Now that we've staycationed ourselves into a comfortably-cocoony bliss, many of us are ready to venture out again. But differently than before, meaning cheaper and custom-planned, a phenom dubbed the smart-cation. "Smart-cation is planning a vacation that’s right for your interests that uses all of the tools that are out there now to save money," explains travel writer Pauline Frommer. "If you plan your vacation smartly, you can literally shave 30-35 percent off compared to somebody who throws their hats in the air and says, 'oh we'll just go here.' Some ways you save are renting an apartment or a condo rather than doing a hotel. People save a good 30% that way, especially families when you factor in the cost of not having to eat every meal at a restaurant."
Interestingly, the planning part seems to combine the best of staycationing with the joy of anticipating the upcoming trip. Researchers found that when people decided to take a vacay, they were happiest when they were planning it & anticipating their upcoming break. Once they returned home, within two weeks the vacay-glow disappeared & their happiness levels plummeted back to the same levels as people who didn't get away. And within two short months, it was as if they hadn't ever gone away. The researchers advice? Skip the longer annual vacation in favor of shorter breaks spread throughout the year, each lasting around 2-6 days.
So the best way to get your vacay on starts right at home, with dreaming and plotting and planning. "I think the planning can be a lot of fun if you allow it to be, if you don’t stress about it," continues Frommer. "A lot of people spend time planning reading novels about the place they are going or histories or dreaming a lot." Be sure then to savor the trip-planning part as, in some ways, it doesn't get much better. My two cents, or actually, two words: cashmere chic. When you armchair travel making your pre-trip preparations, keep it cozy from your neck all the way down to your toes.
GET THE LOOK: leopard-print cashmere robe - Magaschoni; cashmere playsuit - Madeleine Thompson; cashmere slippers - White & Warren; cushion - FS Home Collections on JulesB.com; Kindle - Amazon.com; "Vacation Planning" via MexicoVacationRental.org
- Lesley Scott