Morning Mix


Planning a next-level staycation

Posted at 10:19 AM, Sep 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-17 10:19:41-04

Just because you’re close to home doesn’t mean you can’t have an incredible, luxurious and memorable staycation.

Editor of Travel and Style Magazine, Jennifer Weatherhead Harrington, stopped by the Fox 17 Morning Mix via Zoom shares tips on how to take your local visit up a notch and add in little elements that feel extra special.


Splurge not just on the money front, but on your vacation days! A lot of people may have unused vacation days because of the pandemic, so why not use them on a great staycation that lasts a bit longer than just a day or two? If you had money set aside for a vacation, think about using that for a staycation.

You don’t have to worry about conversion, your U.S. dollars stay local, and you’re saving on the costs of flights, so you can look at a splurge you like (upgraded room, spa visit, a night out at a fancy restaurant).

A lot of hotels are currently offering deals on stays/free extra nights. If you see a second night free on a hotel you have been waiting to stay at, now is the time to do it! The Detroit Foundation Hotel is reopening this fall and offering a $50 credit toward another future stay. The Hilton Canopy just opened in downtown Grand Rapids which can make for a fun little escape.

Use points

If you are looking to upgrade or book a staycation but want to be mindful of your cash flow, check in on your credit card and rewards points! Don’t forget your hotel rewards points like Hilton Rewards for all those extra perks. Now is a great time to cash them in and make the most of them for an upgrade, a free night, and more.

Treat it like a special occasion

Make your staycation feel like a real vacation and plan it out (because planning a vacation, even a staycation, brings as much joy as a trip itself!) Pack your bags like you normally would, bring surprises for your friends or companion, and make the most of it.

Set a theme

So you can’t go to Europe right now, but you can pretend you’re there! Pick a destination theme and run with it for your staycation, making it part of every detail; order in a fancy French meal, do a wine tasting of Italian wines, or whiskey or beer tasting, visit a museum or a gallery that has a tie back to your destination theme, etc.

You can also set themes that are about your interests instead of destinations like an arts & culture theme (seeing murals in Detroit), a movie hotspot theme (visiting movie filming locations), food or drink theme (check out the food trail in Grand Rapids or all the incredible breweries), a sports theme, and so much more.

Be a tourist

Most of us are quick to let visitors know what they should see and do in our own city, but often we haven’t done those things ourselves! Make a list of the most touristy attractions/things to do and do as many as you can on a weekend. It can be cheesy, but it can also be a lot of fun, even if you have visited those attractions before.

Bring comforts of home

One thing that makes a staycation great is you can kind of pack anything you want (no extra baggage fees or fear of losing a bag!). With the pandemic, a lot of hotels may have limited amenities or limited extra comforts that you can bring with you. Think your favorite robe, plush slippers, or bringing some of your favorite food or drink options.

For more travel tips, follow @Jennweatherhead and @travelstylemag on Instagram.