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The Ultimate Staycation Guide

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When you are anticipating friends and family coming to visit, you transform into a travel agent. To ensure that everyone has a wonderful time, you start to notice the attractions in your city that get lost in the everyday shuffle. Often, these are the moments when you have a blast in your own backyard and you're reminded why your town is pretty cool. As the summertime rolls in, so does the debate about whether your finances or hectic schedule can accommodate a fabulous getaway. Traveling is always ideal, but there are also perks to planning a staycation. Here are some ways to channel that excitement just for you, so you can see your city through a new lens. Plan Your Activities Decide whether you're going to kick back in your home, check into a local hotel or hit a bed and breakfast. It's fun and cost-effective to mix up your locations during your time off. Check your local visitors' center and make a list of museums, parks and activities you've been waiting to try. Use the same approach you typically would and get suggestions from sites like Trip Advisor. If you're including your family, search the newspaper for upcoming festivals and free events. If your staycation is meant for de-stressing, or if you're brining your partner, look into spa packages for a day of pampering. Pick a night to get dressed up and dine at a new restaurant or grab cocktails at a lounge you've never been to. Book reservations as soon as possible to make sure you get a good rate. Explore the Outdoors We are creatures of habit, so it's easy to frequent the same parts of town and never venture out. Pick up a map and circle the natural parks or beaches where you can unwind.  Set aside at least one day to drive the scenic route through the mountains to catch the sunset or make your own bottle of wine at a vineyard. If you're remaining close to your home, pack a picnic basket full of goodies or your journal and lay out in the park. Make sure you take lots of pictures along the way. It'll be fun to be a tourist in your own town and you should document it. Set Some Rules If the people in your life know you're just a phone call away, they might interrupt your groove and lure you back to your normal regimen. Be firm and keep your Blackberry where it belongs and your laptop tucked away so your experience doesn't feel like a regular week off. Give yourself permission to do nothing but indulge in your time off. If your business is handled before your staycation gets rolling, you'll be able to breeze through guilt-free and enjoy every moment.
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