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June 2020 – COVID-19 Re-Opening: Staycation Tips

Although there has been ease of restriction on travel across provincial borders, the Federal government won’t make that exception for our neighbors down south just yet. Even when that does happen, and non-essential travel is in full swing, it may be better to consider staying put for the time being.

Take a look around you. It’s time to plan a staycation.

Stay

Most of us know that our house, duplex, townhouse or condo exist. However, pre-COVID, chances are that we did not see our dwelling, or enjoy the comfort of our dwelling, as we do now. Working from home has led to decreased commute time but added exploration time of the various rooms and compartments in our household. Why not continue to enjoy your home on your time off? If it is too filthy to begin with, hiring an experienced housekeeper for a couple of hours may prove worthy in the long run. If you don’t seem to have enough time for your significant other, local babysitters are advertised in the community newsletter and are a great way to get a few hours away from your kids. Local stores can deliver a bottle of red wine or a drink of your choice, to be enjoyed with some candles on your deck. Who needs to go anywhere now when you have an affordable vacation from the comfort of your own home?

Explore

If you don’t want to be cooped up in your majestic fortress all day, there are also cost-saving options to explore in and around Calgary. Through local member associations and attraction sites, individuals and families can receive material discounts (ranging in 10 to 30% of total value) for cornerstone tourist attractions in Calgary, such as the Bow Habitat Station, Calaway Park, Calgary Zoo, Calgary Tower, Fort Calgary, and the Glenbow Museum to name a few.

Please note that we are currently in Stage 2 of the phased reopening in Calgary. It is important to monitor the Alberta Health Services guidelines and opening procedures in order to ensure that access to these facilities is available and warranted.

If massive social gatherings are not your cup of tea, a day trip south of Calgary may be your thing. Located five kilometers from the town of Banff, Lake Minnewanka is a beautiful spot for picnicking, mountain biking, hiking, canoeing, diving, and snow show. Also, the lake is the only one in Banff National Park to allow the use of powerboats. If deciding to stay overnight, please consider that the phased reopening of hot tubs and some outdoor pools has not occurred in most places.

For a few hundred dollars to cover gas, the boat trip, dining, and a potential overnight stay, this can be a comfy cost-effective way to enjoy your staycation.

Nourish

If cooking is a hard pass during your staycation, try exploring restaurants for samples of food from different parts of the world.

The pandemic has been tough on many businesses and their monthly margins. While Canada Emergency Business Account loans and the Alberta relaunch cost payments have been useful tools for some businesses to survive, others have unfortunately had to close doors.

However, in the face of adversity, there have been restaurants that have reinvented themselves and some that are just starting out.

During your staycation, it is important to support local businesses in your area. This could work to your benefit, as there may be certain incentives available for choosing to dine at places that are looking to establish themselves, gain your trust and build that long-lasting clientele relationship.

Some incentives include increased happy hour specials, free kids’ meal day options, and discounted full course meals during extended lunch hour timeframes. Explore to see if these newer or reinvented businesses have coupons or certificates that can be used for future dining.

There you have it. Sometimes the saying is true – “Home is where the heart is”.

This pandemic has been devastating for the majority of the population. It has affected us in so many different ways. However, it’s also made us stronger. And just maybe, through our little staycation, we realize that the extravagance and luxury we yearn, was right there in front of our eyes to begin with.

Steve Dimic

If you have any additional inquiries regarding any of the topics or if you have ideas for future topics, please feel free to email me at stevedimik@hotmail.com

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