Stay Cations For Growth
Often doing a staycation is a more affordable way to have fun vs a vacation,
This article I wrote a few years ago for my travel site. Just wanted to share with you these thoughts.
Stay Cations – A Cheaper At Home Stay
When considering your vacation plans, the idea of a “stay-cation” is usually not at the top of the list. The allure of traveling south pulls at all of us and holds an undeniable attraction, especially to those of us living in cold weather environments. Being a student at Dalhousie University, I was counting down the days until our February “reading week”, which is essentially Spring Break. The break from classes, meetings and library time was still weeks away when I started looking
for vacation packages for two friends and myself. I was not pleased with my findings. With spring break on the horizon, and thoughts of sun and little umbrella drinks dancing in my head, I dutifully researched flights to the Dominican Republic and Jamaica. However, my dreams of sun and umbrella drinks were shattered by the sticker price of these paradise locations; $950 for the DR and $1,100 for Jamaica. As for the Bahamas’, it was a whopping $1,565 per person. And those prices didn’t even include food, drinks, activities and nightlife. What’s a poor college student to do? So a stay-cation became the only feasible option for us. And I am so happy that I decided to stay in Halifax.
Looking at my bank account at the end of the week, I found that I had only spent approximately $200. This had covered trips to the mall, going out to the bars, restaurants and movie tickets. Along with the activities we paid for, we got to do a variety of activities for free. I consider Halifax an entertainment town, with three Universities within a small area; there was almost always something to do. We went to the bars and experienced the lively nightlife of Halifax; furthermore, Empire Theaters offers discounted movie tickets every Tuesday and the Oval provides free skating and skate rental. We frequented the mall several times and bought clothes and shoes on sale with spring approaching. We were able to get there for free due to our student bus passes; thereby, saving us more money. As well as going out, I was able to
catch up on my TV shows and books that I had been neglecting due to my busy schedule during the academic year. I was able to use this time to relax and spend quality time with my boyfriend along with having friends for “movie nights” at my place; furthermore, my bank account was very pleased with these free or relatively cheap excursions.
Attractions in Halifax
Probably the highlight of my trip was when my friends and I visited the Oval for free skating. My friends and I have not been skating for years, so I’m sure that we provided as much entertainment for the people around us as it did for us. We unsuccessfully tried to document this event, but because of our rusty skating skills it was not the vest idea to bring the pricey camera onto the ice with us. We did manage to get some nice still shots of us standing outside the rink, where there was no
danger to anyone or the camera we had brought.
Although our time staying in Halifax was fun and cost effective, I did have moments when I thought about what my time would have been like if I had traveled. First of all, Halifax weather during February is not the most pleasant to experience. It seems that with every nice day there are two days filled with rain, snow or treacherous winds. Going somewhere that didn’t require winter coats, mittens, boots, hats or scarves would have be
en a nice change of pace. Lying on the beach in the blazing hot sun drinking out of a coconut seemed like a much better time at points during my stay-cation. I found myself regre
tting not dipping into my savings to treat myself to a nice trip. It was especially frustrating when pictures started popping up on social media websites with my friends in summer dresses and shorts soaking up the sun in an exotic location. I can’t lie and say I wasn’t jealous of the people getting tan in the sun, as I grew progressively paler in the dreary Halifax weather.
Good Books and Best Friends
Towards the end of our vacation, my friends and I found we were running out of things to do. We had exhausted the free activities, went to a variety of restaurants, gone out to the bars and watched all the new movies that had come out recently. We found ourselves asking each other “what do you want to do?” to which we had no answer. On top of that I had finished all my books and TV shows, and all the extra time with my boyfriend had become increasingly annoying.
Even though towards the end of the week my friends and I got bored and tired of the Halifax scene, will definitely being doing a stay-cation again. Instead of spending upwards of $1,500 dollars on a five-day trip down south, I only spent around $200 on a variety of activities with my friends in the
city. During my stay cation I was able to spend money and spend time doing things I am not able to do during school. Essentially, I was able to see my city through tourist eyes. My perspective was changed for a week; I experienced my city for one of the first times since I moved here. I took advantage of the time during my stay cation to do the activities I always wanted to do. I caught up on some much-needed relaxation time on my comfortable couch and had “girl’s nights” with some of my best friends. Although I didn’t get to work on my tan or spend time on any warm beaches, summer is right around the corner and I will be able to frequent the beaches in this area to soak up the sun and surf.
And really, what is better than a practically free week of activities, good books and best friends?
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