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How to Pull off the Perfect Staycation


By Paul Heney, TravelPulse

While staycations are often touted as a money-saving option for people who can’t afford to travel, they’re also a fun way to discover some of the attractions near where you live.

If you’re a regular traveler, a staycation can be an inexpensive bonus trip—even if it’s just over a two- or three-day weekend. Here are five simple tips to plan the perfect local trip with your spouse or the entire family.
On a recent staycation, the author had dinner at the new Next Door Eatery in the Pinecrest development east of Cleveland.

Explore Downtown

If you live near a large city, book a hotel in the downtown area and make it an urban adventure weekend. Even if you happen to work in the city center, there are likely plenty of things you never do in the city.

Find a cute café for breakfast. Check out the rooms in that new high-rise hotel they just constructed. Go to a show without worrying about parking or dragging yourself all the way home afterward, late at night.

Do all the things you never see/do in your own city; if there’s a local building with a top-floor observation area, pony up the money to get a different perspective on things. This is the version of your city that visitors see. Maybe it’ll give you a new appreciation for where you live.


Try the Suburbs – the Other Ones

In my hometown of Cleveland, the suburbs are very split east vs west. We live on the west side and don’t spend a whole lot of time “over there” on the other side. So, we took a weekend recently to visit a splashy new retail and dining development—complete with a hotel—on the far side of town.

We shopped, we ate, we sat in the hotel bar and just enjoyed ourselves like we were out-of-towners. It was delightful and so easy. Plus, we discovered some shops and restaurants that we will now gladly make the drive to return to.


Check Out Local Discounts

A lot of cities’ attractions offer discounted or free admissions for local residents. Just in our area alone, the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo offers free admission to county residents every Monday. The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame is always free for city residents. And MOCA, the regional contemporary art museum, waives its fee on the first Saturday of every month. Some simple online searching may help you figure out when the best time is to plan that local trip.
On a recent staycation, the author visited the Cleveland Botanical Garden’s Orchid Mania event.

Pick a Theme

Maybe there’s something you’ve been meaning to do and can make a weekend out of it.

Is there a handful of museums or historical sites in one part of the region? Is there something you need to shop for? Maybe there’s a nearby outlet mall that you’ve wanted to hit, but don’t want to be rushed. Are there some local parks or hiking trails that you have never been to? Or maybe you can take in a few different sporting events in a single weekend.

Even if it’s just romance, having a theme can inspire the planning and activities.


Plan Around Food and/or Drink

Most travelers enjoy eating good food when they travel, so why not support some local restaurants that you’ve never gotten around to trying? Plus, if you’re walking to restaurants, you can enjoy that extra drink without worrying about having to drive home afterward.

Many cities are now creating their own drink-focused experiences, such as Santa Fe’s popular Margarita Trail. It’s easy to find multiple microbreweries, pub crawls or wine tastings in many areas, and a local staycation oriented toward that could be a memorable experience.

What’s more, the next time you have friends visiting from out of town, you’ll have all sorts of new ideas for restaurants and bars to take them to in your city.
Advice

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