Staycation vs Vacation

Whether you’re taking time off far from home, or opting to stay a little closer this time around, what makes a great vacation spot?

Staycation vs Vacation

A change of scenery can offer a significant mental and emotional refresh. There’s just something about deviating from your usual, everyday routine that makes it a little easier to buckle down and get back to daily life afterward.

But, if you don’t have a big budget or a lot of time to travel, what are your options for a vacation spot that offers fun for the whole family? What should you look for in a hotel or an Airbnb rental, near or far? Let’s dive in.

What Makes a Great Airbnb?

Thankfully, finding a vacation or staycation rental is literally just a few clicks away these days. Airbnbs are available across the world, making it easy to enjoy locales both near and far. The appeal of Airbnbs varies, but many travelers love them for the convenience of having so many amenities in addition to being immersed in the community. 

Rather than being stuck with a hotel, which is usually located in a commercial district, Airbnbs have the flexibility of being homes in neighborhoods or rural areas off the beaten path. Overall, most travelers agree that an Airbnb with a slew of amenities is important. That can range from having pool access to having free parking and WiFi.

Most Popular Amenities Searched on Airbnb

  • Pool

  • WiFi

  • Kitchen

  • Free parking

  • Jacuzzi 

  • Washer and dryer

  • Air conditioning/heat

  • Self check-in

  • Workspace

  • Pet-friendly

Practical Extras Guests Appreciate

  • Linens provided for each guest

  • Cleaning products provided for tidying up during a stay

  • Accessibility (either ADA or for young children)

Turning Your Home Into The Ultimate Staycation Spot 

How often have you returned from a vacation and thought about incorporating aspects of your trip into your home? Maybe your Airbnb had the best linens or pillows and you want to invest in the same products for your bedroom. Or, perhaps the bathrooms had a touch of luxury that inspire you to make upgrades to your own. Here are some ways you can turn your home into the ultimate staycation spot, whether for you or future vacation renters.

Luxury Bathroom

One of the best ways to make your home the perfect staycation destination is to outfit your bathroom with some extras. Make it a place you want to retreat to, whether it’s after a long day at work, or just a weekend afternoon. The glass experts at Smitty’s have some suggestions for amenities that make a luxury bathroom, which include:

  • Heated flooring

  • Walk-in shower

  • Soaker tub

  • Heated light/fan combo above the bathtub

  • Heated towel rack

Then there are the usual touches, such as greenery, good lighting, and a calming color palette. Small changes, such as upgrading your fixtures or purchasing a new set of towels can also make your bathroom feel like a vacation spot.

Practical Kitchen

Something you may have loved about your recent hotel or vacation rental experience was the kitchen. A practical kitchen has the necessities, without being cluttered. Even the smallest of spaces can feel adequate when done right. Here’s how you can make your home kitchen feel more like a vacation spot:

  • Invest in multi-tasking appliances (to free up storage space)

  • Declutter (pantry items, dinnerware, decor, etc…)

  • Increase lighting

  • Use a neutral color palette

In the kitchen and elsewhere, be sure there is a place for everything, and everything is in its place.

Create a Signature Scent

Did you know that many hotels have a signature scent? We all know that our sense of smell is strongly tied to our memories; a whiff of a fragrance can take us back to a specific spot, or make us think of a specific person. So, in order to make your home feel like a vacation spot, why not create, or adopt, a signature scent?

Chances are, your home isn’t always uncluttered, spotless, or luxurious. But, despite houses looking lived-in, we can still elevate how we feel while there by focusing on scent. Many hotels are known for their signature scent, including W Hotels, Westin, and Rancho La Puerta in Mexico. 

Whether you actually create your own unique fragrance or stock up on one that already exists, think about cultivating a signature scent in your home so every time you walk in the door you know you can start to leave the day behind. If you’re interested in making your own perfume, check out this article for tips.

Las Vegas - More Family-Friendly Than You Think

Sure, Las Vegas is known for luxury hotels like Virgin, Bellagio, and Waldorf Astoria. But did you know there are also family-friendly communities and accommodations just a few miles away? You don’t have to stay downtown in order to experience all that Las Vegas, and Nevada as a whole, have to offer. Suburbs including Henderson, Enterprise, and Paradise allow you to be close to the city without staying in it.

If you’re interested in vacationing in a bustling city like Vegas, here are some tips for doing so with family in tow.

Bring a Stroller

Did you know most airlines allow you to check your stroller at the gate? This means you can use it to haul kids and bags through the airport, saving you a lot of stress. In a big city you usually find yourself doing a lot of walking, so a stroller is a must for young travelers who easily tire.

Break in Your Shoes

Whether you’re wearing sneakers or sandals, make sure everyone’s footwear is broken in before your vacation. There’s nothing worse than developing blisters on day one of your trip.

Pack Essentials

That’s kind of broad advice, but it’s a tip to help you avoid spending all your vacation money on snacks, extra clothing layers, or medicine for the occasional upset stomach or headache. When traveling with kids, make space in your luggage for extra bandaids, diapers, and hand sanitizer. Bringing these types of essentials from home can save you a lot of money. If you need to, you can usually have things delivered to your hotel ahead of time. The front desk is often willing to hold items prior to your arrival, as long as you communicate about it in advance.

Build in Breaks

If you’re staying outside the city you’re visiting, it may not be practical to head back to your suburban Airbnb for nap times or snacks. But, maybe it’s worth booking your vacation rental in a neighborhood like Cadence in Henderson. While little ones nap at the house with an adult, other family members can enjoy the outdoor amenities a master-planned community offers, such as a pool, walking trails, dog park, and splash pad. It’s a great way to keep kids from getting too overtired, and also break up the busyness of a Vegas vacation.

Be Flexible

If all else fails, go into your vacation with a positive mindset, knowing that changes will need to be made to ensure everyone comes out of the trip relatively unscathed. It may mean you plan fewer outings per day, or change dinner plans when “hanger” sets in earlier than you anticipated.

Whether vacationing or staycationing, take the time to unplug, slow down, and appreciate what’s around you.