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How to Plan a Staycation for Your Team or Clients

With coin purse strings clutched a little tighter since 2008, expensive vacations have given way to more affordable, close-to-home excursions that became nicknamed “staycations.” It’s a one-night stay in the city where you already live, hence “stay” and the “-cation” aspect comes from the ability to combine the stay with other conventional vacation activities like dinners, happy hours, shopping, sightseeing and more. They offer a number of benefits over the traditional vacation with a lower price point.

Why have a staycation?

A staycation offers a number of benefits over a traditional employee getaway. In addition to the benefits of team-building—lifting employee morale to keep them motivated, loyal and productive—there are several benefits unique to the local excursion.

  • Corporate staycations are often more budget-friendly and flexible than large corporate getaways. Even if some employees can’t attend every part of the staycation, the local setting encourages partial involvement—an increase in participation over the all-or-nothing feeling of a normal getaway.
  • Choosing a local venue also encourages more of a company’s leadership to attend. C-Suite executives are busy at the best of times, and a close-to-home event means they are more likely to attend and be involved in the event in a way that may not be possible otherwise.
  • A reduced cost-per-person means that it’s easy for spouses to attend. Getting a spouse involved is a great way to encourage employees to participate. It also shows that you care about employees’ personal lives. Plus, getting to know each other’s families encourages stronger bonds when you’re back in the office.

Planning a staycation

So you’ve decided to plan a staycation—good choice! The first step in planning a staycation is defining the types of people you want to invite. Staycations should include anywhere between 10 and 85 top employees or key clients with an option for them to bring a plus one. As a general rule, if you’re planning to invite clients to a staycation, it’s recommended you invite top sales people and C-Level executives as well.

Your budget will also impact the type of event you have—typical cost per person is $250–$500 per head, but can go up even more to $1,000 depending on which activities you choose and where you go to dinner. If you’re concerned cost, here are some general tips for securing a good rate:

  • Plan 4-6 months in advance
  • Avoid major holidays and other designated holidays like Mothers Day and Fathers Day
  • Avoid dates of major conferences in your city

Where to book

Another important consideration to keep in mind is location. There’s a lot of cost/benefit analysis to be done in this regard. If you’re planning on spending a lot of time in the hotel, it might be worth looking a little further afield to secure a nicer venue; if you’re interested in making sure your guests have a lot of activities and options, a less pricy hotel in a bustling area might be a better option.

It’s also worth considering what kind of focus you’d like your theme or activity to have. Should you book a hotel that includes a spa and theme your staycation around relaxing? Should it be close to city landmarks to encourage sightseeing? It could even be close to a major strip of stores if you’d like it to remain shopping-focused. If you don’t opt for the latter, remember that a gift bag can be a great way to add to your guests’ experience.

Planning the details

Another question to consider is when your guests will check in. You’ll want to ensure they have time to get ready for the evening without making them wait around for too long if there’s a late check-in—so make sure to avoid that. If a late check-in is unavoidable, give your guests a list of things to do nearby or host an event while they wait for check-in.

You’ll also want to think about how accessible your hotel is to entertainment and dining, in addition to how your guests will get there in the first place. It’s helpful to ask and plan out how you’re going to get from the hotel to dinner to activities, as well as knowing where can your guests park their cars overnight. If there’s a fee, will you cover it?

There’s still a lot of logistics to consider, but put in the time and a staycation can seriously pay off. If you’re looking for something even more in depth, you can also explore Kapow.com’s Platinum Experiences and reach out to our experienced team for help planning. 

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