8 Reasons to Take a Staycation This Summer

It seems to me that far too many of us spend a lot of our lives just biding our time between vacations. I love a good getaway as much as the next person, but when we tie up so many of our hopes and dreams into these trips, we’re bound to be disappointed in what happens in between… and we’ll never be able to appreciate all of the amazing things we have going at home. 

This summer, I’m on a mission to investigate and share the beauty of staycations, time off taken in our own homes instead of traveling elsewhere. Staycations can be a lot more practical than vacations, but that doesn’t mean they have to be lame. Here are eight reasons that staycationing is the way to go! 

Beach hat on chair in beach house

Here’s Why a Staycation Is Better Than a Vacation

Why staying home is cool.


1. Staycations are gentle on the budget. If there’s a major downside to taking a vacation, it’s gotta be the cost. As lovely as it is to get away, planning and going on a trip can cause a big hit to your bank account, especially if you travel with a larger family or a group of friends. If finances are what’s keeping you from vacationing, though, don’t give up hope that you’ll get to enjoy the benefits of a restful getaway! Taking a staycation is a great solution. You can take time off of work and other responsibilities and indulge in some R&R at a fraction of the cost by opting for this alternative. This may even extend the life of those vacation vibes, because you won’t have to come home to the stress of a big fat credit card bill! 

2. You can keep your staycation going and going and going… It may not be feasible for you to take a full, consecutive week or two away from the office and other to-dos, even in the summertime — and that may be what’s kept you from cashing in on vacation time in the past. Look no further than a staycation to fix this! If you can take one day here and one day there throughout the summer, or even a series of long weekends, you can look at the sum of that time as a sort of rolling staycation! Map out your days off ahead of time and plan special staycation activities for each of them — at-home spa days, a special dinner with friends, a cool hike, a movie marathon — so that you know what you have to look forward to. As long as you’re not leaving your plans for those days to chance, you’ll maintain the vacation-y feelings, which you can keep going for weeks and months on end! 

3. When you vacation at home, you can keep some elements of your routine. For some of us, one of the most fun parts about taking a vacation is getting a break from the norm, but I’m willing to bet that after a few days of enjoying the spontaneity of a trip, there’s at least some part of your routine that you’re going to miss… even if it’s just sleeping in your own bed. One of the best perks about taking a staycation is that it allows you to pick the parts of your routine that serve you, keep those, and throw out the rest temporarily! Ditch the alarm clock, but maintain your daily walks. Add a few extra treats to the mix for the length of the staycation, but keep to your usual water intake. It’s a lot easier to pick and choose like this when you’re vacationing in your own space! 

Relaxing and reading a newspaper with coffee

4. Staycations give you a chance to explore your hometown. How often do you actually take the time to try new restaurants in your city, or to check out local zoos, museums, and walking trails? When we’re in the rush of everyday life, it’s all too easy to forget that these things even exist, and we definitely don’t prioritize going to them. All of that can change when you get a staycation on the calendar! Make a list of all of the places in your hometown that you’ve always wanted to visit, but have never made time for, and do a little extra research to see what options are out there and not even on your radar yet. Commit to paying a visit to each of these places during your staycation. By the end, you’ll have a brand new appreciation for where you live. You may never even want to leave again! 

5. You can include lots of loved ones! The only thing better than having time off from the daily grind is having time off from the daily grind that also includes the people you care about most. Traveling doesn’t always allow for family and friends to tag along, but if you opt to stay close to home for a staycation, you create opportunities to welcome loved ones to join you! Ask locals to come along for individual events on your staycation, or make it a sleepover by inviting friends and family members who live a bit further away to stay in your guest room and be part of the fun! You can even invite different people to stay with you for different parts of the staycation! Can you get that on a vacation? I don’t think so! 

