At home for the holidays? How to enjoy a staycation this festive season

At home for the holidays? How to enjoy a staycation this festive season

I’m an avid traveller and I love discovering new wonders in foreign lands. One of the most common questions I get asked is “where to next?”

So, it’s unusual at such a peak holiday period for me to be at home. However, this year I am truly excited to be doing a staycation and enjoying what my local area has to offer.

We often take on an adventurous spirit when we travel to another city or overseas, seeing everything with new eyes and revelling in the exotic new surroundings.

But we can easily apply this explorer attitude to our own home town. I challenge you to look around your city as if you were a visitor. You’ll be amazed at what you discover.

So, here are my top tips on how you can enjoy a holiday at home:

Set yourself a challenge

This summer I’ve set myself the challenge to visit the beach every day for seven consecutive weeks. I know, hardly sounds tough right? But, in reality, it has been.

I’ve lived just five minutes’ walk from a beach in Queensland for more than a year now. Before that, I lived just a 10-minute walk from Coogee Beach in Sydney, and yet I was rarely at the beach. It’s incredible how your days quickly fill with other things.

My guidelines for this challenge are simple: I must visit the beach every day. It can be for as little as 10 minutes; I just have to be there. My toes must wiggle in the sand and I must splash my feet in the water. I’m keeping it simple so it’s achievable. I’ve just passed day 15 and I am loving it.

What’s a simple and fun challenge you can set for yourself this holiday season?

Plan date nights or outings

We so often get wrapped up in the busyness of our lives – work, school, sporting activities and day-to-day life commitments. We always say, “let’s catch up” and next thing you know, it’s been another year without seeing that friend who lives just down the road.

Why not use this holiday season to reach out to friends, family and even your partner to share some quality time?

I recommend planning a catch up or date night. Suggest meeting at X place, at X time and do X. Be specific and make it easy for the other person to just say “yes!”

Get them on board with your new exploring and travel mentality. Experiences are best shared, and this time of year is well spent in the company of those you love.

Catch up with friends and family at home over the holidays.

Go to a tourist hot spot

How often have you heard yourself say “oh, that’s just a tourist spot”? But have you ever been to it?

The reason it’s a hot spot for tourists is because there’s something to see, do or experience there. So, why not go and experience it for yourself? You may learn something new about your city, plus it’s important to connect with your home and to value the beauty that is on your doorstep.

Is there a culturally significant site or landmark in your home town that you have never visited because it is deemed a tourist hot spot? A visit to an art gallery, museum, popular restaurant, winery or brewery in your own city might be just the thing to make you feel like you’re on holiday.

Take a new walking route

This one is so simple and it’s such a lovely way to get moving and get outdoors.

We can easily get caught in the daily grind and travel the path we know well, so I deliberately mix it up by taking a different route when I walk to the shops or the gym. Turn down one street earlier than you usually would. Walk on the other side of the road. Take an entirely new route. For added adventure, don’t use a map.

I’m a house and pet sitter, and this is one of my simple joys when staying in a new area. Walking the dog and taking a new route each day means I always see something new and interesting.

If walking in your neighbourhood is not your thing, is there a nearby nature trail or coastal walk that you haven’t explored before? There could be something waiting for you just around the corner.

What do others say about your town?

Often when I mention where I live to others, within minutes they rattle off activities and locations I’ve never heard of.

Ask a visitor what they love about your city. Where did they go and what did they do? Places you never thought of visiting could take on a whole new life when seen through the eyes of someone else.

Wherever you are, whatever your home town, I promise you that it has plenty to offer and there are likely some little gems just waiting to be discovered.

Emma Lovell, She Defined author

Emma Lovell

Emma Lovell is a writer with a passion for travel, social media and adventure.

When she’s not travelling, she’s documenting her stories and planning the itinerary for her next journey.

Based on the Gold Coast, she loves getting to the beach and soaking up the best her local area has to offer.