5 Fun Ideas for the Perfect Staycation (Without Breaking the Bank)

Location: Manila, Philippines

Life in Manila can get pretty toxic. Sometimes I realize how much of my time is wasted in the car, being stuck in traffic–when I could’ve accomplished a million other things. Sitting in a desk in front of your laptop from 9-5, taking the train/bus home, everything feels like a routine. You start to feel burnout…like you’re stuck in a rut. Sometimes all you need is a good ol’ staycation. A change of scenery, perhaps.

The first thing on your mind would probably be La Union, Batangas, Subic or Tagaytay. Some would even think of booking a flight and leave all their worries behind. But sometimes, traveling can give you the same amount of stress from planning your itinerary, catching your flight, looking for the right bus stop, communicating with the locals, the list goes on. Don’t get me wrong, I love traveling. But you have those days when you just want to relax, unwind and hibernate. I personally think that staycations are the perfect solution to that. I only started doing it early last year and I always feel so much better after.

Of course, we all have different ways of recharging ourselves but this really somehow works well for me because one, staycations remind me of the holidays. My family and I love going on staycations every Christmas and this reminds me of that. Two, I know this might sound weird and ironic, but I get more work done when I go on staycations. I know, I’m such a workaholic. Isn’t the main purpose of going on staycations is so you can rest? I love sleep as much as you do but getting work done gives me a different kind of satisfaction. I know it’s weird, lol.

In this blog post I will show you how you can take a quick vacation, without leaving the city and without the heavy financial burden. Yes it is possible. With that, here are five (5) fun ideas for the perfect staycation, without breaking the bank. You’re welcome.

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Be on the Lookout for Coupons

I’m going to jump right in and tell you that the best way to experience a staycation is by getting good deals! I personally use Deal Grocer (I love using it thru the app because they have the “DG” icon there and I pretend that it’s my app lol). Anyway (sorry for getting off topic), what does Deal Grocer actually do? It’s pretty simple and straight to the point. Deal Grocer gives you the best deals on restaurants, hotels, resorts, wellness centers and other lifestyle establishments. They talk directly to the merchants that they have on site to come up with a deal at the best available price on all channels.

They choose the best ones, curates them on their site and app so that you know which ones have the best deals and experiences—at insider pricing. I first found out about Deal Grocer through my sister who was able to get a good deal on diamond peel sessions and even a resort accommodation.

I booked The Picasso Hotel in Makati and F1 Hotel in BGC on two consecutive weekends and the process was easy and efficient. After booking your stay on your preferred date of stay/s with the hotel, you can go ahead and purchase the deal that you want via Deal Grocer. Deal Grocer will automatically send you a confirmation of the email and a link to download the voucher/PDF. Easy as pie. You’re one step away from the best staycation ever.

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Check out free activities in the neighborhood

Now that you’re settled in your hotel room—it’s time to explore the neighborhood. If you want to save money on your staycation, walking is the way to go! I loved my stay at Picasso because it was so near many establishments. I checked-in on a Saturday so I got the chance to visit the Salcedo Saturday Market which was right on the same street. Now F1 Hotel has got to be one of my favorite hotels to stay in because I get so much work done when I am there. Most of my meetings and events take place in the area so walking to each one of my appointments was so convenient (and cost-efficient). I promise myself the next time I stay in F1, I won’t do any work and just enjoy the amenities! Ahhh, someday!

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Invite Friends Over

If curling up in bed watching Netflix all day is not your cup of tea—and your idea of a perfect staycation is spending time with your friends, then I don’t see any problem here. Host a get-together, invite your friends over, ask them to bring food and drinks (to save money wink wink lol), prepare games, etc! I invited a couple of my friends at Picasso and F1 Hotel—needless to say we had the most amazing time. I only see my friends during events so it’s nice to just have our guards down and have long, meaningful conversations. My high school friends on the other hand, I see almost every week. They crashed the hotel I’m staying in, I told them since I already booked the hotel, they can be in charge for the food and drinks. They’ll never know I used a coupon. Haha!

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Try New Restaurants

Just because you’re still in the city doesn’t mean you can’t experience something different, right? One of the reasons why I love going on staycations is that it is the perfect excuse to indulge. My stay in Picasso was perfect because there are many restaurants around Salcedo. We have Toby’s Estate, Mew, The Wholesome Table, 8 Cuts, La Creperie, Mendokoro and Salcedo Weekend Market to name a few. In F1 Hotel, Arabica %, S&R, Bonifacio High Street and Burgos Circle were all walking distance. Since we want to save as much as we can, we’re going to use our Deal Grocer coupons for this too. If you don’t want to go on a food trip and just want to stay in the hotel, Deal Grocer also offers a lunch/dinner buffets and Sunday brunches. Keep your eyes peeled for special promos: click here for hotel promos, here for dining promos.

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Disconnect

Take this time to take a break from emails, appointments, meetings, events, chores and errands (wow, I should tell myself this). A quick breather from “adulting” as I would like to call it. After all, the point of going on a staycation is taking a break from the routine. A nice digital detox would be perfect. All that information being fed to us by social media can get so overwhelming and toxic at times. So disconnect, do whatever you please. You can catch up on your favorite tv series, lounge in the pool all day, sleep till the afternoon, whatever floats your boat. The best part? You don’t even have to spend a dime.

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Got any cool ideas for the perfect staycation? Leave it on the comments section below. I would love to hear from you!

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