How to Plan the Perfect Staycation

June 22, 2019

We all know that prolonged breaks from work are beneficial to our mental and physical health. However, in a world where time is a commodity — and traveling is so stinkin’ expensive — it may be difficult to nail down when and where your next vacation will take place.

Thankfully, you don’t need to take a four-figure holiday to get the R&R your body needs to properly recover and prepare you for all the busyness to come. Instead, you can take a week (or more!) off and enjoy all of the sights and activities your own backyard has to offer.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at how you can plan the perfect staycation.

Figure out your dates

Of course, you can’t start making lists of all you want to see and experience without an established time frame! Sit down, take a hard look at your work and personal calendars, and determine the best time for you to request some PTO.

Pro tip: there’s no such thing as the perfect time to take a vacation, but aim to take time off after any major deadlines, projects, or stretches of time when multiple co-workers are also out on vacation. This approach will reduce any stress, boost your morale to push through those last few difficult weeks, and ensure you don’t leave the office looking like a ghost town.

List all of the local (or regional) places you’ve never been

Personally, I’ve never been to Washington, D.C., or Pittsburgh, and it’s been well over a decade since I’ve ventured out to Gettysburg. Consider the major cities or attractions you’ve yet to see — or want to revisit — and start mapping out how you’ll hit each destination without filling your week so much that you can’t relax. Also, be sure to check each location’s event calendar so you can experience different festivals or exhibitions!

Pick some projects to tackle

If you’re anything like me, you’re only able to relax for a day or so before you feel the need to start compulsively organizing and cleaning everything around you. To prevent yourself from falling down that rabbit hole, make a short list of projects you’d like to accomplish during your time off. That way, you can still feel accomplished without spending all of your PTO on household duties.


I genuinely cannot stress this enough. Take some time during your staycation week to actually unwind, tend to your needs, and focus on relieving any stress you may be experiencing. While this is certainly easier said than done, it’s important to build this habit while you have the time (that is, if you haven’t already) and carry it well beyond your week of paid time off.

What are some of your favorite relaxation tactics? Feel free to leave them in the comments below!

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