Holiday/Vacation: an extended period of leisure and recreation, especially one spent away from home or travelling: I spent my vacation on a farm | Fred was on holiday in Spain.
(GOOD) Staycation: a period of leisure and recreation spent supporting the GOOD people, places, and locations near your home: I spent part of my staycation learning more about the Urban Gardening initiative in Washington D.C. before enjoying an incredible lunch at the ArtDrenaline Café. The Café trains and prepares former incarcerated individuals for the workforce | Renee had a GOOD staycation in Chicago, USA
When someone shares with you that they are off on holiday next week, would you be surprised if they told you their big destination was their own community? The term “holiday” or, in North America “vacation” has come to mean specifically going to a different destination that requires going quite a geographical distance from your home. However, we’re spotting a new trend: people are starting to reconsider what a holiday means and choosing options closer to home. Whether it’s affordability, dealing with limited time, or wanting to come back from a vacation feeling relaxed (have you heard the comment “I need a vacation from my vacation?”), more people are keen to take a staycation, staying geographically close to their homes but getting out of their regular lives and exploring new ways to see their communities.
We love this idea and think regardless of the reason, taking a Staycation once in a while can do a lot of GOOD!
Here are our top five reasons to take a staycation in 2018.
1. Savour a new perspective: appreciate your region of the world in a new way
Have you ever been walking, biking, driving home from work and suddenly you see your surroundings in a different way? Looking through the lens of a tourist can help you to see some of the unique and beautiful things around you that you often take for granted. That park you pass by every day? Walk through it! Invite some friends to play a game of soccer followed by a picnic. What about that eclectic local book shop that you’ve always thought might be interesting, but you’ve never had the time to go in-now’s the time! Your city takes on a whole new perspective when you consider it through the lens of someone who is viewing it for the first time.
2. Extra time!
When you plan out a budget for a holiday, money isn’t the only thing that is spent. Travel takes serious preparation as well as the actual time on a plane, in a car, or waiting for the bus, etc. Staying close to home means you have more time to spend exploring, having fun, or simply relaxing! Staycations can also be considered when you may not have the time to take a long holiday. The key? Step away from the chores, tasks, and other to-dos of daily life. A real staycation involves truly taking a vacation from the regular routines that make up our daily life.
3. Reduce your carbon footprint
Did you know that one vacation a year can account for up to 30% of our annual carbon footprint? Staying close to home means emitting tonnes less carbon emissions into the air, an act that can make you feel GOOD! Try using CarbonFund.org’s carbon calculator to calculate the difference between a staycation and an international vacation. Staying local can also give you the opportunity to see your city through a more carbon neutral method of transport: walking, running, or cycling to see different sites. Depending on where you're from, many cities now offer some form of bikeshare program and walking tours or if you're lucky enough to live in one of these regions, there are a few more creative options to travel around more sustainably!
4. Learn about the GOOD in your local community and support the local economy
It’s a wonderful feeling to travel somewhere new and feel like you are contributing to a sustainable future. However, there are likely things going on in your own community that you may not even know about! One way to find out is to consider doing a tour of your community that can highlight some of the GOOD businesses and projects. For example, in Washington D.C. you can join the National Park Service for free tours and talks throughout the year. In Detroit, Michigan, don’t miss the Tour de Troit, a bike ride that takes you through nearly 26 miles of Detroit, complete with a selection of lunch options from famous local hotspots and options to spend the night in the city at Detroit’s only hostel, Hostel Detroit!
5. Become a GOOD guide yourself!
One of the best things about taking a staycation is the residual effects! As you increase your knowledge of the local GOOD going on in your community, you can spread the word to others! Take visiting friends and family to favourite new locations and let them know how your brunch, museum visit, walk in the park, etc. is contributing to a better community. Then, tell us! What should others know about your community? Spreading the word makes you an Ambassador for GOOD; it’s not every day you return from a vacation with a new title!