A tourist in your own town

The Tribune (NZ) - - Backyard Banter - SARAH MOORE What would you do on a stay­ca­tion in your town? Share your ideas with your neigh­bours on Neigh­bourly.co.nz!

Are you start­ing to plan your an­nual fam­ily hol­i­day?

Think twice be­fore you book an ap­point­ment with a travel agent.

The ‘stay­ca­tion’ is fast be­com­ing the kind of va­ca­tion most pre­ferred by fi­nan­cially savvy hol­i­day­ers.

It was ini­tially in­vented dur­ing the 2007-2008 Global Fi­nan­cial Cri­sis when many peo­ple found them­selves cash-strapped and un­able to af­ford a hol­i­day.

The stay­ca­tion is char­ac­terised by peo­ple still keen to leave the of­fice for a week or so, with­out spend­ing the earth to do it.

So how does one go about book­ing a hol­i­day that feels like you’ve ac­tu­ally left town?

We’ve pulled to­gether a few handy ways to make the most of an­nual leave with­out leav­ing the bound­aries of your neigh­bour­hood.

Book a few nights in a lo­cal ho­tel. Noth­ing says ‘hol­i­day’ more than a night (or four) in a plush ho­tel room with soft-as-a-cloud sleep­ing ar­range­ments.

Book a bed at one of the nicest ho­tels in town and treat your­self to the kind of ser­vice tourists to your area would ex­pect to re­ceive. Keep an eye on daily deal or last-minute tourism web­sites to get af­ford­able prices that won’t break the bank. Go the whole hog while you’re there and lounge around in your room-pro­vided robe and slip­pers, soak in the spa, and or­der room ser­vice for break­fast – just be­cause you can.

Visit the same at­trac­tions in your town that in­ter­est tourists.

There must be at least one rea­son why visi­tors choose to visit your neck of the woods. What do they know that you don’t? Do a quick Google search and find out what nearby at­trac­tions are the most pop­u­lar with tourists. Maybe it’s a pic­turesque walk around a lake or along a moun­tain range. If you haven’t been to your lo­cal zoo, mu­seum or aquar­ium for decades, put them on your list too.

Dine at the best res­tau­rant in town. Maybe your idea of culi­nary in­dul­gence is fish and chips cou­pled with a $10 bot­tle of wine on a Fri­day night af­ter a long week at work. Here’s your chance to dream a lit­tle big­ger and book a ta­ble at the best res­tau­rant in town. If you’re con­cerned about price, con­sider head­ing there for lunch in­stead – or just visit a din­ing des­ti­na­tion you’ve never gone to be­fore.

What’s most im­por­tant is that you don’t do the cook­ing – or the clean­ing up af­ter­wards. Ask your neigh­bours on Neigh­bourly.co.nz what restau­rants they re­ally rate and go from there.

Cut your­self off from the world. You’re on hol­i­day, so turn off your mo­bile, pause your email no­ti­fi­ca­tions and re­sist the urge to post pic­tures of din­ner on your reg­u­lar so­cial media ac­counts. Make the most of ev­ery sec­ond to in­dulge in your oa­sis away from work.

Ig­nore your chores. Re­sist the urge to throw on a load of wash­ing or clean out your kitchen cup­boards be­fore you head out for the day. You’ve taken a week off work so ded­i­cate it to the fun things you al­ways wish you had time to do.

A hol­i­day at a beach near you can be just as sat­is­fy­ing as a trip away and at a frac­tion of the cost.

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