The Benefits of a Hotel Staycation

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

Disclosure: Our accommodations at Grand Pacific Palisades were provided complimentary by Grand Pacific Resorts. 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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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 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 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, 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. 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 is right next door to Legoland. 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 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. 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 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 were provided complimentary by Grand Pacific Resorts. 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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  1. I was worried we (family of 4) were the only ones doing this – staying at hotels in our own city!
    Simply being in a new environment is quite relaxing indeed. And with the swimming pool only minutes away on foot, it really was soooo convenient!
    We book through Hotwire mystery hotel and pay around $100 CAD for the room, breakfast buffet included. We figure breakfast at a restaurant costs us around $50 anyway (and the men are never full). Admission to swimming pool is around $15, expect to be buying lunch. And as an extra, the hotel we stay at provides complimentary dinner on Weekdays. Plus don’t forget loyalty benefits like airmiles, aeroplan, etc… It’s actually a really really good deal! If you eat out at restaurants once or twice a week, do double check prices before you shove it off as something you can’t afford. On the safe side, we only book mystery hotels that are 90%+ recommended by reviewers.

  2. We did this for the first time in December at a hotel down the street. The kids loved swimming indoors in December. It was odd waking up the next morning to go down the street to my dentist appt, but ended up staying another night since we had fun. We have done it a second time a couple weeks ago. It also helps teach kids the proper way to act in hotels.

  3. We did this last year – just checked into a hotel 15 minutes away and had a blast! We walked next door to the fun restaurant (beach themed), then I ran over to the nearby movie theater, bought popcorn and watched a Redbox movie on the sofabed in the room. Next day we swam in the indoor pool. It was a blast and not very expensive. We really felt like we got away!

  4. I am so glad you posted this idea. We take advantage of hotel deals through my husband’s work to stay in lodges that are close, but not too close to our home. Being able to focus on spending time together without worrying about cleaning, cooking, or getting out to see all the sites makes those mini vacations as enjoyable as our out of town trips!

  5. We often do a local hotel vacation in the middle of winter. We go to a town not that far away, and get a hotel with a pool. The kids enjoy cable (something we don’t have) a swim in a pool (burning off energy in winter). We often order pizza to the room, because that is fun! and my husband and I might take turns sneaking out to do a bit of window shopping in nearby stores.

  6. We did our first hotel staycation last October for our anniversary and we had such an amazing time we have decided we are going to do this until times get way easier and even then we may continue. For the fourth we picked an awesome hotel and we are very much looking forward to our hotel staycation. I was a bit upset with the current hotel when my husband called the quoted a price then when they sent an additional e-mail stating it would be $10.00 higher they took $10.00 back off of the quote. So before we have even left so we will see great thing is we blog too so we will leave our opinion.

  7. It was a joy to read this post! It made me laugh. You are so lucky to have so many things to do so close. That was a great idea. I remember my kids in hotels and they did the same things your kids did- it’s the newness and differentness of being somewhere else. Thank God for hotel maids!! It looks like everyone had a great time!
    God bless, Kathy in Illinois

  8. About a month ago when we attended my brother’s wedding, my husband and I left our daughter with my parents for a night after the wedding and went to a hotel just a few minutes away for the night. Though it was in the town we grew up in, it was so relaxing to have the evening to ourselves and not to do laundry afterwards.

  9. Sounds great…but a bit outside our budget.

    A traditional at-home staycation works best for us at this stage, although hubby does like to work on fixing things around the house when he’s home. But then he has a list of completed projects he can enjoy all year, and that is worth gold, I can tell you.

    A change is as good as a rest, and changing the working location and type of work is as good as changing the sleeping location for our family. 🙂