Daily Choices

Take a Stay-cation

There’s a world of vacation fun right here!

When that hard-earned, long-awaited vacation arrives, it’s understandable to want to pack up and get away as far and fast as you can. But whether you’re driving or flying, long-distance trips take a hard toll on the planet.

Fortunately, you live in one of the most historically, culturally and scenically rich areas in the nation. Why not plan to spend a vacation right here to explore our national treasures, take in a show, hike a beautiful trail, dine in a world-class restaurant? Just switch off the smartphone, lock the home office, and let the unwinding begin!

Fun in Montgomery County with friends and family. Find things to do and guides to parks and trails, nature centers and gardens.

Broaden your horizons or learn a new skill with a class through Montgomery County Recreation.

Find and reserve a park facility or campsite.

Take in some music or performing arts at the Strathmore.

Find all kinds of things to do in downtown DC through Destination DC.

Some of the best museums in the nation are right in your backyard; get details on the Smithsonian Museums and Zoos.

Find nearby hiking, biking, camping and activities in Maryland.

Fresh air, exercise, culture, entertainment, fine food — and a lot of saved money from not using gas or airfare to travel. Those are fun incentives!

It’s a great theory, but how do I keep “life” from intruding on my stay-cation?

Excellent question! In our plugged-in, always-on world, it takes a lot of effort to turn off and tune out. Try these tips for a successful stay-close getaway:

  1. Set start and end dates to the stay-cation just like a real vacation, because it is a real vacation.
  2. Tell your employer, extended family members and friends you’re going on vacation.
  3. Turn off the phone and computer.
  4. Establish a chore-atorium – a mandatory stop on all non-essential household chores. You can still make your bed and run the dishwasher, if you want to.
  5. Give yourself a day or so to relax and get into vacation mode.
  6. Plan activities and events for each day, allowing time to enjoy the activity and to be spontaneous.
  7. Splurge a little. Make a reservation at that fancy restaurant you’ve been meaning to try, or buy tickets for a sporting event, concert or show — remember, you’re not spending money on gas or airfare.
  8. Capture your memories with photos and keep mementos like maps and ticket stubs to recall the time.

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