Sunday, January 14, 2018

Why I love staycations

When I started writing my food and travel blog, I intentionally hid the fact that I was a doctor, and tried to write like the classic ‘travel bloggers’ of that time. But I soon realised I was not your average food and travel blogger. I was a full time working professional, who loved to travel , but time was a precious commodity not on sale on Amazon or other online sites. And when they say ‘ must have items in your travel bag’ they rarely add ‘time’, when in actuality that’s what defines the kind of travel you do.

In 2017 we didn’t travel anywhere outside of India, and even national travel was restricted to travelling home to Pune or for medical conferences, but what we achieved was a record number of staycations in and around our own city, and that’s what kept me sane.

This year 2018 , has a record number of long weekends, is what I read in the newspaper. But, it doesn’t matter to me, because I work on public holidays as well, infact for the first major ‘long weekend of the year ‘ 26 jan to 28 Jan we are actually working on 26 January on a special ‘Dry eye educational camp’ in the clinic.

So, where does that leave a full time doctor, a working mom, and a walderlust traveller ? Bound by time , I seek solace in the weekend (I work Saturday mornings too) and check in for a staycation.
A day trip to Mahabaleshwar from Pune, I guess counts as a staycation. 

Travelling as tourists in our own city
 A staycation is a stay in your own city, or within a two hour driving distance from your home is how I would describe it. And while I stay in Goa, and a two hour driving distance can take me to a beach, a spice plantation, a waterfall, or the western ghats. Almost any city or town you live in has that one fancy hotel, with the best view of your city, or that one attraction that you can plan your staycation around .

My husband says I become a different person when I am on holiday, and going on a staycation is similar. There is a sense of adventure and sense of anticipation that one is going on a discovery, while still being firmly rooted in the safety of your own city and surroundings. This post is specially for all the workaholics like me, who are also looking for the instant break.
Here are my reasons to love stay cations:
1.       Hyper close time with family: While we are a close knit unit, staying overnight in a place with only one room shared by husband son and me, allows us to be close as a family . At home we are each in our own rooms, here we tend to be physically closer, even if we are still seeing TV or watching car cartoons on the phone.
check in on saturday checkout by sunday; the life of a doctor. 

Car seats are the biggest boo n while on long road trips, the geography transforms in just 2 hours, try a staycation in your own city.
 House cleaning: Imagine breakfast in bed , where you neither have to make the breakfast nor the bed ? Yup, someone else cleans up after my son, and an upturned bowl of Cheeselings is just a house keeping call away. Hotel rooms are also somehow less filled with breakables as opposed to the home.
3.       Discovering your city through relaxed travellers eyes: I have heard so many of my friends in Hyderabad stating that they havents been to Ramoji film city, and Mumbai-ites not been to elephant caves. Sure you can go there without a staycation aswell, but the luxury of time seems a real joy, when you can wake up at your destination really makes it feel like a holiday.
4.       Giving the home makers a break: Do you live in a joined family? Do you have one person who stays at home and manages the house? A staycation is the best way to give them a break from doing home work. We ofcourse do it the other way around, my house keeper, cum child’s nanny could do with a day off sometimes, and when we go on a staycation, she gets a breather, and has a day to herself as well.

5.       Recharge: I love to go to spas, and on a busy work week, the lunch break is the only time I can go for an hour of relieving the knots in my shoulder, and within the hour I am back in the thick of work, never really able to enjoy the small fraction of calm. And having an extended day, where I can leisurely spend my day without the guilt of not spending quality time with my family. At a staycation, while the son and husband enjoy the swimming pool or the play area, I choose to steal a few hours for myself.

Goa state of mind

even drinking tea in a new surrounding is refreshing

6.       Enjoy the luxe life on a budget: When we used to study in hostel, we would try and save for a fancy meal like a breakfast buffet at a five star just to soak in the luxe life. And living in a small apartment,to check in to a hotel with  the luxury of a bathtub the size of your bed, is what makes it all worth while. I know so many people who check into hotels for a good nights sleep, honest, they do. It’s not just that the bed is comfortable, it’s also that one can leave behind all the worries and energies floating around in your head while at home. It is an instant recaliberation.
7.       No need to pack big bags: when I travel the anxiety of packing os real. Will it rain? Is it cold? How cold? Light shawl cold, or sweater and jacket cold? Should I carry denims, pants, a dress and shorts? And packing for a toddler don’t even get me into that .
With a staycation, you can quickly get into the holiday mood, check out from the household worries of ‘what to make for lunch’ , the ‘what should we do today?’ inertia, and being AWOL for the day, to be back at home and life in a jiffy.
I know a lot of travel blogs say ‘ the journey is part of the destination’ and the journey is great too, but when you don’t want to pack have your house for a trip for four nights and three days of which ten to twelve hours is spent reaching the destination. Sometimes it helps to bring the destination to your city and to your doorstep.
Some of the best times to book a staycation?

Goa, it may fi on a beach towel, but there is more to Goa than beaches.


Newyears eve : Drink , don’t drive, just check in.

Birthdays , anniversaries, valentines: check in on a Saturday, spoil your better halves and rekindle the magic , and the best thing is it is a perfect surprise! Whisk her away to lunch, and return only the next day!

we spent 24 hours in MORJIM read about it HERE
Check into a yoga and ayurveda center for the weekend, I did that beginning of last year, read about it HERE
Deciding to stay in a cute home stay in a spice plantation ? we did that once read about it HERE
My son loves these outings Are we going to Resort ? he asks every time we pack our bags for the weekend  read about one such kid frindly resort HERE

Monsoons: The house seems musty and gloomy, check into a hotel/resort and feel refreshed . Get great rates too. WE went to Amboli Ghats last monsoons and it was a fab trip 

So this is the second Travel resolution for you this year : Go for a Staycation. Wondering what the first resolution was? It was to make a travel journal of atleast one of your holidays this year.

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