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The Washington Post: How to take a staycation this summer

By Christopher Elliott

What do you do on staycation? A lot of people don’t plan, so the answer is, nothing much. That’s a mistake, according to experts. “You have to think outside the box,” says Aditi Shekar, the CEO of Zeta, a finance app for couples. “Know what you want to get out of it. Is this staycation one where you want to relax? Have an adventure? Or do something you’ve never done before? Whatever your preference, decide what you want to get out of the staycation.”

Too often, staycationers just let the vacation happen. That makes it utterly forgettable, if not also a waste of valuable vacation time.

Planning doesn’t have to involve a lot of heavy lifting, says Natalie Conrad, a spokeswoman for Minneapolis Northwest Tourism. If you’re a staycationer in the Twin Cities, you can consult the resources offered by the state tourism organization and local convention and visitors bureaus.

For example, Minneapolis Northwest has a website and a blog dedicated to planning fun day trips or long weekends, with suggested itineraries and posts such as 50 Free Things To Do in Minneapolis Northwest and Beyond. You don’t even need an Internet connection to plan your staycation.

“Pick up the phone and call,” she says. “An old-fashioned conversation with a representative from a state tourism organization or city convention and visitors bureau can help uncover hidden gems you might not have known about in your own hometown.”

I have a perspective on staycations, too. My always-on-the-road lifestyle means I’m at a destination one month at a time, which technically means every day trip is staycation-y. (I just made up that word.) Let me echo Shekar’s advice: If you want to take a staycation this summer, plan it as a vacation. Find out what’s nearby. Maybe select a theme, as South Carolina’s Hudson recommended. And one more thing: Partition work and play.

“While on vacation in a familiar spot, we’re tempted to stay connected to work emails and to-do lists,” Conrad says. “Unplug and be in the moment to truly recharge your batteries.”

By the way, good luck with that. I’m still trying.

Read the full article here.