November 1, 2015

How To Combine a Vacation and a Staycation

I took this past week off from work. The Pilot had some time off so I took the week off so that we could spend some time together. I was in desperate need of a staycation, but I really wanted to take off and go somewhere, so I did both! The Pilot and I hopped on a plane and headed to the UAE for a few days in Dubai, before coming home to a few days of exploring our back yard. It such an awesome way to spend a week off, that I thought I'd share some tips that might convince you to turn your next week off into vacation/staycation!

1. Plan your vacation.

This is probably very easy for everyone in the world who books travel further out than 24 hours. If you're only taking a week off, you want to go somewhere that you can comfortably visit for 3-4 days. When we were in Hawaii, Carolann took us to the Kailua Library Bookstore and The Pilot came across the Lonely Planet guide to Oman, the UAE, and the Arabian Peninsula. One month of combing through that and our destination was set! We were off to Dubai!

The Dubai skyline might be my new favorite!
2. Clean your house.

The last thing anyone wants to do on a staycation is clean their house. Before we left, before I started packing, I cleaned every little bit of my house...bathroom, living room, everything. I made a Goodwill pile, I made a recycling pile, I cleaned everything. When I came home, the only thing that needed to be done was the laundry from our trip!

3. Plan a fun house project. 

We live in a tiny apartment and my combined bookshelf/desk area was needing some serious love. I had made styling my bookshelves a goal for the month of September, and like everything else on that list (oops), it didn't get done. I knew that I wanted to finally cross this off my list when we came home. It was fun, it was easy, and it makes my house look just a little bit nicer.

4. Pull out your arsenal of local activities.

Everyone, no matter where they live, has a list in the back of their mind of places nearby that they haven't been to yet...sights, restaurants, parks, whatever it may be, everyone has one. Your staycation, with your already clean house, is the perfect opportunity to cross some of those things off your list. We didn't really plan what we wanted to do in advance, but when The Pilot and I woke up each morning, we were open to being a little more adventurous with our "What do you want to do today?" conversations. This staycation, we took a trip to The Mount Vernon Estate and went hiking in Rock Creek Park.

5. Relax!

It's a staycation! Don't forget to relax! The flight from Dubai was 15 hours. We took off Tuesday around midnight and landed around 6:30 am. Somehow, I managed to sleep for 13 of 15 hours on that flight (I had an entire row to myself, it was amazing!) so when we landed, I was well rested and spent the entire day in my nice, clean house, watching Netflix. Even if I hadn't slept on the flight, I would have had all day Wednesday to catch up on sleep and be well rested for my staycation, without having to jump back to work the next day.

There you have it! This is how my type A, always-on-the-run self, managed to turn one week into a combined vacation/staycation. It might be my new favorite way to travel! I'm treating today like a normal Sunday - grocery shopping, meal planning, and prepping for the week - and I know that this week was exactly what I needed before heading back to work tomorrow!

Have you ever taken a combined vacation/staycation?
What are your favorite ways to spend a staycation?

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