- Unplug by putting your mail on hold, removing work email from your phone, powering down your computer, and stopping notifications from social-networking apps.
- Make plans to visit a few specific points of interest. Scout out locations by using magazines, travel guides, historical societies, local chamber of commerce websites, and apps like TripAdvisor, Yelp, and Foursquare.
- Use public transportation, a bike, or walking to do some exploring. You’ll see, and engage with, people and places differently when you’re not in a car.
- Schedule time outside, especially if you tend to work indoors, and include physical activity when you can.
- Try something new. A staycation can be a great time to finally take that painting or cooking class.
- Use your time off to do household chores or tasks. Take care of getting the oil changed or cleaning your home before you start your official staycation.
- Schedule every minute. Allow time for spontaneity.
- Run yourself ragged. Spend some time simply hanging out and resting.
- Think you have to devote a whole week to staycationing. Sometimes a long weekend can be all you need to feel refreshed.
- Overspend. While staycationing saves money on plane fares, hotel rooms, and car rentals, you’ll want to plan for expenses such as restaurant tabs, museum fees, and unexpected purchases to ensure you don’t blow your budget.
- Let the weather spoil your plans. If Mother Nature rains on your parade, use the opportunity to enjoy spa services and other indoor activities instead.
Devoting time to getting to know her adopted hometown “without the distraction of work and other commitments” is exactly the reason Experience Life senior fitness editor Maggie Fazeli Fard, 32, took her staycation.
Typically, Maggie, her mother, Shamsi, and her sister, Sandy, spend an annual outing together, but this year Sandy wasn’t able to join them. So, Shamsi flew from New Jersey to Minneapolis to help Maggie tick off some of the items from her growing local bucket list.
Since they share an outdoorsy streak, the two drove north to take in the beauty along Lake Superior’s scenic North Shore, stopping to hike in the rain at Gooseberry Falls and explore Grand Marais.
The Twin Cities provided plenty of landmarks — like the historic farmers’ market in neighboring St. Paul and the Minneapolis Institute of Art — to check out, too. Maggie says that sharing some of her already-favorite local things with her mom — like Minnehaha Falls, cafés, and restaurants — made them feel special all over again.
The quiet moments they spent getting massages, watching Netflix in their PJs, and kicking back with Maggie’s friends while eating Shamsi’s home-cooked Persian specialties were meaningful, too. “I rarely hang out with all three of my best friends at once, so it was amazing to get to do so with my mom, too,” Maggie says.
Savoring time alone with her mom was significant, she adds, because “our adventures allowed my mom to understand why Minneapolis feels like home to me and why it’s different than other places I’ve lived.”
This article originally appeared as “Hometown Tourist” in the April 2016 issue. To read the full article, subscribe here.