach.
Then we got to thinking about the travel involved and decided that maybe doing a little stay-cation would be better.
We're certainly still fans of traveling. It's nice to visit places we've never been. Experience different cultures. Meet new people. Get in a new setting.
But once in awhile it's been nice to discover new things right in our hometown and in the surrounding areas.
The main benefit is that you don't need to spend a lot of time and money on the travel portion of the usual vacation. One drawback is you have to be disciplined about not falling into the same routines since you're in familiar settings.
But here are a few tips for having a good vacation right near your home.
1. Schedule A Couple Of Events
When you travel for vacation there are usually some events that you schedule. Concerts, tours, etc.
So to make your hometown vacation something new you'll want to do the same thing. And the cool thing is that there are usually events that you don't even realize are going on in or near your hometown.
One possible hurdle to spend a little money. It can seem like you don't want to spend money because you're at home, but think like you're on vacation.
It could even be something like the monthly music in the park that you haven't been able to get to yet. Now you have the time to check it out.
2. Try New Restaurants
One big item when traveling is trying new restaurants. You may try new restaurants from time to time in your hometown, but if you're like me you usually end up going to the same one or two. We do that because we want to get our money's worth.
But when you're on a hometown vacation it's good to try something new. It might not be amazing, but you'd run into the same possible situation when you're traveling anyway.
You could even cheat a little bit and head to a local bar or shop and ask the person working what restaurant they recommend. Just like you would do when traveling.
3. Visit New Attractions
New in the sense that you haven't been there before. For example, maybe there is a museum in your hometown that you've never been to. You've always had something else going on.
Or try the minor league baseball game. Or the local waterskiing show.
There are usually lots of activities going on right in your hometown that just don't usually fall into the normal routine.
4. Walk New Neighborhoods
Take your car or take your bike and park it in a new neighborhood. Downtowns in a lot of areas have been upgrading in recent years. You may spend time in these areas once in awhile, but usually you're on a mission to get somewhere.
Take the vacation approach, visit a new neighborhood and just walk around. See the people. Stop into a few shops. Take a moment to swing on the jungle gym at the local park.
5. Rent Equipment For Outdoor Activities
If you have a lake nearby, rent a boat for afternoon. Invite a few friends. If you live in cold climates like Sarah and I do, rent a snowmobile for the day or for the weekend.
We often don't think about renting equipment for fun activities when we're in our hometown. We do consider it when we're on vacation. So just flip that mentality around. You might even discover a new hobby that you love.
I'm all in favor of traveling for vacation. But this recent weekend was proof that you can stay home and avoid the stress of actually traveling. And you can have a great time doing it. Maybe not for every vacation, but once in awhile when you need a little break down the everyday routine.