6. You’ll likely feel more free to indulge. Since you’re saving lots of money on plane tickets and lodging, you may feel a bit more comfortable treating yourself to a meal at a nice local restaurant or picking up a few extra face masks for at-home luxuriating! If you’re anything like me, these extras might be the first things to go if you’re springing for a bigger vacation, so it’s kind of fun to switch things up by saving cash on big-ticket items so you can indulge in more of the little things! 

7. Staycationing can be less stressful than vacationing. Yes, vacations can be relaxing… but they can also be stressful and exhausting. Between getting your itinerary organized, keeping track of your group at the airport, making sure that everyone is comfortable in the accommodations you booked, and tracking down food that the whole crew can agree on, you might just feel like you’d rather be getting some quiet time at home! Why not get that quiet time at home instead? I can hardly think of any potential stressors that might come your way as part of a staycation, which means you get most of the benefits of a getaway without any of the frustrations. Sign me up! 

8. You’ll get down time while still dreaming up the bucket list trip. Stop waiting around to take time off from work and all of the other things on your to-do list. Stop making the excuse that you’re saving up time and money to take the big trip of your dreams! Thanks to the low expense and stress associated with a staycation, you can still get down time while putting money away for the ultimate bucket list destination at some point in the future. Why not enjoy yourself in the meantime? You deserve it!


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8 Reasons to Take a Staycation This Summer

Jamaica: Round Hill Resort & Villas

Jamaica: Round Hill Resort & Villas

I think it’s pretty clear when talking to guests at Round Hill, many of which will most definitely return (including us), that it’s truly a gem of a place. Located on a little round hill on the edge of Montego Bay, you feel as if you are at the end of the world, in a secluded private little nook on the edge of the ocean. It’s magical. From the ocean front-everything, to the decor, the local organic food, and the beautiful botanicals surrounding you every where you look, it’s a truly special place.

With 36 ocean-front rooms and 27 villas, Round Hill isn’t your ordinary big grand hotel by any means. It’s smaller, private, and charming- which was one of my favorite parts about it after staying at large, less-personal hotels the past two years.

The Room & Hotel Amenities:

Ralph Lauren did a pretty amazing job designing this place! I loved the old-charm vibes of the original keys, the library and tv room (and lack of tv’s in the hotel rooms), and so much more. 

The hotel rooms called The Pineapple House, contains 36 oceanfront rooms. the top being just a window and the lower level having a porch with a breakfast table.  They have a grand bed, a nice (updated) bathroom, and a resting area. There is a large wardrobe and various baskets to unpack clothes into, though I found myself itching for a dresser with drawers at one point. I loved the decor, and loved waking up to the ocean breeze.

 

What We Ate:

breakfastBetween the smoothie bar, the egg station, the mini pastries, various fresh juices, and delicious Blue Mountain Coffee, I’d say breakfast was one of our favorites.

Food_Smoothiebar1Smoothie Station

The lunch menu was so great, and with enough variation that we never had to eat the same thing twice. Fresh local food & on occasion- cocktails! If you follow me on Instagram, you saw that we even got to meet and talk with the chef, who was so beyond sweet. 

Roundhill_lunch

Afternoon tea is on from 4:00-5:00pm and is complementary. You’ll find hot and iced tea, mini sandwiches, scones, rum balls, rock buns (my favorite), jerk popcorn, organic veggies with fresh organic hummus, and more!

For dinner there were two options, you could either order off the main menu- which changed nightly, or a buffet style (Wednesday night was curry night, and Friday night was Jerk night). We ordered off the menu every night except for Friday when we did the Jerk buffet. I think Mike and I agree that this was hands down our favorite meal of the trip!  Jerk chicken, jerk sausage, suckling pig, salads to start (mini lobster salad spoons… mmm…), and perfect desserts. We were so happily full!

