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Work-Life Balance: The Art of The Staycation
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Work-Life Balance: The Art of The Staycation - Executive Leadership Articles

Work-Life Balance: The Art of The Staycation

Executive Leadership Articles

Work-Life Balance: The Art of The Staycation

It’s an unfortunate fact that travel is expensive. We all dream of taking our three weeks of hard-earned vacation and whisking our families to those bucket-list places featured on the the Travel Channel, but they’re bucket-list items for a reason. Not everyone can just get on a plane and go. Yet if there’s one positive thing the FOMO-soaked social media vibe has communicated in recent years, it’s that there’s a lot of really great stuff to experience in our own backyards. Did the staycation exist before Instagram? In practice, there can be little doubt. In practicality, perhaps not, as the new term for vacationing without traveling has taken almost glamourous new meaning.

In our never-ending quests for work-life balance, we can embrace this new wealth of information and leverage it to our greatest benefit, practically customizing it to suit our own needs and circumstances without spending a fortune.

Stay Somewhere (but don’t stay there all day)
Ideally, a staycation involves taking a real getaway vacation while staying in your own area, thus saving the expense of travel but not necessarily other vacation costs. Obviously, your own modifications to this model will be dictated by your means, but the illusion and benefit of getting away from everything in order to rediscover your balance is best served by maintaining that illusion as faithfully as possible.

This might mean settling for less luxurious accommodations in favor of a selection of more vacation-like activities. Sure, you could stay in a nicer place and prepare all your meals in the kitchenette, but that involves shopping, meal-planning, and cleaning up, probably in ways that resemble your everyday life, and the idea is to get away from your everyday life. It’s better to save on lodging and eat out every day. You’ll make better memories and your Instagram will be more enviable. If you need to make a choice, budget for more meals out. Thankfully, we have resources now that make cheap lodging and inexpensive eats easy to find, often in places we’d never think of looking. Whip out the Airbnb and Yelp apps and see what other staycationers are doing.

Do All the Things
It’s amazing how we take things for granted when they’re in our own backyards, a phenomenon most of us are familiar with if we’ve ever hosted visitors from out of town. They want to see that famous museum, or hike this well-known trail, or take a photo in front of that famous landmark. We sheepishly admit we have no advice for them because we’ve never done those things ourselves. A staycation is the time to get those things crossed off the list. Do the touristy things you’ve never done; see your area with fresh eyes, even if the most touristy thing in your area is an obscure museum of humdrum artifacts.

Begone, Even if You’re Not
Sometimes we opt for a staycation because the realities of our real lives don’t allow one or more members of our family to get actually away. It’s a valid, understandable reason to stay nearby: perhaps mom can take vacation for a week but she needs to attend a meeting for a few hours on Wednesday, or junior can skip trombone practice but must be at the fundraiser so his band can go to the Rose Bowl, and it’s either give up those few hours midweek or not take any vacation at all. Hey, balance is about compromise, so there’ll be no judgment here.

However, barring such no-escape, real-world circumstances, behave as if you’re sitting by the Seine, not lounging poolside on the other side of town. Don’t drop in at the office for a quick look at the mail. Don’t check your email on your phone with one hand while holding a pina colada in the other. Don’t talk about work with your family; they probably need as much a break from your work as you do. Don’t dash home because you forgot the sunscreen and waterwings. Ideally, if you’re willing to go the distance on your staycation, you’ll allow for inescapable commitments and nothing else, including your usual social interaction, although you could make the argument that reinforcing your social ties is part of rebalancing. In this case, we offer another compromise: invite your friends and relatives to hang out with you wherever you’re staycationing, rather than leave your staycation to be with them.

Make the Most of Everything
When we go abroad for vacation, there’s usually a make-the-most-of-everything vibe that says we can veg in front of the TV at home, but we can only do _____ here and now, even if _____ is lying on a beach doing nothing. Adopt the same attitude for your staycation, whatever your normal vacationing style. Nobody shoud tell you how to spend your time recentering and rebalancing, but whatever your way is, do it the way you would if you were on another continent, not in another county. Staycationing as an art is not settling for anything less than you your heart’s desires; it’s soaking up every moment with the people you love most, because these moments don’t come around again.


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Work-Life Balance: The Art of The Staycation - Executive Leadership Articles

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