Sometimes, being "outside" can be just as lit (if not more) when you're literally 30 minutes to an hour from home. And if you're not too keen on being around crowds, spending your last on (very) high flight tickets, or having to get yet another COVID test after a week-long stay in Jamaica, a staycation might be just what you need for some fun, relaxation, or a change of scenery.
Try one of these four fun staycation ideas for your next girls' trip, family get-together, or that solo getaway you've been putting off:
Spa Weekend... But Make It Black-OwnedGiphy
Whether it's booking a Black mobile spa service, getting private services from Black manicurists, or booking a room at a local Black-owned B&B and using products by Black-owned brands, make this weekend one where your girls celebrate each other and support the boss tribe. (And for finding Black spa professionals, Instagram or Facebook are your best bets.)
To host the weekend, there are several Black-owned boutique hotels and bed-and-breakfast spots around the country that might be right in your backyard. Try Akwaaba Mansion which has locations in Brooklyn, N.Y., Philadelphia, and Pennsylvania's Poconos; Houston's La Maison In Midtown; The Oak Bluffs Inn in Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts; Salamander Resort And Spa in Middleburg, Va.; Maison Dupuy in New Orleans; or Sonesta Silicon Valley in Milpitas, Calif.
This is one you could hire someone to sit upright in the comfort of your own yard or patio or go the DIY route and cop a spot at a local park or campsite. With glamping, it's all about cultivating an experience you'll enjoy, with food, music, and activities that reflect your mood and tastes. You can get a four-person tent for less than $100, add your favorite patio chairs or even a blow-up mattress with nice sheets and linens, set up a film screen or portable music player, spark up the portable grill and have a good ole' time.
If you're not into doing all that prep, Airbnb offers a diverse array of glamping experiences, from the rustic to the all-out luxe, that is definitely worth checking out, like this yurt on Lookout Mountain in Georgia that includes Wifi, a king-sized bed, a full kitchen and a deck with a view of the Chattanooga Valley, or this adults-only "disco dome" that comes with an outdoor rain shower, a private pool, and views on a beautiful homestead among in the Texas Hill Country.
Global Eats Bar or Restaurant HopGiphy
There's no better way to feel like you're in another country than to explore flavors via food. There have to be at least four different locals you could at least feel like you're visiting via local restaurants, and you don't even have to book a hotel to do this. Take some time to plan out what restaurants or bars you'll hit and be sure to add at least one that's a bit out of your usual comfort zone in terms of tastes, vibes, or palette.
Cities like Washington, D.C., New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago are known for their enclaves and neighborhoods that offer delish food and drink options from around the world but don't sleep on off-the-beaten-path locales that have hidden gems or pockets of amazing eateries like the Irish Channel in New Orleans, the Filipino food dining scene of Virginia Beach, Va., the craft beer breweries in or near Charlotte, N.C., or the bourgeoning hot spots offering a diverse mix of restaurants in Cincinnati including Lebanese and Japanese infusions.
Drive The BoatGiphy
If you want to go a bit bougie (on a bit of a budget) book a weekend stay on a houseboat (or charter a yacht for one day out to sea (or lake) while you stay at home or at a local hotel.) Sites like Vrbo, Airbnb, or Expedia are a good place to start to find a houseboat or yacht that matches your tastes and budget, and you can go big, small, or anything in between.
And while this is technically not a staycation, you can take the idea a bit further by booking a short cruise that, though some cross borders, doesn't have the same price, time, or distance commitment that a 5-dayer to the Bahamas or Aruba might entail. Royal Caribbean, for example, offers a 3-day cruise from Los Angeles, California to Ensenada, Mexico, which is a little more than 200 miles (or a 4-hour drive) away. If you live in the New England area, Celebrity Cruises offers convenient itineraries that start in cities like Maine and Boston and travel to major cities in Canada, or those that start in Seattle and venture to Alaska. American Cruise Lines has a voyage that goes up the East Coast, from Baltimore, Md., to Amelia Island, Fl.
Whatever you choose, get creative and explore the communities near you, whether a walk or drive away. You can safely fulfill your wanderlust desire while giving yourself a bit more time to feel comfy getting back to the normal pack-and-fly routine you were used to pre-pandemic.
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Featured image by Vladimir Yelizarov on Unsplash