I staycate. It’s in my DNA. My mother was a staycater too.
We didn’t go to a cottage in the summer or spend one week a year at an all-inclusive, The Holiday Inn in Grand Island was her cottage and cross-border shopping was her big indulgence.
While we didn’t do too many big trips, we did do a lot of regular get-aways to hotels. Sometimes we didn’t even leave the city, we just checked into a 4-star a couple of miles from home for a weekend.
Now that I’ve got a family of my own, I get the appeal. We are all about last-minute hotel bookings and staycations. Last birthday when we asked my son what he wanted to do for his big day, he asked to go to a hotel. The kids love it as much as we do.
There’s no major packing, no great anticipation and no planning. Expenses are pretty minimal. On weekends where we don’t have crazy complicated playdates/commitments/arrangements we pick a 4-star hotel with a great rate and we go. We throw bathingsuits, stuffies and jammies into a bag and just go.
The kids love it. We let them stay up late and watch movies. We always pick a place with nice rooms and a pool. We stop for provisions like jerky and pop and chips and cereal and milk and bananas and we treat ourselves to a weekend of no responsibility.
If you haven’t tried a local hotel staycation, I highly recommend it.
Things I’ve learned:
- It’s often cheaper to pick a place with free parking and free breakfast, even if the list price is a bit higher.
- It doesn’t matter where we stay, so long as it’s no more than a half-hour drive from our home.
- Often the best deals are at suburban hotels, which is fine, because we aren’t there for the sightseeing. Sometimes we don’t even leave the hotel from check-in until checkout.
- If you’re supremely nice to the staff they will upgrade you, offer you free breakfast, drink vouchers or give you a late check-out. We’ve had some pretty sweet suites!
- Always ask if the freebies aren’t offered.
- Always check what currency the booking site is using. Sometimes it’s CAD, sometimes it’s USD. The exchange rate can make a huge difference on price.
While we book through a variety of websites – Groupon, WagJag, Hotels.com, the booking website we love best is Hotwire.com. It’s not just because that’s the cheapest way to staycate (Hotwire.com always has the lowest prices), it’s because it’s really fun to be surprised by the hotel that you’ve picked. You can select the location, the amenities and the star level, and you know the price you’ll be charged, but you won’t know the hotel chain until your payment is completed. That reveal screen is way more fun than any reality show I’ve ever watched!
I know, little thrills – gotta take ’em where you get ’em!
Everyone needs a break. If you think about it, we actually need more breaks than we take. A week away at an all-inclusive is nice, but lets face it – how often do you make that happen and how many road blocks are in your way? Give yourself the breaks you deserve. Crisp clean sheets, room service, movie service, great restaurants and a full staff whose only concern is your comfort and satisfaction.
My mother was definitely right about this one!