As we get older, taking vacations can get more and more difficult. For many seniors, long road trips in a car can be very uncomfortable, even painful. Flying can also be difficult because of how cramped the seating is. Plus, once you’ve arrived at your destination, activities that require a lot of walking around may not be much fun if you don’t have much energy and get tired easily.
The cost of travel can also be a burden on seniors who may be living on a limited fixed income. When you add up the cost of a flight, hotel, rental car, meals, and tickets to fun activities, it can get expensive. That’s why many seniors are choosing “Stay”-cations over vacations, finding fun ways to take a break from their daily routines and re-energize themselves while staying home.
If you’re not sure what to do on a “stay”-cation, here are a few ideas you can try out.
- Pretend you’re really a tourist. When you’re planning what you want to do, go online and search for “vacation activities” in your area. Even if you live in a small town or any place where you can’t imagine people taking a vacation, there’s probably more to do than you think. And there’s a good chance that, even in your hometown, there’s a lot you haven’t seen. Find that museum of oddities tucked away in a residential neighborhood. Where do children in your area go on field trips? That’s very likely to be someplace that’s both fun and educational, which means adults can enjoy it too!
- Go to a live performance at a local theater. No matter where you live, there’s a good chance that there’s a community theater within a short drive from your house. Or you might live near a university or community college with a performing arts department that produces plays, concerts, ballets, musicals, and more. You’ll be surprised at how many talented performers there are in your area. And the tickets are a lot more affordable than what you’d pay to see even an off-Broadway performance in any major city.
- Hold your own film festival. With all the online streaming services available these days, there are very few movies you can’t find. Pick a theme or film genre that you enjoy and invite a group of friends over to watch a different movie every evening for a week. You could have a film festival with a different musical every night. Other themes might include the seven best Humphrey Bogart movies or movies that won the Oscar for Best Picture. Have fun with it and get your friends to help you pick the movies.
- Take a class in something fun. In most areas, it’s not too hard to find adult education classes in fun, interesting subjects. And it doesn’t necessarily have to be a college, although it could be. If you’re a Civil War buff, for example, look for a lecture series by published authors about that topic. Or take a class in pottery, digital photography, or painting. You might even want to brush up on your piano or guitar skills, or take up a new instrument entirely.
- Visit a local museum or gallery. Museums are a perfect place to visit if you can stand and walk at a relaxed pace. If you have an appreciation for fine art, museums and galleries are the places to go to enjoy them, whether you want to look at paintings, sculptures, or any type of visual art. And don’t limit yourself to art museums. Museums that focus on local history can be fascinating, as can a natural history museum, an archaeological museum, a botanical garden, or a zoo.
The most important thing is to make sure that, whatever you do, it’s a fun activity that’s also a break from your normal routine. Involve friends and family members that you enjoy spending time with, people who make you laugh and who are fun to be around. You might even forget that you decided to “stay” home and it’ll feel more like a real vacation!