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Travel

How To Plan The Perfect Staycation In 2021

By Somdutta Mazumder

Updated - Jan. 6, 2021 7 min read

Not to be dramatic, but at this point, I'm okay with being stabbed in the chest just to experience an adrenaline rush. I feel like monotonous is too mild a word to express how life feels like these days. I'm bored; intensely, hopelessly and mind-numbingly bored. Every single day starts off similarly, leads to the same things, and ends the exact same way. The same four walls of my room, the same view from my balcony. Even tried and tested pick-me-ups like retail therapy or coffee with a friend, don't work anymore. There's no sense of adventure and no sights to soothe my eyes with. What's there, is an endless stretch of identical days, spiling onto one another. Sigh. 

 

Ironically enough, as the clock struck midnight last New Year's Eve, I'd pledged to travel excessively and explore every chance I got. Little did I know, 2020 would bring no chances whatsoever. But be that as it may, the need for an escapade has still been burning bright. It's funny really, travelling in a pandemic could lead to poor physical health, but staying at home every day without any exciting experiences, is certainly affecting our mental well-being. So, which one do we choose? Is finding middle-ground even possible? 

 

Well, thanks to whoever invented staycations, it is indeed possible. A change of scenery and surroundings, without mingling too much with the crowds, a staycation is the ideal solution to our unfulfilled vacay dreams this year. We all need a time-out, especially now more than ever. So, here's us telling you how to plan the perfect staycation in 2020!

 

Step 1. Picking The Place 

In the pre-pandemic world, the first step to planning a vacation was choosing a destination. And that was followed by finding suitable accommodation in the area. But since the whole point of a staycation is to stay indoors, deciding on the place of stay is the most important thing. You can choose based on your budget from luxury resorts, boutique hotels, guesthouses, Airbnbs and backpacker hostels. When picking your accommodation for a staycation in 2020, keep the following things in mind: 

  • Make sure wherever you're headed is taking all necessary COVID-19 precautions. This includes contactless check-in, afrequent sanitisation, deep-cleaning after each guest checks out, availability of disinfectants and sanitisers, wearing of a mask and protective gear by staff members, relatively fewer bookings and social distancing at common spaces
  • Make sure you check whether there have been any recent cases at or around your choice of accommodation 
  • Try to go for stays at slightly secluded locations 
  • To be more economical, pick an accommodation where the tariff is inclusive of at least 2 meals 
  • If you plan on working, make sure you inquire about the availability of network & WiFi connectivity in advance 
  • Get information about the locality/area. Inquire about the availability of facilities like pharmacy, ATM etc 

how-to-plan-a-staycation

Image Courtesy - Freepik

 

Step 2. Figuring Out Essential Requirements 

Up until a few weeks back, to gain entry into several tourist states you needed to apply for an online permit, and produce negative test results within 72 hours before your travel date. A number of these travel restrictions have now been relaxed, yet several resorts and stays around the country are following their own rules and norms. So, once you've decided on a place, clarify if any such regulations exist where you're headed. Nevertheless, it's highly advisable to get tested before you venture out, official mandate or not. Especially if you've had any flu-like symptoms however mild, a couple of weeks before your travel date, please get checked and ensure you're not COVID positive. 

how-to-plan-a-staycation

Image Courtesy - Freepik

 

Also Read: 10 Virtual Travel Tours For Exploring The World During Lockdown

 

Step 3. Choosing Things To Do 

This is where you chalk out a list of things you'd want to do during your staycation. Now, there are no right or wrong answers here, just some prior planning. Do you want to have lunch picnics under the afternoon sun? Inquire about a private garden space at your choice of stay. Do you plan on going on a trek during the morning? Ask the manager at your staycation spot about trekking points, trek tours, the availability of trek guides etc. Perhaps you'd like to cycle in the evening? Arrange for a rental bicycle before you start travelling. The reason we'd urge you to plan all of this in advance is simple. Because of the pandemic and subsequently reduced bookings, facilities might not be as readily available as they would be in a normal world. So, making arrangements for all your staycation activities is highly advisable. Also, try to avoid activities more likely to lead to exposure and infection, like swimming in a common pool, or heading to the town centre. 

P.S. it's absolutely alright if you want to do nothing more than lounge on a comfy bed. That's the essence of a relaxing staycation anyway! 

how-to-plan-a-staycation

Image Courtesy - Freepik

 

Step 4. Choosing Your Mode Of Transport 

So you've decided where you want to stay. But how exactly do you plan on getting there? Let's review your options.

There's air travel, which in most cases is a quick and economical option. However, if you fall in the high-risk for Coronavirus category, travelling with several other strangers might not be the best choice. Although, you will be given a full PPE kit and airlines are taking all precautions necessary. 

You can also travel by train or bus. However, considering the extremely public nature of these transportation modes, it's advisable to keep this as your least-favoured option. 

Lastly, there's the choice of private car rental. As someone who recently ventured on a staycation using a rented car, I personally find this to be the safest option for travelling during a pandemic. The whole car is sterilised before it's handed over to you, and occupied by only you and your travel companions through the journey. Even better if you're up for a drive, so you can make a road trip out of it! 

how-to-plan-a-staycation

Image Courtesy - Freepik

 

Step 5. Budgeting 

Staycations are meant for letting go and indulging yourself. But you don't want to come back home with a nearly empty bank account. So, laying down a budget in advance is extremely important to contain frivolous spending. Set aside essential expenditure, like your accommodation, travel cost, meals etc. Make a separate column for things you may spend on, such as a spa experience, adventure sports, bike rental etc. Lastly, allot some money for non-serious miscellaneous expenditure like a random shopping trip. 

 

Step 6. Packing 

As you'd expect, packing for a trip during a pandemic is a slight departure from how you packed before Coronavirus. In addition to the vital items like clothing, shoes, toiletries etc, here's a checklist of things you must carry when you're travelling in 2020: 

  1. Handy sanitizers. Loads of them
  2. Wet tissue
  3. Toilet seat sanitisation spray (a must if you're taking a road trip)
  4. One mask you'll be wearing during travel along with extra face masks 
  5. Gloves
  6. A medicine box. Include medication for common ailments like cold, fever, stomach ache, vomiting, diarrhoea etc. Also include emergency first-aid items like bandaids, disinfectant, topical ointment etc
  7. A power bank and cable 
  8. Extra water for washing your hands, face and shoes 
  9. Disposable bags for used tissues and other trash 
  10. A separate water bottle for each traveller along with disposable plates 
  11. Snacks for a road-trip. Avoid buying food on the way as much as you can, one can't be sure about the precautions at roadside food stalls 
  12. Plenty of drinkable water 

how-to-plan-a-staycation

Image Courtesy - Freepik


Look at you, all prepped up for your future staycation! Last but not the least, don't forget to download Aarogya Setu on your phone before you head out. Not only will it help you stay informed about the possibility of infection wherever you are, but it's also something a number of cops and official authorities check for when you're travelling. 

All said and done, don't forget to chill the eff out on your staycation. Safe travels! 

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