Boise Staycation or Out-of-Town Vacation?

Boise mountain biker

Is a staycation in Idaho better than a vacation somewhere else? Last month the kids were out on spring break. As we are saving our vacation time for later this year, this means that they were able to stay home in Boise, free from their normal responsibilities. This got me to thinking—what if they have it all figured out?

Don’t get me wrong; vacations can be great. The escape from all the pressures at home, sightseeing, fun and adventure—it all has a place and is a good thing to do once in a while. But vacations come with their own added stresses and problems. The difficulties of travel and the added expense can leave one feeling like a rest is needed after being on vacation!

Staycation vs. Vacation

Staycations have become increasingly popular in recent years. Are they really better than a true vacation?

Staycations

Old Boise couple lounging

The Good

  • With the cost of travel, vacations are expensive. Stay home and save money!
  • You’ll experience less stress—no planes, lost luggage, or wasted trips.
  • You can take the time to really absorb, explore, and enjoy the local treats that you never get to experience.

The Bad

  • It’s all too easy to use time off to catch up on chores, cleaning, and other responsibilities, leaving no time to relax. You might even be tempted to check your work email!
  • There’s no significant change of scenery.
  • You’ll have to dodge the regular social engagements that could be demanding of your time. Neighbors, friends, family, or coworkers might not respect your “staycation” time.

Vacations

Tired traveller at Boise airport

The Good

  • You get to escape your regular environment. Vacations allow you to choose your own adventure, whether it’s camping, amusement parks, or touring historical sites.
  • You’ll truly get away from work, chores, and responsibilities. That is, after all, the whole point of a vacation!
  • Depending on your plans, you could be catered to. From food and drinks to driving, someone else will be handling the menial tasks so you can focus on your much-needed R&R.

The Bad

  • Vacations can be expensive, with premium costs for travel, food, and lodging in addition to any extracurricular activities.
  • Depending on where you go, trips usually require that you use a significant portion of your vacation time for travel. This could mean that you spend two days of your five-day vacation in discomfort and stress.
  • Vacations can easily go bad. Delayed flights, bad weather, or getting sick can mean that all that time and money are wasted on an unpleasant experience.

Tips for Making the Most of Your Boise Staycation

Downtown Boise

While there might be occasions where a trip out of town is just what the doctor ordered, I think that staycations present more frequent opportunities with less of an investment than a traditional vacation. To make your staycation successful, though, you should follow a few guidelines:

  • Make plans. Treat your hometown like you’re a tourist. If you’ve never toured the Old Idaho Penitentiary, watched a Boise Hawks game, or visited Zoo Boise, this is the time to make that happen. Keep your staycation on track by planning ahead and blocking off time for scheduled activities or adventures every day. Also, make sure there is time to rest and relax.
  • Get the dirty work out of the way. If you were going to leave on a vacation, you’d likely rush to get necessary errands and chores done before you went. Take care of the laundry or whatever you need to get done before your staycation starts.
  • Stay off the grid. It’s far too easy to fall into the trap of attending to phone calls, emails, or socializing. Unless other people are part of your staycation plans, behave as though you were gone. If some contact is necessary, designate an hour each day for everyone to play catch-up with such tasks.
  • Avoid cooking. If you’re saving some money by not spending hundreds (thousands?) on travel and lodging, then invest in some extra trips dining out. Make breakfast and lunch simple and easy. If you want it to feel like a vacation, the last thing you need is to spend hours on food preparation and cleaning.
  • Be creative. A good staycation requires that you avoid your normal routines. I recommend changing up anything that you can. Do you have a guest room? Sleep in there. Eat lunch on the patio or in the park. Take a different route to the store. Mix it up with a fresh routine.

Stay in Boise for Your Next Vacation

If you need ideas for your next staycation, the Treasure Valley has a lot to offer. You can see what you’ve been missing in Modern Dental’s Guide to Boise.

Dr. Wagner

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