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Sweet getaway

Pauline Songco

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Everybody deserves a break. It may sound ambiguous, but really, we all do.

Imagine waking up one day where neither work nor study is in your list of to dos. You look out the window and see the magnificent skyline of the city you’ve always dreamed of exploring. Sounds inviting, I know. But the hardest part is when you realize all the preparations and amount that you have to spend for plane tickets, accommodations, transportation and food. Thinking about it just makes you redo plans, or worse, postpone it.

But why don’t you just bring the vacation closer to you? That is now possible with a staycation, a trend which has been growing in popularity among Filipinos these past years.

A portmanteau of “stay” and “vacation,” “staycation” was widely used across the United States in May 2008, a time when the price of petrol went so high that many Americans refused to go about their day and chose to stay in the comforts of their homes. But written history tells us that the term has been used much earlier. In July 1944, the Cincinnati Enquirer published an ad using “staycation,” particularly for a full-page advertisement of Felsenbrau Supreme beer.

Filipinos have adopted this trend and it is undeniably becoming more popular by the day. With a simple click, you can take your time off at a hotel with your family or book a cheap vacation with friends at a nearby yet quiet city without having to experience the inconvenience of planning trips internationally.

Best of all, you get to have time together without worrying about the nitty-gritty of preparing food for everyone or braving the holiday traffic just to get from one mall to another, trying to complete your Christmas gift list.

These days, with many hotels connected to commercial areas, traffic is cut from the stressors of the season, giving you more time to relax or bond with your loved ones.

So why is a staycation a good idea?

Saves money. Accomodations, transportations, itinerary and food expenses easily add up on when you’re traveling overseas. Staycations, however, are a lot cheaper. You can just spend the money you usually allot for visa or travel taxes for your food or gas.

More time to relax. Opting for staycations rather than a few days abroad is less hassle because you’ll spend minimum time traveling. Don’t overwhelm yourself with planning since itineraries can be near you. Hence, it is easier to plan and you don’t have to worry about applying for multiple visas, expensive airline tickets and travel taxes.

Rediscover your city. You may just stick to the places you know because of your hectic schedule. But a staycation is the perfect opportunity to go around and discover Metro Manila’s hidden gems like new restaurants, museums or historical sites that could be the country’s next big attractions.

Shopping. Maybe retail therapy is all you need. There are some hotels around the city which are strategically located near malls or outlets, some of which occupy the first two floors of the property. Taking a day or two to shop can be relaxing.

Busy days may take a toll on us and staycations come as the best way to relax in a jiffy. Slow things down and explore parts of the Philippines that you’ve never been to. It’s the best gift you can give yourself.

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