 About The Food:

A huge part of why I was so excited to visit Round Hill was the food. They pride themselves in using local, organic, and fresh ingredients. Aside from the farm-to-table menus, they have their own organic garden where they have their own fresh herbs, limes, avocado trees, and more. In the past when we’ve traveled and stayed at hotels, the all-inclusive menu buffets were always glutenous and bothered my stomach (without fail). I was so happy to find a place that takes such pride into each dish, cares about where the food comes from, and offers variety.

farm

Day-To-Day:

day-to-day

Our day began by waking up to the ocean breeze coming through our window. We got ready for our day, either by heading out early to read & meditate outside, or heading straight to breakfast. 

days

After breakfast, we headed to the main beach to start off our day. We generally ended up over in the adults only tranquility area by the spa, where you could lounge on outdoor beds, lounge chairs, or a hammock, and order some drinks and a smaller menu of food. 

That side of the resort was by far our favorite. One of the days we got massages in the spa, other days we just lounged in the shade, hit up the gym, or went in the pool on that side. The gym was updated, spacious, and fantastic- with a view of the ocean looking out. I loved that this side of Round Hill was a grassy area right at the edge of the ocean. We ended up strolling back for lunch at some point, and then seeing where the day took us from there!

Day1-SPAThe spa!

Before each night began, we ended the day with a dip in the ocean or the infinity pool watching the sun setting in the background. I loved that the evenings started a bit later here. It really went with the whole laid back and relaxing vibe of the resort. Dinner first begins until 7:30, so you could easily be out on the beach or over in the adult’s only tranquility area until that time! I mean, how can you not stay out during this sunset? 

Sunset4

Sunset8

After getting ready, we made a quick stop at the Ralph Lauren bar where we had pre-dinner cocktails. From there, dinner and the nightly entertainment, except for the night we ventured out, were fun and relaxing. Most nights we ended up going to sleep fairly early, likely a combination of long days in the sun and not a crazy night scene (definitely different from past hotels we’ve stayed at). The entertainment and evening were based around your dinner, so I liked that it started a bit later into the evening.

What I read:

 I brought along two books: The Girl on The Train by Paula Hawkins & The Girl You Left Behind by Jojo Moyes. Both are the perfect beach reads. Quick and has you hooked from the start! 

What We Did Outside The Resort:

When we had lunch with Linda, the Director of Sales and Marketing (love her), she told us about a concert in town with the legendary Freddy McGregor later in the week. We decided to venture out to dinner and the show. We headed to the Hip Strip for dinner (Marguerite’s seafood), then went a few doors down to the show. I think it’s safe to say we fell in love with the music and culture that night! We had the best time. It was small and the show was right on the beach with the ocean behind. Gorgeous and so much fun.

FreddieTickets2

We also took one more little trip; we went to the famous Scotchie’s for some authentic Jerk food that we heard so much about. Man it did not disappoint. I officially love all things jerk! That scotch bonnet pepper is just too good. Somehow I need to get some for my garden here so I can make a real deal jerk sauce!

Highlights:

1. The Food

2. The size of the resort compared to others we’ve stayed at

3. The people and friendly staff

4. The relaxing tranquility (adult-only) spa section

5. The Sunsets

6. The proximity to the airport

7. The private, intimate feel of the resort

8. The gym and hotel amenities 

9. The rooms being ocean front

And that’s just a start!

Sunset3

Will We Be Back?

Without a doubt. I am already looking forward to planning my next Round Hill getaway. The entire trip we kept describing the resort as ‘a little gem,’ and as ‘magical’. It truly is a special place.

Day-WATERRound Hill Resort from the tranquility center/spa/gym area. 

Stay tuned:

Over the next couple of days I will be sharing recipes inspired by our trip to Round Hill! I can’t wait to share some of our favorite eats with you!

Where is your favorite travel destination? What do you look for in a hotel/resort/getaway?

As a disclaimer, I received complimentary additions & some accommodations for our stay, but was not compensated or asked to write a review. All opinions are 100% my own. We simply really loved our stay at Round Hill and I wanted to share about the resort and our trip with all of you!