Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Benefits of a Staycation

Our first ever staycation week was a huge success! We had such a comfortable and easy week, but it was also filled with new experiences and adventures. I was pondering the benefits of staycation versus travelling to a different city (which we also love) and I came up with this little list:

We spent minimal time in transit. There was no need for us to rent a car to drive to the airport, catch a flight, and make our way to a hotel. Depending on how far we travel, this can often save two full days of vacation time that we would normally spend in transit. I remember spending over 24 hours in transit at the start of our 2014 trip to Osaka and it was exhausting. That being said, it was well worth it to experience the Japanese culture, but it was also refreshing to be able to just wake up and go during our staycation.

We had a comfort level with our surroundings. This expressed itself in a variety of ways -- we were familiar with the language, the transit system, the streets, the customs, the money, etc. Of course, sometimes we want to experience the discomfort of travelling to an exotic place; however, our week of adventures in a familiar city was also nice. With this being our first ever staycation, I thought familiarity would translate to boredom, but it didn't. We still got out of our immediate area and tried new experiences -- with an underlying level of comfort that often isn't apparent when we're in a different country.

We could cuddle with our pets every night. This was hubby's favourite part of our staycation. Not only did we get to see our pets and cuddle them every night, we didn't have to drop them off, pick them up, worry about them, or miss them. It is quite a lengthy process to pack up everything that Truffle and Lulu need while we're away. We miss them terribly when we're abroad, and we worry that they're getting into mischief. Truffle's also getting a bit older and he's been having issues with his teeth. We actually had to take him to the vet during our staycation week because he stopped eating. It was just a minor disruption to our week; however, if we had been out of the country, I would have been a nervous wreck.

We stayed well within our budget. This isn't really a fair comparison because we've moved past extravagant vacations and we're in more of a value-for-money phase now, but it's safe to say that we've spent anywhere from $1,500 to $8,500 per person on 9-day vacations in the past. We clearly did not need to book any flights for our staycation, but we decided to take public transit and sleep in our own bed at night, so we saved on car rentals and hotels as well. In total, for this 9-day staycation, we spent under $500 per person. Truth be told, we didn't have an official budget for this staycation -- we did everything we wanted to do and ate everything we wanted to eat. Perhaps our overall spending would have been higher in the past if we had splurged more on fancy restaurants, but we ate very well and had loads of fun for what we feel was a very reasonable cost. Note that I didn't include Truffle's vet visit, and I also didn't include any pro-rated cost for our condo because we would have paid that anyway.

We developed a new appreciation for our city. This was the most remarkable aspect and what I feel was the greatest gift from this staycation. This week really opened my eyes to how lucky we are to live in Toronto. There are so many things to do, neighbourhoods to explore, and delicious food to eat. Hubby and I ate food from all around the world, including Chinese, Korean, Filipino, East Indian, Sri Lankan, East African, Greek, and more. Now that I've started to simplify my life, I am really starting to develop an appreciation for what I already have. In addition to being content with my possessions, I'm now also content with my city. My home. It's liberating to be able to see that you have everything you need at your doorstep, and it's incredible to realize that you don't have to travel halfway around the world to have a new experience. Travelling is fun, but staying home is too.

Overall, we loved our staycation and we plan to make it an annual occurrence. We'll definitely be spending more time exploring this amazing city and I hope our adventures inspire you to do the same in your own city. x

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