10 Things You Can Do On A Staycation

10 Things You Can Do On A Staycation

When I went in for my staycation at Movenpick Bur Dubai, I was mostly excited about staying at a hotel for a couple of days because, I mean, hotel life is better than all life (of course). But once I came back home, I realized everything else that was so awesome about it and therefore, today’s post.

So when you can’t really do a full-blown vacation OR you have the money but not the time OR you just need a quick recharge, then staying at a hotel for a couple of days in your own city is the magical solution and here are 10 things you can do to make a staycation super fun.
I’ve also listed an ‘indulge’ and a ‘budget’ option with the points where applicable so you can choose to spend more if you want or just not spend anything on top of the room cost (There’s also a bit of costing for a couple of similar stays at the Movenpick right at the end).

1. Get into your hotel robe and just hang out in bed. You don’t have to do any of the home chores that you usually have on a daily basis. No matter how much I plan and try to keep my weekends free, there’s always something that has to be taken care of. At a hotel, there’s absolutely nothing that you have to worry about, which was just INCREDIBLE for me.

2. Create an experience. I’d made a playlist before heading to the hotel and then our room had such an incredible sound system, that just hanging out and listening to music felt SO good. I (naturally) also took my bed mist along with a relaxing balm (you put it on your temples) and just chilled.      

3. Order in dessert and read a book/catch up on a movie. I sometimes have a book on my list that I just can’t get started on because of random distractions. Having this time to yourself is the best way to pick up that book you’ve been wanting to get into. There’s a watchout though: if the book is incredibly good you might not want to put it down (it happens) and may eat into your entire stay. If you’re afraid of that, what you can do instead is to take one of your favorite books along, and re-read the parts you love. With dessert, of course. The same for movies: If there’s a movie you’ve been wanting to watch or a show you wanted to get started on, now’s the time. N and I watched Ocean’s Eleven and Twelve – both fun and not requiring much brain power. Also, ordered in ice cream in bed (Movenpick for the win).
Indulge: Order in dessert on room service
Budget: Take your favorite chocolate from the grocery store with you to the hotel so you have inexpensive snacks on you

4. Order in breakfast/room service. Obviously. I mean, room service is king.
Indulge: Order in a big breakfast or any of the other meals.
Budget: Not the same thing but you can order in an inexpensive pizza (I’d love to have takeout pizza in a hotel room). Also, the the next best thing is to wake up in time for the complimentary breakfast buffet which is mostly built into your room rate. And complimentary breakfast buffets are always the best.

5. Try out new products. I’m a lazy person in general. I’ll buy something and then not use it for weeks. For the staycation I decided I’d do things I’d been putting off so I took along a face mask I’d bought sometime ago and hadn’t tried out. So this is a good time to pick up something you haven’t tried and have a go at it. Try out a new nailcolor, a lipstick you bought but never touched. And you don’t just have to stay restricted to beauty products – some app you wanted to check out on your phone, a video tutorial online, anything you had put on the side for when you ‘have the time’.

6. Take a relaxing bath. I’m a big believer in baths (I just don’t do them frequently because you use a lot of water so once in a couple of months feels okay). Hotels have awesome tubs and you should totally take out an hour and get one for yourself. I took my own bath products along because I wanted to be prepped like a ninja (all you really need is bath foam, bath salts and a bath oil) . Bath salts relax you like nothing else (trust me) and it’s one of the best things I did during my stay.

7. Dress up. While 50% of my staycation was spent in my pjs/hotel robe, I also dressed up for the rest of it. Did my hair, put on some makeup, got into decent clothes. It just felt good. Also, a great time to get pictures together.
Indulge: Go to the hotel salon and get a manicure or your hair done.
Budget: Do it yourself, lulz.

8. Try out a new restaurant. I often end up going to the same places to eat so trying out one of the hotel restaurants was so much fun. We went to the Indian restaurant in Movenpick called Chutney and I actually really loved the food (had masala bhindi and qorma). The interior was really nice and they even have a live band playing Bollywood music as you eat.
Indulge: Try out any of the restaurants in the hotel that you haven’t ever gone to before
Budget: Don’t want to spend on a hotel restaurant, then go for a walk outside and eat at a nearby place. Movenpick Bur Dubai was next to all these cool, low budget desi places like Emly Chilli, Billo, etc. Or just try out something new from the minibar or a new tea from the complimentary selection. Just trying out something new is exciting no matter how big or small.
9. Go to a new cinema/mall. If you feel like stepping out for a bit, go to a cinema or mall you haven’t been to before. We went to watch The Magnificent Seven in a mall we’d only been to once very long ago and it totally felt like we were not in Dubai. I kid you not, N and I both lost perspective multiple times during out stay about where we were. It actually works.

10. Have a conversation. Regardless of who you’re going with – your partner, kids, best friend, parent – just sit and have some pointless conversation over tea or coffee. I’m always thinking about things I’ll probably never end up doing (there’s always an imaginary event happening in my head) but I enjoy talking about them anyway. Talk about places you’d love to travel to, what would you do if you suddenly had a million dollars, things you want to do for fun over the next few months – stuff you might not find the spirit or energy for in day to day life.

Other than all that, we didn’t do some things that could also be so amazing like going to the gym (lol, I’m lying), the pool, the spa. Good stuff.
We didn’t have kids to worry about but if you’re up for it, the hotel also had a babysitting service so you could take a few hours on your own and then do family time. You could also split up kiddie time between the spouses (if you’re not a single parent) for a few hours to enjoy some me-time if you want.

Also, if you can’t manage a hotel, do it at home. You’ll have to work extra hard at mentally separating yourself from your usual context, but I don’t like saying impossible to anything, so you can make it work. But if you can save up for a quick getaway to a hotel in your own city, that’s obviously the best.

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Budget Estimate for Movenpick Bur Dubai (based on October 2016 rates)
Room Cost: AED 440 per night and upwards (we were offered the Executive Room which has a higher room rate) 
2 Day Stay Cost (2 persons): AED 1000 and upwards for bigger rooms (including taxes)
Average food cost (4 meals): AED 1500 (if you dine at the hotel)
Average total cost: AED 2500 (could be less if you use an offer) 
– Most hotels have offers on package stays like for 3-nights. Check them out so you can pay less and enjoy more. You can also build in meals.
– Pay a little extra and do a late check-out around 6 pm
– Get a hotel which is not in your neighborhood. Our hotel was on the other side of the city, where we go very infrequently. Just being in that area felt like being in a new place. (By the way, staying in a hotel and not stepping outside also creates the illusion that you actually traveled. True story.)
– Clean your house before you leave for the hotel so when you come back, you don’t hate your life (dirty dishes have the power to induce mood disorders).
Until next time.


  1. SUCH good tips. Loved all. Especially #10.

  2. Such a soothing and peaceful post. I love it.

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