Traveling to a beautiful resort in a picturesque location isn’t the only way to vacation. This holiday season, plan a ‘staycation’ and unwind within (or just outside) your own four walls. Let me tell you how…
Instead of gobbling up the cheap airfares and hotel rooms and spending time, energy and money on a vacation to a faraway place, try staying home, or close to home, and give yourself a much needed staycation.
A staycation is a holiday or vacation time when you stay and relax at home and explore nearby areas of entertainment and recreation. Though the concept achieved popularity in the US during the Great Recession and in the UK due to the weak Pound which made overseas holidays more expensive, it finds resonance even today with those short on time and reeling under ever increasing cost of living. Unwinding minus the stress is the central theory behind a staycation.
Why take one?
Luxurious trips and adventure fuelled holidays can be great of fun, but they aren’t exactly free from stress. Hotel and airline booking, endless hours of travel, the stress of finding someone to take care of the pet and plants and huge bills can be exhausting. Apart from affordability and ease, staycation has other benefits like the opportunity to spend time together and connect as a family and explore the city. We’re often so entrenched in our daily routines and rigours of life that we fail to notice the beauty around us. Chances are, you know a Mumbaiite who rarely gets to the beach, a Bangalorean who’s never seen the ISKCON temple or a Delhiite who has yet to tour Humayun’s Tomb. A staycation is the perfect time to be a tourist in your own city and absorb the history and stories of the place you call home.
Home to hotel
However if you don’t want to stay put at home head to a hotel for the weekend. Most hotels in the city have attractive staycation packages that don’t burn a hole in the pocket. “Staycation guests prefer to stay in their rooms and take it easy. So we give a lot of in room services including a choice of movies with pop corn and nachos, foot massage, board games, PS3 for kids, a swim on the rooftop pool along with all meals,” elaborates Dharmesh Karmokar, serial restaurateur and owner of Hotel Aureole in Mumbai. Larger groups are also serenaded with a guitar and a rooftop barbeque dinner under the stars.
Golden Tulip a four star luxury resort in Chandigarh provides a staycation package which includes among other things a trip to the picturesque Morni Hills nearby. If you opt to vacation at Courtyard By Marriott Pune the hotel facilitates tours to exhilarating places like Pavana Dam, Japalouppe stud farm and also take you to auto plant to see how the four legged beauties are made. Apart from the usual complimentary breakfast and discounts on food, beverages and spa treatments, Taj Mahal Palace Mumbai offers heritage walks. Bangaloreans can enjoy complimentary wine along with personalized yoga session, tour of the unseen back areas of the hotel like laundry, kitchen, bakery and learn towel art at the Marriott Hotel, Whitefield. At Ranbanka Palace, a heritage hotel in Jodhpur you could dance with the Kaalbelia dancers, sing along with the Langa singers, enjoy puppet shows and take home customised joothi made in the hotel courtyard.
Long vacations to far-off destination can sometimes leave you more exhausted than refreshed. Try a staycation instead.
How to plan a great Staycation
Just because you’re staying at home doesn’t mean you should get sucked back into business as usual. Turn off the phone and set an “out of office” message for e-mails. This will help you to truly feel like you’re getting a break, even if you’re not packing a suitcase.
Step out and explore the city. Check the newspaper for local events, exhibitions or film festivals.
We all have a stack of our favourite take-out menus next to the phone. Now is the time to call and eat your heart out.
Read the book you always wanted to but never found the time. Keep a dictionary handy for words that make you go ‘hmm’; a notebook and pen to jot down phrases that make you go ‘aah.’
Bring in your favourite movie snacks, however trans-fatty and decadent. (Reminder: It’s your vacation) and pick from road trips, thrillers, romcoms or tearjerkers. Turn off all the lights and slip away.
Indulge in a luxurious and relaxing massage at home.
BOX ITEM ON BEST STAYCATION OFFERS
Enjoy one night stay with unlimited house pour brands followed by buffet breakfast in the morning. Price: Rs 9000
Golden Tulip Hotels & Resorts, Chandigargh
Package includes breakfast and meals and spa voucher worth Rs 500 each and 15% discount on liquor. Price: Rs 9, 999 for 2 nights and 3 days
Marriott Hotel Whitefield, Bengaluru
Apart from stay, brunch and complimentary spa the hotel offers yoga sessions, towel art classes, wine, tour of the unseen back areas of the hotel- laundry, kitchen, bakery. Price: Rs 7350 per night.
Sofitel, BKC Mumbai
Buffet breakfast, wellness facilities like the pool and gym with complimentary 30-minute spa. Price: 8,500 for a night.
Hyatt Hotel, Pune, Kalyani Nagar
Stay with buffet breakfast and 15 % discount on f & b and spa with special cocktail hours. Price: Rs 8999 for one night two days.
NIVEDITA JAYARAM PAWAR