Since far-flung vacation destinations are out of bounds for American tourists in 2020, the popularity and appeal of staycations and short weekend getaways are rising for those who are financially able to vacation during the pandemic.
Across the country, summer travel and spending were down with nearly a third of Americans— 31% — deciding to forgo elaborate travel plans and opt for a staycation instead, according to a new survey from LendingTree.
Working from home doesn’t mean that employees are impervious to burn-out and anxiety. Time away from work is especially critical during the pandemic and shouldn’t feel like an indulgence.
“People owe it to themselves in these enormously stressful times to carve out some time for themselves to decompress,” said Matt Schulz, chief credit analyst at LendingTree. “Maybe that means a short afternoon outing to a nearby park rather than a flight to Maui, but it still needs to be done.”
The benefits of a staycation
Vacations aren’t synonymous with foreign locales, and achieving feelings and benefits of rest and relaxation can be accomplished from someplace as familiar as your own home.
Boasting benefits like affordability and minimal preparation since you’re forgoing hotels and airfare and practically a tour guide of your own area, socially distanced staycations are a great way to boost your local economy by spending money at community attractions and eateries that have likely suffered from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Schulz suggests playing tourist in your own neck of the woods. Use the opportunity to visit places reserved to entertain out-of-town guests or make day trips to local sites you’ve never before visited. There are no guidelines and physical activity isn’t even a requirement — you’re entitled to lay on the couch to binge-watch your favorite show and ignore all of your chores for the duration of your time off.
The goal is to put your mind to rest and allow your nerves to unwind from the last several months of stress and anxiety induced by the global health crisis. At least for the time being, travel is less about the destination and more about the associated benefits of relaxation and amusement.
“A lot of times people feel like if they are not going to someplace far away, it doesn't count as a real vacation,” said Schulz. “But the truth is that a short road trip, not far from your hometown, can be every bit as rejuvenating, every bit as necessary as an international flight.”
Read more information and tips in our Travel section