Losing My Vacationability – My First Staycation

“Still no mango? Okay then I'll have the strawberry daquiri please.” Things are different in Broome.

In the context of Australia’s boom and bust history, this town has proven to be resilient. Her strength began with early integration of Aboriginal people in the pearling days, was tested with the world-wide industrialisation of plastic, being bombed during a war, division over oil and gas development decisions and now another external threat, biological. More than ever I feel close to the people of Broome, even if physically separated.

That’s why I decided to take a Staycation, because it’s giving to my community.

In business terms, I’d think of this scenario as a win-win-win.

I get something, the hotel business gets something, and their staff… the ripple effect continues beyond 3-fold.

What is a Staycation, anyway?

Coined in about 2010 as a blend of Stay with Vacation, it means a holiday spent in one’s home country rather than abroad, or one spent at home and involving day trips to local attractions. Another portmanteau you may choose to describe your weekend to your colleagues is holistay, word-mash of “holiday” and “stay”.

To delve deeper into staycation, Vacation is “freedom from some business activity” while Staycation is “a vacation spent close to home”. People choose a staycation because it’s easier to arrange and they get more time to relax rather than spending their holiday travelling; you won’t be exhausted by navigating through airports and enduring flights. That doubly saves you money on airline tickets and rental cars.

I’ve known a few trendy Broomies who take nights or weekends at a resort instead of sleeping in their own home around the corner. Why waste the money? I used to think it was frivolous.

Now more than ever, there’s supporting reasoning behind the emerging trend.

According to Dave Ramsey, here’s what you do on a Staycation:
1. Take a nap
2. Read a book
3. Get outside
4. Explore your city
5. Have fun in the backyard
6. Have a movie night
7. Plan a game night
8. Take up a DIY project

Here’s another list of options from StyleCaster:
1. Turn off your smart devices
2. Treat yourself to dinner
3. Trade your fancy duds for the hotel bathrobe
4. Order dessert to your room
5. Apply a face mask
6. Sleep in
7. Order breakfast in bed
8. Go back to bed

Unexpected and pleasant surprises.

Before leaving for our Staycation I found myself cleaning the house. You know, the usual big weekly stuff, plus a few extras to get on top of things and a little ahead. When I return home I’d rather be welcomed by a half-tidy place, than towering baskets of washing to fold, food-crumby floor mats and dishes with main course part of the ceramic.

The biggest win was washing my bed linen and letting it air-dry overnight… hello sunshine-fresh smell!

As I farewelled by husband off to work this morning, there was a sense of excitement. This will be more than just an ordinary date-night. A complete break!

Goodness knows we need a break. Recently we cared for another 2 children over a long weekend so the parents could get away. This was a proper vacation including aeroplane flights to the big smoke. While it was challenging managing 4 children for 4 days, it was bearable knowing what a big deal it meant to the parents. Now it’s our turn. Handing our 2 children over to those parents (guilt-free) for 1 night… this could be the best 20 hours of 2020.

I wonder if other parents out there can do this for each other. Offering child-minding for a 1-night Staycation could buy 1 month of sanity. Because a Mother’s (and Father’s I presume) mental health is a continuous work in progress and takes a community!

My first list for you is the packing essentials, make sure you take:
1. Fragrance mist – start your experience off right with your favourite mood aromas
2. Slippers – guaranteed cosiness in cool air conditioners
3. Gym shoes & socks and baseball cap
4. Bathers and a nice hat
5. Laptop, mobile phone, wireless earphones, chargers!
6. Real, good ole fashioned paper book or two.
7. A dress that you can dress-up and dress-down
8. Your toothbrush

Advantages of taking your Staycation:
- You’re giving to the community that supports you; local businesses and their families.
- Meet people or meet no one, either of your social inclinations can be catered for.
- If you get home sick, or pet-sick, you can always pop home. Depending on your individual’s pet’s requirements, you may not need to make special care arrangements for them during a short staycation. Our fur-baby is quite self-sufficient with a bowl of dog biscuits and bucket of water for 1 night by herself.
- You’ll feel like you’ve had a holiday! Prepare to surprise yourself with increased productivity at work the following week, and extra pep in your family relationships.
- It’s a house-work free zone... escape from the day’s list of chores.
My version of what you can do during your staycation:
- Swim in the resort pool and push the bubble button on the spa, ah… and it’s cleaned by somebody else!
- Experiment with a new personal style… anything goes when nobody knows you.
- Checkout the gym, don’t wait for inspiration to come; put your shoes on and go.
- Get stuck into your favourite hobby or start a new interest.

Mine are writing and reading, photography, music and nature. All of these can be easily indulged during a Staycation. Have your chosen activities in mind to help you select the most suitable location. For me it was the iconic Mangrove Hotel; exploring the massive mangrove-tipped property, hanging out in The Bay Club, trying out the luxurious bed room and dipping in the tropical pool.

Like most other Australians, I also had some screen-and-chill time. My favourite tv-famous gardener Monty Don said “gardens are not a place, they’re a journey”.
Just like here!

Broome is not a place, it’s a journey.

So forget vacations and take a Staycation… our community will thank you for it