Labor Day Weekend has now come and gone, and if you were among the majority of Americans who continued to “shelter in place”, mindful of social distancing due to our ongoing and seemingly endless pandemic, then you spent your long holiday weekend at home watching Netflix… I know I did. And, with the record breaking heatwave that ravaged California this past weekend, not choosing to hit the beach was probably one of the hardest decisions that most of us had to make. However, this is our new normal and we need to protect ourselves and others so… quel dommage.
“Staycations” have become the latest travel craze for those of us who don’t want to fly, and instead are utilizing sites like Airbnb, Vrbo and FlipKey to find that perfect cabin in the woods or stunning beach front condo to short term rent within a reasonable driving distance from home. Luckily, California has a plethora of various landscapes to explore, from the Pacific Ocean and Lake Arrowhead/Big Bear to forests, mountains, the desert and vineyards so the available options are truly endless. I reached out to Sam Palmer, Luxury Hospitality Expert and CEO of Staffing Properties, a Los Angeles based home staffing firm, to pick his brain about staycationing, and here are his tips for making your upcoming staycation that much more luxe.
1. Plan ahead. Nobody likes to start a vacation unpacking and cleaning. If you have the opportunity to get your place a day in advance of your trip, have your bags sent ahead so they are pressed and hung in closet for your arrival. Have the fridge and bar stocked with your favorite snacks and beverages, and due to Covid-19, it’s smart to have the property deep cleaned by a professional team, making sure that it is 100% sterilized for your family.
2. Pre-book your spa treatments. For the ultimate staycation, why not have everything come to you? Schedule a massage, mani-pedi or hairstylist appointment within the privacy and comfort of your rent-a-home.
3. Staffing is key. You don’t want to have to cook and clean on your time off, do you? Consider hiring a chef who can prepare breakfast, lunch and dinner for your family so that you do not have to lift a finger, a local driver who can show you the hot spots in town or even a mixologist to curate your own personal at home Happy Hour.
4. Book your restaurant reservations at least a week, preferably two weeks in advance of your stay. If you want to get into the hottest, most impossible restaurant to reserve in town, here’s a tip: find a friend to play concierge and have them call the restaurant on your behalf, coining you their “VVIP” client; most restaurants will jump at the chance to get you in!
5. Plan activities for you or the kids in advance. If you have children, the goal is to keep them entertained so that you get some downtime during your vacation, so book a children’s entertainer to come over dressed as their favorite character. Have a bouncy house and slip and slide ready for the garden and bring your Amazon Firestick with you so that you can easily plug and play their favorite shows and movies. Advance preparation of your staycation will guarantee a much smoother experience than just showing up and winging it.