If you are feeling the cabin fever, uninspiration, or exhaustion from work lately yet you don’t have enough time to fly far away from home, and since the borders are still closed because of the pandemic, planning a staycation would be a perfect choice. Leave everything that is familiar and live differently for a day or the weekend.
Staycation is the time to re-energize without having the hassle to drive or fly far from home and spending the big bucks. It is staying in accommodation usually a style different from your home: a hotel, resort, Airbnb, bed and breakfast, condotel, camping, to name a few of the options with your friends, family, special someone or solo if you prefer to have some me-time.
But why would you opt for a staycation? Here are the most common reasons:
- To relax in a different ambiance
I am a member of Marriott Bonvoy, and one of my favorite hobbies is going to their website and find hotels around Hong Kong where I lived, sometimes, around Shenzhen or Guangzhou which are a high-speed train away. After spending a weekend getaway, I would feel re-energized and ready for work again.
- To enjoy the facilities
Booking a hotel comes with free facilities such as the pool, beach, gym, sauna, and lounge. What attracts me to a staycation is the heated pool, a way for me to exercise. An exercise at the gym or jog around the hotel, followed by a sauna before going for breakfast is a great morning for me.
- A cause for celebration
Did you get that promotion? Someone’s birthday party? One of the best ways to celebrate without the need to washing the dirty plates is going for a staycation where everything is pretty much taken care for you. However, if you are planning for a staycation during the biggest holidays of the year (e.g., New Year, Valentine’s Day, Christmas), make sure to book in advance since these dates are peak periods and also expensive. It also can get fully booked so think ahead.
But how do you plan for it? Here’s a step by step guide for you!
1. First, ask yourself what would be the primary purpose because the choice of accommodation has to match the purpose to ensure satisfaction after your stay. If you want a relaxing weekend, don’t go to a hostel, but consider a hotel that offers a spa or by the beach. If you are celebrating an anniversary, look for a hotel that has a restaurant where you can glam up.
2. Check the facilities and other benefits available for you to enjoy and get the most of your money’s value. Before you book, check the website and see what it offers. Does the buffet breakfast offers variety? Do they provide a free mini-bar and is it replenishable?
3. Compare prices from different booking sites. How much budget can you allocate for this? Will it be cheaper to book through booking engines? Does your credit card offers a better program where you can also earn points? Or do you get more benefits if you book direct? Is there any discount if you register as a member?
4. Check the terms and conditions. Sometimes things happen which will result for you to cancel your reservation. If so, is the money you paid refundable or transferrable? How much is the charge if you need to change the dates?
5. Here are the additional requests for a better staycation experience. Ask, and you shall receive (if it is available)!
a. Better views. If you are by the beach, make sure to ask for a sea view. For the perfect sea view, go for the high floor!
b. Easy accessibility. Do you prefer to have direct access to the pool? If you are with senior people who have difficulty in walking the distance, it is better to be as close to the elevator as possible.
c. Early check-in and late check-out. Enjoy your room for a longer time by asking if you can check-in as early or as late as possible.
d. Room upgrade. You can request for a bigger room than what you originally booked – for better chances, you can mention reasons such as what you are celebrating.
6. Check the activities around the area. If you think you know your town enough? Think again. There are hidden gems worth checking out. It can be boutique shops, nearby small villages, or an island a boat ride away.
7. Try out restaurants you haven’t tried before. Do your research and make reservations. You may check with the hotel concierge for their recommendations. During my family’s stay at the Hotel Icon, we found a Shiba Inu-inspired cafe called Black Sugar, a few minutes walk away. It offers pour-over coffee and delicious homemade cakes!
8. Pack accordingly and efficiently. The usual essentials for me are a charger, camera, swimsuit, toiletries and credit card. My list also includes entertainment galore like books to read, chrome cast so you can watch Netflix or game cards to kill time. For a complete list
Here’s another idea to consider. Airbnb offers a new section called Airbnb Plus Homes which is a selection of highest quality of homes thoughtfully designed with great reviews and attention to detail. Sign-up here if you don’t have an account yet.
There are so many ways to have a weekend getaway. Just remember that you don’t always have to travel far. Sometimes, all you have to do is have a look around your neighborhood to experience something new