For much of my life, I held the opinion that staycations were a bit of a waste. Why spend money to visit an area you can see whenever you like? It made no sense to me. Just pocket that cash and spend an afternoon exploring the suburb instead.
But I’ve come to realise that I was perhaps a little too quick to judge the staycation and overlooked a few benefits that I now recognise are pretty damn attractive — to a lot of different people.
I was recently offered the opportunity to experience a stay at the recently-restored Strand Hotel in Darlinghurst, Sydney, and while there, I had some time to reflect on why a staycation can be a real mood booster.
As a Sydney girl who has been to Darlinghurst countless times before, it was really interesting to take a weekend to experience this part of the city I know very well from a fresh perspective.
What I realised is that allowing yourself to be swept up in the tourist’s experience of your home city can really remind you of just how beautiful it is. I found myself looking out the window of my room in this boutique hotel and just observing the streets of the city, and feeling excited by that – the same city I’ve seen so many times before.
There’s also something so restorative about indulging in the luxury of a hotel stay with a big bed, cosy robes and the option of room service – not to mention a swanky French bistro – without needing to commit to travelling anywhere.
You can really see why people may want to take a mini break from the day-to-day grind and just allow themselves to feel pampered, just for one night, before making the short trip home. It’s so deliciously easy.
I am not even slightly exaggerating when I say I had one of the best sleeps I’ve had in months while staying at The Strand Hotel. And having such easy access to incredible food – instead of my standard 10-minute stir fry – really elevated the whole experience to another level.
And then there’s the whole point of price. Not everyone has the luxury of being able to afford a flight to Paris right now. Maybe not even a flight to Melbourne. The option of a staycation removes the rather hefty cost of travel – whether that’s by plane or the petrol costs of road trips. And while a boutique hotel may not be within the budget of every traveller, it does become more accessible to some when you consider it might just be a train ride away.
So, yeah. Consider me a fan of the staycation now.
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