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The Benefits of a Hotel Staycation

Posted By Jessica Fisher On July 3, 2012 @ 1:15 am In Summertime,Travel | 15 Comments

A hotel staycation is just the ticket to rest and relaxation for the whole family — without the hassle and cost of travel time.

This past weekend our family did something we’ve never done before. We had an official hotel staycation, wherein we “vacationed” in our own town. OK, it was in our county, not our town, but that’s splitting hairs. And thanks to Grand Pacific Resorts [3] we were able to make it even more relaxing than if we’d simply stayed home.

Now, at first glance it seems a little counterintuitive to “vacation” at home or to “staycation” at a hotel. Certainly, a traditional staycation [4] involves sleeping in your own bed and saving some coin by avoiding the travel and accommodations costs associated with a full blown trip out of town.

A hotel staycation incurs a little cost for accommodations to stay in your own stomping grounds where you pursue vacation-type activities in an area you already know well.

With a successful hotel staycation under my belt, I present the benefits of this kind of family activity.

New place = excitement

If you’ve ever seen Bedtime Stories, [5] then you know that one of the fun parts of traveling is simply the staying somewhere you’ve never been. We’ve seen this reenacted in real life. Our kids get more jazzed about sleeping in a hotel than they do about the location itself.

And this weekend was no different. The kids were thrilled with the idea of staying in a hotel. In fact, on Friday morning, several children were up before the sun in anticipation of our little hotel vacation. Forget the fact that check-in wasn’t until the late afternoon. They were excited and ready to go!

When we arrived they pounced on their “new” beds, examined every nook and cranny of the three-bedroom condo, and tore apart the towel origami before I had a chance to photograph it.

Out and about, there was plenty of property to explore [6]. Where were the pools and hot tubs? Playground? Basketball hoop? Shuffleboard?

And in the words of my eight-year old, “Hotel means candy machines. And candy machines mean a dollar and a quarter every day!” On vacation we give our kids a vending machine allowance, so you can bet the location of the machines was also high on the list of priorities.

You leave your to do list at home.

If we had “vacationed” at home, I know that my to-do list would have been extremely tempting. It would have beckoned me to multi-task. Surely I can fold laundry while we watch a movie. Or start a load of towels while we sit down to eat.

But, going away from home, even if it was less than 40 miles, made me pack light. I left my computer at home, and hubby went without a phone. No one knew where we were, so there were no phone calls to ignore. Even the kids got a break from many of their regular chores.

We were forced to focus on rest and relaxation — which is not a bad thing at all.

You’re more likely to have an adventurous spirit.

Grand Pacific Palisades Resort [6] is right next door to Legoland [7]. We’ve been in and around that neighborhood plenty of times. I found that we knew the neighborhood well enough not to feel like fish out of water. But, it was also new enough to us to boost our sense of exploration and adventure.

Hubby purposely prevented me from grocery shopping before we went. Instead, we shopped together at the local Trader Joe’s and let the kids pick things that were clearly “vacation” items. That is, they each got to pick out their own boxes of cold cereal, something we rarely stock at home these days. They gorged themselves on Saturday morning, knowing their limit was simply the bottom of their individual boxes.

We tried to be intentional about doing things a little out of the normal, like taking the kids to a tasty, but expensive (for a large family) burger joint. They had a great time, and the cheeseburgers and root beer at Elevation Burger [8] are amazing!

FishPapa and the older boys investigated the shuffleboard court, looked up how to play, and spent a great afternoon competing. They even want to create a court at home! That’s not something you discover just staying home!

You have easy access to amenities that you might not have at home.

On our resort staycation, the pools, splashpad, playground, shuffleboard, basketball court, arcade, vending machines, and activity center were just steps aways from “home,” as FishChick3 came to call our unit. While we go to the pool and the park on a weekly basis, those trips still require piling in the car.

Instead, we could zip to and from these activities at a moment’s notice without much advance planning. And while we do have a YMCA membership, swimming in the pool there is not quite as relaxing as it was at Grand Pacific Palisades [6]. We spent the bulk of each day playing and splashing about.

You don’t feel pressed to see all the sights.

Hubby had the bright idea for us to go to the pool early in the day while everyone else at the resort was jostling to get out the door to Legoland and other San Diego attractions. Since we’re “locals” we didn’t feel the pressure to get out and about and do the touristy things. We can do those anytime.

Instead, we could enjoy all these amenities and really relax. Grand Pacific Palisades [6] is designed with families in mind, right down to planned daily activities for the kids, so there really is a ton to do just staying on the property.

Hotels are designed for relaxation.

It would be great if I could say that my home was designed for relaxation, but it’s not. There are messes to clean up, ringing phones to answer, and a general lived-in feel. But, a hotel is different.

At a hotel, someone else washes and folds the loads and loads of towels. Someone else empties the trash. Someone else brings you a morning paper or lights the firepit for you to roast your marshmallows. Really!

So, if you’re looking for a break from your everyday without leaving town, a hotel staycation is just the ticket! My kids thanked me over and over again throughout the weekend for such a fun time.

It was a perfect break in our summer to enjoy the sunshine, the beautiful weather, and to put our feet up. And it definitely made the case for a hotel staycation.

What’s YOUR experience with hotel staycations?

Disclosure: Our accommodations at Grand Pacific Palisades [6] were provided complimentary by Grand Pacific Resorts [3]. All opinions are my own. This post also includes an Amazon referral link. If you make a purchase through that link, I do receive a small percentage of the sale.


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[3] Grand Pacific Resorts: http://bit.ly/QXZY6o

[4] a traditional staycation: http://lifeasmom.com/2011/03/planning-a-great-staycation.html

[5] Bedtime Stories,: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001FB55MG/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B001FB55MG&linkCode=as2&tag=oflwtf-20&l=as2&o=1&a=B001FB55MG

[6] plenty of property to explore: http://bit.ly/QY1qFJ

[7] Legoland: http://lifeasmom.com/2011/05/legoland-with-a-2-year-old.html

[8] Elevation Burger: http://bit.ly/QY1WUb

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