With rising inflation and fears of an impending recession, now may not be the right time to plan an elaborate vacation. But that doesn’t mean you can’t escape the monotony of everyday life and put on your explorer hat once in a while.
A great way to travel and relax without breaking your budget is to take a “proximity”. According to travel marketAmericans are increasingly looking to explore a little closer to home and favor “nearby” experiences.
But what exactly is a nearcation and how can you take full advantage of this kind of trip? Below, travel experts break it down.
What exactly is “proximity”?
“A closeness is simply a vacation you take close to home,” said one travel blogger Sean Lau. “It could be in your own city or town, or even just in the next state. The beauty of proximity is that you don’t have to do extensive planning. Nearcations are becoming increasingly popular as people look for ways to save money and time.
The idea of proximity is that you are close to home but far enough from your actual home to decompress properly and feel a sense of escape.
“If the trip is longer than one or two hours, you have to fly, or if it’s longer than a few days, it should be classified as a traditional vacation,” said Phil Dengler, co-founder of The vacationer.
Although some people use the terms nearcation and staycation interchangeably, he thinks there is a major difference.
“On a staycation, you stay home,” Dengler explained. “On a proximity, you stay in local accommodation such as a hotel or Airbnb. Either way, you participate in local activities within a 50-100 mile radius of your home without worrying about work or chores.
What are the benefits of proximity?
“There are a lot of advantages to taking a proximity,” Lau said. “On the one hand, it’s much less stressful than traveling to another country. You don’t have to worry about booking a flight, packing everything in your luggage or calculating the local currency conversion.
With fewer moving parts, there’s also less chance of disruptions that could derail the experience.
“When you take a trip nearby, it takes the stress out of potential travel issues like flight delays, trip interruptions, lost luggage, etc.,” said one travel blogger. Esther Susag. “Mostly the proximities are literally a short drive away.”
Nearcations can be particularly suitable for people who feel too busy to plan the logistics of a trip during the work week, but still want to relax and explore new places over the weekend.
“Another advantage is that nearcations are cheaper and more carbon-friendly,” Lau added. “You’re not traveling by plane, which can produce a lot of carbon emissions, so you can feel good about taking an eco-friendly trip. And since you’re not traveling too far from home, you can also save money on gasoline.
Indeed, the price is one of the biggest advantages of choosing a proximity. You don’t have to make room in your budget for expensive plane tickets and Ubers or rental cars.
“Taking a proximity is great because it saves you money,” Susag said. “So if you’re in desperate need of a rest but don’t want to shell out a lot of cash, exploring somewhere near you is a great alternative.”
You also have the option to further explore your hometown and region.
“A great thing about proximities is that they really push you to fall in love with where you live and find hidden gems in your backyard,” Susag noted. “Most of the time when we think of vacations, we think of getting as far away from where we live as possible, and sometimes that makes us forget that where we live can also have beautiful places to explore. “
How can you maximize the proximity experience?
There’s no right way to take a proximity, but there are a few useful factors to keep in mind if you want to maximize the experience.
“First, pick a location that’s close to home but still new to you,” Lau recommended. “The most important part of being close is being far enough from home that you feel like you’re on vacation, but not so far that it’s hard to get there.”
He also suggested booking ‘unique accommodation’. Think outside the box when looking for accommodation.
“Since you’re not spending money on flights, you have a bit more to spend on proximity,” Lau said. “Look for unique places to stay such as cabanas, beach huts or treehouses to make your closeness more special and memorable!”
Also, be sure to think about the overall location selection process.
“Take some time and research your destination to make sure there are things to do nearby,” Lau advised. “You don’t have to plan every leg of your itinerary, but just having a rough idea of what to do in the area could help you choose the perfect destination for your proximity. You don’t want to get close to you and realize that there is not much to do.
Susag suggested asking friends and family for recommendations while you consider where you might want to go for closeness.
“Plus, using Facebook groups is a fantastic way to get ideas for places you might never have heard of,” she added. “If you dig a little deeper, you’ll find plenty of Facebook groups in your area of like-minded people willing to share places they’ve been and loved.”
If you’re on a tight budget, consider cheaper options like renting bikes or packing food and a blanket and grabbing a bottle of wine for a scenic picnic in a new area. But if you have the means, take the opportunity to try different restaurants.
“During a proximity, you should explore your hometown or nearby towns the way you normally explore the towns you vacation in,” Dengler said. “That means new restaurants, museums, tourist attractions and hikes.”
But perhaps the most important tip for taking full advantage of closeness: unplug and get away from the little stresses of everyday life to feel present.
“Like a staycation, the purpose of a nearcation is to take a break from work, household chores, and other potentially stressful aspects of daily life,” Dengler noted. “Make sure everything is done before the proximity starts. Do your shopping, mow the lawn and make sure all your work is done. During closeness, you shouldn’t worry about household chores or attending dates.