With the economy being the way that it is, staying close to home on vacations has become more and more popular. The new term “staycation” means staying at home on vacations or taking day trips. Ryan and I were very lucky this past weekend as our wedding anniversary coincided with some great deals on hotels downtown for Memorial Day weekend. One of those deals was at the Swissotel. Normally, rooms in this fancy downtown Chicago hotel can start at $229 and can go up to $399. Needless to say, this is not a hotel that we would normally stay at as it would be way out of our budget. I come from a family that swears by Holiday Inn Express. The Swissotel is a huge leap from Holiday Inn Express.
We booked two nights at the Swissotel. We made reservations for our anniversary dinner at the Publican. We had a great last minute dinner at The Purple Pig. We saw a movie and we took advantage of our membership at the Art Institute (that I purchased using Groupon last year) to see the Matisse exhibit. We came back to the hotel just on time to see the Saturday night fireworks at Navy Pier from our hotel room. It was a very nice weekend. But, even though it was a lovely weekend, I was a bit surprised when I woke up this morning and felt that sadness that I normally feel when a week long vacation in a different city/state/country ends.
Ryan and I didn’t travel very far for our vacation. We just went downtown in our own city. However, we made it a special weekend by staying in a hotel that we would not normally stay in. We were able to pretend to be tourists in our own city and were able to see this area of town with new eyes.
The economy isn’t going to turn around very quickly. More and more families will choose to stay in their own town for a vacation. But, if you think of it as a true vacation and not as your only choice due to the economy or other needs, a staycation can be just as fun, relaxing, educational, busy, or whatever you want your vacation to be.