A new phenomenon blurs the line between work and vacation.
And that could be a good thing…
The staycation. It’s a revolutionary idea: To go away on vacation and stay away for a timeframe measured in weeks and months rather than days—a concept that hadn’t crossed the minds of many until the advent of work-from-home mandates. Travelers began asking themselves questions: What would happen if I decided to call the Emerald Coast home for a few weeks? What if I just took my work with me? Would anyone care?
If you’re already working from a home office, the staycation likely falls well within the realm of the possible thanks to recent advances in video conferencing technology. As a result, the staycation has become a phenomenon, something verging on a new way of life for many. Vacation time with family is wrapped tightly around a productive work schedule that includes plenty of face-to-face time with workmates wherever they may be. For the Emerald Coast staycationer, a few hours of work could be followed by a few hours on the beach. All it takes is some creative scheduling.
The lodging industry as a whole has been on a mission to help facilitate the trend. Vacation rental homes and hotels represent the vast majority of available lodging options, as both generally offer reliable internet access with adequate bandwidth. A vacation home rental may be more suitable, as it will likely offer far more space, a kitchen, and in-home laundry.
Vacation rental homes are usually safer, with many offering no-touch check-in. You simply arrive at your vacation rental home with a keypad code—and you’re in. If you’re looking to self-isolate with your family, this is how you do it. There are also no shared elevators, lobbies or other shared spaces. For families with young children, the benefits of safety and space are a must.
Of course, staycations are not merely defined by the length of stay but by the destination’s proximity to home, which is preferably within driving distance. This is a practical consideration, as it allows for shorter transit times and greater ease in transporting your home office. You can elevate your staycation experience—especially here on the Emerald Coast—with a few helpful tips.
Turn Your Bedroom Into A Zen Oasis
Pack a soft blanket from home to allow yourself to feel like you’re sleeping in your own bed while away. Pull down the shades, spritz lavender spray onto the pillows at night, and slide on a light-blocking eye mask to create the luxurious feeling of a spa getaway. Don’t forget to bring your favorite silky pajamas or robe to lounge around in.
A Kitchen That Fits Your Travel Group
As hard as it may be for foodies who love travel, it’s always a safer choice to stay in the house and cook in the midst of a pandemic rather than go out. Fortunately, vacation rental homes typically come with fully equipped kitchens—sometimes even “gourmet” kitchens. If cooking isn’t your thing, many restaurants have adapted to takeout and outdoor dining options. Another option is to hire a local private chef to treat your travel group to a unique culinary experience.
Book A Home With Your Favorite Amenities
Bikes, golf carts, paddleboards…These are amenities that will enhance your trip and allow you to get creative with your mode of transportation as you explore your destination. Check nearby trails through area parks, such as the Longleaf Greenway Trail in Point Washington State Park.
On The Road With Your Home Office
Nothing improves a workday like a view. If your staycation plans include office time, ergonomic and efficient communications technology are essential. Make sure to bring all necessary chargers, mousepads, headphones, scanners, printers and portable hotspots to make working remotely a seamless experience. If possible, book a home with an office nook or desk so that you have a designated workspace. Also, create a daily routine that allows for maximum time spent with family and friends. You never want to lose sight of why you’re here.
Travel always blends risk with responsibilities and incredible rewards. With this in mind, stay up to date with possible travel advisories and be mindful of the local regulations. By taking an extra effort in planning your staycation, it could become a new way of life.