Spend less and relax more with a summer staycation

stay·ca·tion: nounˈstā-ˈkā-shən
Definition: a vacation spent at home or nearby

Yes, the word “staycation” was added to the Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary in 2009, after it gained immense popularity amidst the U.S. financial crisis, which began in 2007. Thankfully the crisis has come and gone, but the staycation remains.

For those of us that live, work and play in the state of Arizona, the opportunities for staycations abound. Be it lounging by the pool in the backyard or staying at a nearby resort for that true vacation feel, time and money are spent on rest and relaxation rather than seeing the sights of a new state. And while going to new places outside of the state are always fun, going to a place you’ve never been IN Arizona can be just as exciting. Who knew there were so many amazing places to go and things to see right in our own backyard?

A one-stop staycation that travelers often opt for is the resort. While it may be a resort that’s only minutes or an hour’s drive away from your house, packing a bag with resort wear and being “unplugged” from the stresses of daily life can make all the difference in the world.

Some of the benefits/activities of opting for a resort stay on your next staycation include:

Lounging poolside

While many Arizona residents have pools in their backyard, there’s nothing like a resort pool with a swim-up bar, similar to that at the Harrah’s Ak-Chin newly remodeled pool area, wait staff preparing your drinks so you don’t have to, or amenities for the kids, such as lazy rivers and slides.

Gaming action

For local resorts with casinos, it brings the look and feel of the Las Vegas strip directly to the guest. Harrah’s Ak-Chin and many other casino resorts in Arizona, offer everything from bingo, to slots and blackjack. Boasting the largest selection of reel and video slots (such as Clue, which allows guests to earn points by playing on the computer at home; and Hangover, an homage to the Vegas-based movie), video poker and table games from blackjack to World Series of Poker®, Harrah’s Ak-Chin is also home to the only bingo hall in the entire Caesars organization.

Spa days

A perk of some local resorts are the spas. What better way to relax than getting a massage or hot stone treatment before going out to the pool and relaxing the day away? Many resorts often offer package deals with their spas as well, so guests can receive a two-night stay, spa treatment and any other range of amenities for one bulk price rather than having to pay it separately.

For your entertainment

As I mentioned in my last column, resorts are stepping up their entertainment game. Whether it’s bringing back the oldies but goodies, highlighting local acts or bringing in the rock star line-ups, guests can amp up the fun on their next staycation by attending a variety of performances. Resorts, like Harrah’s Ak-Chin, also sweeten the staycation deal by offering these performances free of charge.

One thing to remember in the midst of staycation rest and relaxation is that too much downtime can also be draining, which is why it’s important to make the most of it by taking advantage of the amenities offered at the local resorts. And most importantly, unplug. Just because you’re still in the same state, doesn’t mean you have to check that smartphone for work-related emails. Remember that the word staycation was derived from vacation — milk it for all it’s worth.