“We’re all going on a summer holiday…”! It’s the dream that gets us through those long winter months. But, for many of us this summer, heading overseas or even interstate on a summer holiday might not actually be a reality. With devastating fires raging across the country, many of our favourite national holiday destinations are a definite no-go. Add to that the crazily-hiked prices of travelling in peak season, and the no-longer-ignorable environmental impact of air travel, and it’s easy to see why you might be opting for a vacation closer to home this summer.
But, it’s not all doom and gloom. If you’re forgoing the out-of-town vacation this summer there’s no reason why you can’t still enjoy an incredible summer holiday. Keeping your holidays close to home saves money and also means less time cooped up on planes and trains — which means more time actually enjoying your loved ones = win, win, win! So, brighten up and make this summer staycation one to remember.
Here are some of our top picks for summer staycations this year:
Explore your region.
You’d be very surprised by some of the amazing experiences that are likely within just a few hours drive from home. Hop in the car (or better yet, take the train!) for a day road-trip. Get to know your regional landmarks, visit local wineries and artisanal producers. Exploring your own backyard not only reduces your greenhouse gas emissions but also means that your travel dollars are going to support local businesses and communities.
Stay at a fancy city hotel.
Take the amount you might have spent on flights or a week-long holiday and splurge on a few luxurious nights at a fancy hotel! It’s an expense that most of us wouldn’t dream of forking out for in normal life, but when you consider what that summer holiday might have cost you — with travel, accommodation, activities and food — a couple of nights at a five-star hotel should still leave you better off! Pack your glad rags and role-play as rich out-of-towners. Get a glimpse of your city from a new perspective, eat out or order room service, stretch out by the pool and enjoy those crisp linens.
A great one for the whole family! Set up your tent and blow-up mattresses, grab your bug spray, and stock up on delicious campsite snacks. Use your backyard camping experience as a holiday from your devices, and instead enjoy the simplicity of low-tech entertainment. Tell stories, cook dinner over a bbq grill, and play board games by torch-light.
Another way to make good use of those saved travel dollars. Book yourself in for an indulgent spa day and let the soothing sights, sounds and smells whisk you away to paradise. We rarely have time to take time out like this in daily life, so make the most of it with a massage, facial – the works! Better yet, why not avoid the outside world altogether and hire a massage therapist to actually come into your home? You absolutely deserve it!
When was the last time you took an idle stroll through your town? Use that holiday time this summer to enjoy a day or two playing tourist. Start with breakfast or coffee at a cafe you’ve never tried, and spend your days exploring art galleries, museums and public gardens. Indulge in a little shopping, see a show, and book yourself into a new restaurant for dinner. The busy-ness of our everyday life during the year usually means that we miss out on doing a lot of things we want to do, like visiting that new book store or seeing that latest exhibition. This summer staycation is a golden opportunity for you to remedy that, and remind yourself just how much you love where you live.
Try something new
A holiday to a foreign land or culture is the catalyst for many of us to try out new and exciting activities. But there’s no reason you can’t do that on your staycation! Learn new skills with a day-long art or cooking class, or seek out adventure with local outdoor groups. From abseiling, kayaking, to skydiving (if you’re game!) – there are endless ways to find excitement and adventure without leaving your city.